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Football Game Notes at St. John Fisher - Nov. 10

BUFFALO STATE ATHLETICS

Torrillo
Game #10:  Buffalo State Bengals (1-8) at St. John Fisher (2-6) 
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 -    1 p.m.
Growney Stadium (Pittsford, N.Y.)

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The Matchup…Buffalo State will look to close out its season with a victory to improve on its 1-8 overall record and its 1-5 mark in conference play.  St. John Fisher picked up its second win of the season last Saturday at Alfred University to move to 2-6 overall and 2-4 in league play.  Buffalo State has won two of the last three meetings against the Cardinals, including a 35-14 win in Buffalo last season.

The Bengals' Last Game…Utica limited Buffalo State to 265 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers in a 36-3 last Saturday at Coyer Field.

Senior quarterback Kevin Torrillo was 18 of 34 for 189 yards with two interceptions, while freshman Thomas Dupee was 6 of 10 for 46 yards.  Jordan Evert was the leading receiver with six catches for 75 yards.  Martin Bailey finished with 79 rushing yards on 22 carries and added three catches for 35 yards.  Gino Bonagura led the Bengals defense with nine tackles.

Top Tackler...Buffalo State junior Gino Bonagura leads the Bengals and ranks second in the Empire 8 with 89 tackles in nine games this season.  He has 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including one sack, and also has an interception. 

In the receiving ranks...Buffalo State has two wide receivers ranked in the top-7 in the Empire 8 in yards, led by Jordan Evert in third and Jamar Rutledge in seventh.  Evert, a junior, entered the season with 16 catches for 213 yards.  In his first game of the season at Bridgewater, he finished with five catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.  Through nine games he has 47 catches for 655 yards with six touchdowns.  Rutledge, a senior is seventh in the league with 569 yards on 58 catches, including four touchdowns.

Oh captain, my captains...Buffalo State will rely on the leadership of four captains this season.  On the offensive side, the Bengals will be led by junior lineman Dave Lauer and senior quarterback Kevin Torrillo, and the defense will be led by senior end Cliff Brown and junior linebacker Gino Bonagura.

Long time in the making...Buffalo State running back Martin Bailey ran for 117 yards on 21 carries, including touchdown runs of 2 and 40 yards in a 41-7 victory over Hartwick on Buffalo State's homecoming.  Bailey also caught one pass for 21 yards.  It was Bailey's first start since high school way back in 2011. He backed that up with 112 yards on 14 carries, including a 91-yard score against Alfred. He leads the Bengals and is seventh in the E8 with 493 yards on 119 carries (4.1 yards-per-carry) in eight games.

Senior Salute...Buffalo State is honoring 13 seniors prior to the game as they compete in the final home contest of their collegiate careers.  The Bengals salute: Paul BrinkelCliff BrownSpencer Cameron-PressleyJosh DouglasVinny GregoryDominic Hitchcock, Steven McIlwain, Justin QuinnJake RatiganJamar RutledgeJustin SimoncelliKevin Torrillo and Marcos Watkins.

With honors...Senior wide receiver Jamar Rutledge is the lone returning all-conference performer from a season ago.  Rutledge was named first teamm All-Empire 8 as a return specialist. He led the league averaging 23.5 yards-per-kick return on 25 attempts, which included a 96-yard touchdown return at Morrisville State.  He was also second in the league, averaging 10.3 yards-per-punt return.
   
The signal caller...Senior Kevin Torrillo enters the season as the starting quarterback this season after sitting behind four-year starter Kyle Hoppy.  Torrillo took his first varsity snaps when he started in place of an injured Hoppy vs. Cortland on Oct. 7, 2017.  Torrillo finished 21 of 44 for 304 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in that game.  He finished 2017 with four appearances and was 30 of 60 for 366 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.

Holding the ball...Buffalo State ranks third in the Empire 8, averaging 31:45 per game in time of possession.

On the Move...Buffalo State has officially announced it will leave the Empire 8 following the 2018 season to join the Liberty League in 2019.  The move will stabilize both leagues, creating a pair of seven-team conferences that will collaborate for both non-conference scheduling and a postseason bowl game.  Buffalo State will compete with Hobart, Ithaca, RPI, Rochester, St. Lawrence and Union in the Liberty League.

Return to the "Glory Days"...Buffalo State has posted a .500 record or better in each of the past seven seasons. The Bengals made seven NCAA playoff appearances and won three other ECAC Bowl Championships, all from 1991-2000. The Bengals advanced to the NCAA playoffs in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999, and won ECAC Bowl games in 1991, 1997 and 2000. During that 10-year span, the Bengals went a combined 78-28 (.736).