MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Visiting Buffalo State College scored with just under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter on a 41-yard pass play from Kyle Hoppy to Had Bryant, to take the lead, and followed with a strong defensive series as they handed host Morrisville State College the heartbreaking 53-48 loss Saturday afternoon on Drake Field.
The win lifts the Bengals to 2-0 overall, as they collect a win within Empire 8 play. Morrisville State drops to 1-1 overall, 0-1 in the conference opener.
The Mustangs outgained Buffalo State 526 yards total offense to the Bengals 506, with a majority coming in the running game as Morrisville State collected 329 on the ground.
Junior running back Nick Edmond (Blythe, Calif.) led all ball carriers with 154 net yards rushing, posting two touchdown scores, while junior quarterback Brandon Gwinner (Schenectady, N.Y.) added another 149, also accounting for two rushing scores.
Gwinner added to his day's totals with another 197 yards in the passing game, completing 14-of-30 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns; including five to junior Raffaele Bradshaw (Westbury, N.Y.) who pulled in five for 103 total receiving yards and a score.
Michael Bodnar (Miller Place, N.Y.) led the defensive efforts for the Mustangs with nine total stops, four solo, while four additional teammates each added eight.
Greg Elliott (Hubbardsville, N.Y.) made two solo stops, eight total tackles on the day, including two sacks for a loss of six yards, adding a fumble recovery and quarterback hurry.
Jarrod Faniel (Clyde, N.Y.) also registered eight, posting sack for a loss of a yard.
Hoppy, senior quarterback, led the Bengals offensively with his 364 yard attack through the air, completing 18-of-30 passes for three touchdown scores, over 100-yards to two different targets.
Bryant collected 121-yards on seven catches for a score, while Stephen Johnson added 124 additional yards on four receptions for a touchdown.
Antoine Holloman collected a Bengal best 56 net yards on 16 carries in the running game. Buffalo State collected a total 144 yards in the running game.
Bart Mazzara and Nicolas Calle each recorded nine total tackles to lead the Buffalo State defensive unit, Mazzara collecting three for a loss of four yards on the day.
Paul Krowel added eight on the day, three solo stops, also recording the team's lone sack.
In a back-and-forth battle throughout the first two quarters, Morrisville State carried momentum and the lead into the half, posting a 33-28 lead behind a third Bengal fumble and Morrisville recovery.
After a 42-yard scramble by Gwinner down the Bengal 15 yard line, Morrisville State was forced to punt. Sophomore Bill Flatow (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) kicked the punt to the Buffalo State 31-yard line, where Rey Jordan attempted the return but fumbled the ball away into the hands of Deondrade Wells (Goshen, N.Y.), returning possession to the Mustangs.
Gwinner then hit Dajon Russell (Spring Valley, N.Y.) for a 13-yard gain down the Bengal 20, before connecting with Russell again just two downs later on a 20-yard scoring pass play. Russell was untouched and uncovered in the back of the end zone.
Buffalo State regained the lead late in the third, as Hoppy hit Johnson on a 38-yard strike, before Holloman topped off the seven play, 72-yard drive with a one-yard scoring run up the middle.
Morrisville State responded on the ensuing possession as a 26-yard scamper by Bradshaw brought the ball down to the Bengal-14 set up the 14-yard rushing score by Edmond one play later for the 40-35 lead. Edmond, powered his way into the end zone with a defender on his back with 2:06 to go in the quarter.
Buffalo State was quick to push the ball downfield in the final minutes of the third frame, driving down to the Mustangs 19 yard line after a 48-yard kick-off return by Rutledge to position the visitors within Morrisville State territory at the start of their drive.
Rutledge, on the reverse, hurdled a defender to find his way into the end zone, giving Buffalo State the one-point lead, 41-40 at the start of the fourth.
Keeping suit with the conference battle throughout the contest, Morrisville State responded on the ensuing drive, and converted the 64-yard drive in just six plays. Gwinner scrambled along the left sideline to get deep within Buffalo State territory, where one play later, he connected with Bradshaw on the 18-yard scoring pass play.
Going for the two-point conversion, Gwinner followed a block on the right hand side of the line and dove into the end zone for the one-score lead with 12 minutes remaining in the quarter.
Buffalo State took advantage of some costly Morrisville State penalties on the following drive, and capped off the 70-yard drive in just three plays as Austin Neal's eight-yard scoring run brought the Bengals within one.
With Morrisville State eating up nearly eight minutes of the clock, Buffalo State regained possession after forcing the Mustangs to turn the ball over on downs, and quickly marched downfield where Hoppy hit a wide open Bryant on a 41-yard pass play for the go ahead score with just 57 seconds remaining on the clock.
Morrisville made one last effort, but fell short of time as the Bengals collected the 53-48 conference win.
Morrisville State returns to the field Saturday, hosting Nichols College in a noon start on Drake Field.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.