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Bengals Football Falls in Defensive Showdown

Posted: November 16, 2002
BUFFALO, NY -- Washington & Jefferson's only score came on its first possession of the game, but it proved to be the difference as the Presidents (8-2) held on for a 7-3 victory over Buffalo State (1-9) on a cold and snowy day at Coyer Field.

After forcing Buffalo State to punt on its opening drive, W & J drove 46 yards on nine plays, capped off by a Brian Dawson nine-yard quarterback keeper for the score to take an early 7-0 lead. Both team's defense dominated for the remainder of the contest. Eric Buchanan finally got the Bengals on the scoreboard with 3:33 remaining in the third quarter when he hit a career-long 36-yard field goal to cut into the deficit, 7-3. The Bengals took over on their own 12-yard line with 44 second remaining in the contest for a final chance to pull ahead. After Buffalo State drove the ball to midfield, W&J's Frank Pilato intercepted a Buffalo State desperation pass with 11 seconds remaining to end Buffalo State's season and keep the Presidents' postseason hopes alive.

Both teams combined for just 331 total offensive yards as Buffalo State totaled 181 and W&J gained 150. Joey Nichols led the Presidents' offense with 80 yards on 32 carries and Dawson went 10-for-20 for 82 yards and two interceptions. Curtis Hathcock was the Bengals' leading ball carrier with 86 yards on 17 carries.

Roger Snyder was W&J's leading tackler with 10 stops. Tim Hawkins added nine tackles, and Josh King had seven stops, including for for losses. John Lesure and Star Handley led the Bengals with 11 tackles each. Nathan Van Husen recorded two of Buffalo State's seven sacks, and Tyree Parker recorded a pair of interceptions.

W&J hopes to be making its 15th trip to the NCAA Playoffs in the past 19 years. Buffalo State's season ends with out a postseason game for just the second time since 1990.
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