Buffalo State finally opened the scoring with 3:43 remaining in the first half, orchestrating an 11-play, 80-yard drive, capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by James Perkins. The Bengals missed the ensuing extra point attempt.
Buffalo State’s defense carried the momentum on the very next Apprentice series, when Daniel Perez sacked the quarterback Kyle Franklin, and forced a fumble, recovered by Justin Bodnar on the Builders’ 20-yard line. Buffalo State needed just six plays this time, as Mike Mikolaichik scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. Eric Buchanan’s successful extra point extended the Bengals’ lead to 13-0 with just 25 seconds to play in the half.
Buffalo State opened the second half scoring with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter when Brendan Thompson recorded his second interception of the day, and took Robert Hannah’s errant pass 12-yards for a touchdown.
Buffalo State capitalized on another Apprentice turnover early in the fourth quarter, when Travis Reid muffed a punt on his own 26-yard line, and Luke Ingram fell on the ball for the Bengals. Mikolaichik connected with Jeff Shostak for a touchdown on the very next play to give the Bengals a 27-0 advantage and complete the day’s scoring.
“Apprentice did an outstanding job disrupting our game plan in the early going,” said Bengals’ Head Coach Paul Shaffner. “Today’s win was a testament to the perseverance and commitment of our kids.”
Mikolaichik finished the day 7 of 21 for 150 yards and a touchdown. Perkins carried the ball 25 times for 112 yards and a score. Shostak had two catches for 61 yards. Thompson had two interceptions and five tackles, and Michael Haynes also had his sixth interception of the season.
Michael Hogan anchored the Apprentice defense with 11 tackles, including seven solo stops, a sack and two tackles for loss. Bruce Freeman was the Builders’ leading rusher with eight carries for 44 yards.
Buffalo State will host Plymouth State next Saturday at Coyer Field at 1 p.m.