Buffalo State gained 372 yards of total offense and had a plus-three turnover margin, but only managed three points in four trips into the red zone.
The Bengals’ Michael Haynes grabbed his seventh interception of the season on the games opening drive, and Buffalo State took an early 3-0 lead on a 24-yard field goal by Eric Buchanan.
Thiel took a 7-3 lead with 4:28 remaining in the opening half with a 24-yard touchdown catch by Brandon Chambers from Darrell Satterfield, capping a seven-play, 67-yard drive.
Buffalo State drove the ball to the Thiel 3-yard line early in the third quarter, but turned the ball over on downs. The Bengals drove the ball deep into Thiel territory again two possessions later, but Buchanan missed a 22-yard field goal.
The Tomcats extended their lead to 14-3 on the ensuing possession with a one-yard plunge by Dan Hess with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter. The scoring run was set up by a 43-yard reception by Chambers just two plays earlier.
Satterfield and Chambers hooked up again early in the fourth quarter, this time, connecting on a 67-yard catch and run for a touchdown, giving Thiel a 21-3 lead.
Buffalo State’s launched one last effort to get back in the game midway through the fourth quarter, but the Bengals turned the ball over on downs again, at the 11-yard line.
“Our kids gave a great effort this afternoon,” said Buffalo State Head Coach Paul Shaffner. “We just could not finish in the red zone, and Thiel made some big plays that were the difference in the game.”
Mikolaichik broke his own school record for passing attempts in a game as he was 26 of 54 for 341 yards with no interceptions. Jonathan Allen caught 12 passes for 101 yards. Justin Draper led the Bengals defense with 10 tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss. Carl Jean-Louis added an interception and two tackles.
Satterfield finished 14 of 32 for 261 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. Chambers caught seven passes for 167 yards and two scores. Jeff Wagner anchored the Tomcats defense with 10 tackles.
Buffalo State will finish its season with the annual I-90 Bowl next Saturday at home against Brockport at 1 p.m.