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Football Falls Short at Cortland, 30-27

Posted: September 22, 2007
CORTLAND, NY—Buffalo State (1-2/0-1) jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but could not hold on as Cortland (2-1/1-0) rallied for a 30-27 victory in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) season opener today at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.

Dan Aquilio (Depew/Depew) was 16 of 26 for 187 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Greg Meyer (Lancaster/Lancaster) had five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Darryl Davis (Lancaster/Lancaster) led the defense with 13 tackles. Ron Webber (Middle Island/Wm. Floyd) added 10 tackles and a pair of sacks, and Tom LaPann (Glens Falls/Glens Falls) had 10 tackles and a sack. Jermaine Rose (Niagara Falls/Niagara Falls) made nine tackles and had an interception.

Cortland outgained Buffalo State, 363-234, and held a 9:56 advantage in time of possession. Quarterback Ray Miles was 19 of 36 for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Keith Greene caught a team-high six passes for 97 yards and two scores.

Buffalo State opened the scoring when Brian Lavis (Hamburg/Hamburg) blocked a Cortland punt and returned it 30 yards for the score late in the first quarter.
After a 20-yard field goal by Eric Beyler (Lockport/Roy-Hart), the Bengals extended the lead to 17-0 when Aquilio hit Jarret Smith (Beacon/Beacon) with a 38-yards scoring strike.

Cortland closed the gap to 17-14 on a pair of touchdown receptions by Greene from 15 and 36 yards, but Beyler added a 30-yard field goal late in the first half to give the Bengals a 20-14 lead at the intermission.

Aquilio took an intentional grounding penalty early in the third quarter for a safety, and Cortland took its first lead of the game on the ensuing possession, 23-20, after a 37-yard reception by Eric Hajnos.

Buffalo State answered immediately, mounting a five-play, 80-yard drive, capped by a 25-yard score by Meyer to put the Bengals back in front, 27-23.

Cortland scored the lone points of the fourth quarter, however, to clinch the 30-27 win. Buffalo State forced the Red Dragons into a fourth and 16 situation, but the Bengals were flagged for roughing the punter. The penalty prolonged the drive that ultimately ended with a 3-yard touchdown catch by Michael Zielinski.

“We did not put them away when we had the chance and let them back in the game,” said Bengals’ coach Paul Shaffner. “We could not establish any continuity on offense maintain possession. Our defense was strong, but just gave up too many big plays.”

Buffalo State will welcome Kean University to Coyer Field for homecoming next Saturday at 1 p.m.
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