Buffalo State opened the game with a seven-play, 66 yard drive, which included a 40-yard run by James Perkins, to set up a two-yard run for a touchdown by Mikolaichik.
Plymouth State answered with a lengthy drive on its next possession, covering 51 yards on 13 plays, using 6:39, capped by a Chris Smith 29-yard field goal.
Buffalo State found the end zone again late in the first quarter when Mikolaichik connected with James Perkins on a five-yard swing pass, extending the Bengals’ lead to 14-3.
The Bengals forced Plymouth to punt on the first series of the ensuing drive and opened the second quarter with a six-play, 50-yard drive, ending with a two-yard pass from Mikolaichik to Jeff Shostak in the corner of the end zone, giving the Bengals a 21-3 lead.
The Panthers answered on their next possession, assembling a 13-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with a one-yard touchdown run by John DeMarco. Smith’s extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the score 21-9 in favor of the Bengals at halftime.
Buffalo State put the game out of reach in the third quarter, outscoring Plymouth 13-0 in the frame. Mikolaichik scored on a one-yard run on the Bengals first possession of the half, and connected with tight end Tom Cocker from 15 yards for his first career touchdown reception, later in the quarter.
Plymouth added a touchdown on a one-yard run by Brandon Clough with 5:27 remaining in the game, set up by a 43-yard interception return to the 2-yard line by Josh White on a pass from Dan Aquillio. Clough found the end zone again with 35 seconds remaining, this time from 13 yards out to bring the final score to 34-22.
Buffalo State outgained the Panthers, 430-170 for the game. The Bengals were penalized 15 times for 141 yards, compared to two penalties for 15 yards called against Plymouth. Buffalo State’s 34 points were the most it has scored in a single game since 2000.
“I was very pleased with our performance this afternoon,” said Buffalo State Head Coach Paul Shaffner. “I thought it was our best overall game of the season. I was really proud of the way our guys executed in every phase of the game.”
Perkins led the Bengals ground attack with 13 carries for 119 yards. Dan McEntire was the team’s leading receiver with four catches for 51 yards. Bob Vesona added 73 yards on eight carries. Bill Kirsch anchored the Bengals’ defense with 10 stops, with a sack and three tackles in the backfield. Michael Haynes added eight tackles and two pass break-ups.
DeMarco led Plymouth State on the ground with 19 carries for 43 yards and had two catches for 22 yards. Clough ran seven times for 36 yards and the two touchdowns. Quarterback Tye Seastedt was 10 of 19 for 92 yards. Jermaine Jordan was the Panthers’ leading tackler with eight, including six solo stops.
Buffalo State will visit Thiel next Saturday. Plymouth State will close out its season with a home game against Mount Ida.