Buffalo State (3-4, 1-3) limited Ithaca to 253 yards total offense and forced three turnovers to register its first Empire 8 victory, 21-14 over the Bombers (4-2, 2-2) at Butterfield Stadium in Ithaca.
Pasquale Vacchio led the Bengals’ defense with nine tackles, and Scott Koen recorded eight. Kam Johnson and Mike Burton each had an interception.
Quarterback Casey Kacz (Sweet Home) finished 10 of 19 for 134 yards with an interception before being relieved by Ryan Lehotsky who was 5 of 10 for 70 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Bengals finished with 365 yards total offense.
Lehotsky led a six-play, 72-yard drive that proved to be the difference. It was highlighted by a 42-yard touchdown to tight end Zachary Best midway through the third quarter to extend the Bengals lead to 21-7. Ithaca scored with 10:14 left but the Bengals halted two Bombers drives then ran out the final 2:05.
Buffalo State will play at Frostburg (Md.) State on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Erie Community College fell to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in Northeast Football Conference play after Dean College rallied to a 33-32, victory.
Jacob Wims’ touchdown gave ECC a 26-21 lead but Dean answered immediately for a 27-26 lead. Will Robinson then ran for another score but the two-point conversion failed, giving ECC a 32-27 lead. Dean put the finishing touchdown on the comeback with a late touchdown.
ECC had one last chance to take the lead with two minutes remaining, but was stopped on fourth down. The Kats play No. 7 ASA this Saturday in Brooklyn.