Dale Stewart scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead a 29-26 comeback victory by Buffalo State over Otterbein on Saturday in the Bengals’ football opener at Coyer Field.
The junior running back from Niagara Falls finished with 235 all-purpose yards, including 132 rushing on 22 carries. He had scoring runs of 6, 5, 2 and 2. His final TD with 34 seconds to play gave the Bengals a 27-26 lead. Stewart ran for the two-point conversion.
Otterbein, which lost to the Bengals at home, 29-0, last season, took a 26-14 lead with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard run by quarterback Logan Stepp, his second of the game.
Then Buffalo State quarterback Kyle Hoppy (Orchard Park) directed two scoring drives to win it. The first was 73 yards in nine plays. The Bengals gained possession again with 3:33 left after forcing a punt from midfield. On the winning drive, they converted six third downs and a fourth down when Hoppy hit tight end Nick Jones for 6 yards from the Buffalo State 46. A 9-yard run by Stewart gave the Bengals a first down at the 2. He scored two plays later.
Hoppy completed 17 of 37 passes for 202 yards with one interception. Madison Wesolowski (Iroquois) had 10 catches for 118 yards. Bart Mazzara (Starpoint) led the defense with nine tackles, one for loss, and Billy Carroll had six stops, three for loss with a sack.
At West Herr Stadium in Orchard Park, Aaron Williams passed 21 yards to Aaron Lewis with 3:03 left to give Monroe College of New Rochelle a 28-21 victory over Erie Community College, the first loss of the season for the Kats (1-1). A turning point was an 85-yard fumble return by Jatese Wright of the visiting Mustangs to tie the game at 14-all early in the second quarter. Monroe took the lead in the third on a 53-yard pass from Williams to Rakee Langston but ECC tied it on a 2-yard run by Antonio Snell with 4:54 to play.
Sam Castronova (Williamsville East) completed 18 of 30 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown for ECC. The Kats were outgained, 141-72, on the ground. John Pope and Nick Perrine had seven tackles each for ECC.