No. 11 Salisbury shows defensive strength against Buffalo State
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Salisbury junior defensive lineman Joey Buckley blocked a punt on Buffalo State's three-yard line and returned it for a game-winning touchdown as the No. 11 Sea Gulls topped the Bengals 20-7 on Saturday at Coyer Field.
Salisbury (3-1) scored off a 4-yard rushing touchdown by senior quarterback Dan Griffin on the first drive of the game.
Freshman backup-quarterback John Dunbar came in for Griffin in the second quarter after an injury. Dunbar hooked up with junior slot receiver Michael Copenhaver on a 59-yard touchdown, finishing a 72-yard drive for a 20-0 lead with 5:53 left in the third.
Buffalo State (2-3) got on the scoreboard when Jeffrey Moore blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt. Jordan Bosser recovered the ball on the SU 10-yard line and quarterback Casey Kacz made it to the end zone on the next play to cut the lead 20-7.
Senior back Joe Benedetti led Salisbury with 114 yards and 22 carries and Dunbar chipped in with 51 yards on 19 attempts and was 2-for-3 passing with 69 yards and a touchdown.
Salisbury held Buffalo State to 158 yards of offense, including 16 yards rushing, marking the first time since 2011 that SU limited the opposition to less than 200 yards.
Senior cornerback Andre Carter paced the Gulls' defense with eight tackles (five solo) and five passes broken up. Fellow cornerback Paul Moore tallied three solo stops and one pass broken up. Sophomore defensive lineman Nick Ochoa picked up two of the other three tackles for loss.
Senior linebacker Kevin Costello picked off Kacz (13-for-30, 142 yards, one interception) on the Bengals' final drive to seal the victory with just over three minutes remaining.
Caesarae Lewis, John Beers and Dave Jacobs made three catches apiece with Lewis collecting a team-high 54 yards receiving. Kacz led the team with 30 yards rushing on four carries.