Autera Scores Three Times as Cortland Defeats Buffalo St., 35-7

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CORTLAND, N.Y. – Sophomore Justin Autera (Mahopac) rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns as Cortland improved to 2-0 with a 35-7 victory over visiting Buffalo State. The Red Dragons are also 2-0 in New Jersey Athletic Conference play, while the Bengals drop to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.

Autera averaged 7.4 yards per carry on his 18 rushes. He scored  on a 12-yard run in the first quarter and a 5-yard run in the second quarter to give the Red Dragons a 14-0 lead. He also scampered in from 20 yards out late in the third quarter and has scored six touchdowns in Cortland's first two games.

Cortland's other touchdowns came on a 25-yard pass from Dan Pitcher (Cortland) to sophomore Mike Humphrey (Le Roy) with 33 seconds left in the first half and a Bill Smith (Nanuet) 1-yard fumble return with 7:23 remaining in the game. Smith's scoring opportunity was created by freshman Chris Corvino's (Parsippany, NJ/Don Bosco Prep) sack and forced fumble. Pitcher completed 17-of-28 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown, including five throws to senior Anthony Giuliano (Thornwood/Westlake) for 61 yards and four to Autera for 29 yards.

Buffalo State cut Cortland's lead to 21-7 on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Lehotsky (North Royalton, OH) to Rob Smith (Rochester/McQuaid) with 8:45 left in the third quarter. Smith caught a school single-game record 13 passes for 129 yards. Lehotsky finished 19-of-35 passing for 194 yards.

Junior linebacker Cody Allen (Medina) led Cortland with 10 tackles, seven solo. He recorded 1.5 of the Red Dragons' six sacks in the contest. Senior cornerback Joe Lopez (Port Jefferson Station/Comsewogue) had seven tackles.

Matthew Krumm (Buffalo/Clarence) paced Buffalo State with 10 tackles. Joe Schriever (East Amherst/Williamsville East) intercepted a pass and broke up two others and Josh Mims (Syracuse/Nottingham) also registered an interception.

Cortland drove 69 yards on nine plays, highlighted by a Dom Sair (Huntington) 25-yard run, for its first touchdown on its second possession. On the final play of the first quarter, a wild snap from center led to a Corvino fumble recovery on the Buffalo State 16-yard line. Three plays later, Autera ran up the middle five yards for a score and a two-score lead.

With 1:33 left in the half, Cortland started a drive on its own 38-yard line. A 25-yard Pitcher screen pass to Autera on 2nd-and-15 moved the ball to the Buffalo State 34-yard line. Two plays later, Pitcher rolled left to avoid pressure and found Humphrey wide open near the goal line on the left sideline for a 25-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left.

Cortland held Buffalo State to 15 yards of net rushing and held a 385-225 advantage in total offense.

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