BUFFALO, N.Y. (CORTLAND ATHLETICS) – Jaden Alfanostjohn (Westhampton/Westhampton Beach) ran for three touchdowns, Zac Boyes (Buffalo/Kenmore West) completed 14-of-16 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, and Joshua Cordero (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) returned an interception for a touchdown – all in the first half – as nationally 14th-ranked Cortland defeated host Buffalo State, 66-7, in a non-league matchup.
Cortland (3-0) has scored 177 points over its first three games of the season. The Red Dragons led 49-0 at halftime and 66-0 before Buffalo State broke up the shutout bid on a 15-yard TD pass from Javon Ford to Julian Maloney with four seconds remaining.
Cortland finished the game with 518 yards of total offense. The Red Dragons’ 333 passing yards included Boyes’ 212 yards along with Vin Mazzone (Staten Island/St. Peter’s) going 5-for-9 for 85 yards and a touchdown and Dallas Crespo (Brentwood) completing all five of his pass attempts for 36 yards and a score. Cortland’s 185 rushing yards featured 76 from Alfanostjohn, including a pair of 2-yard TD runs and a 3-yard score. Ashton Capone (Saratoga Springs) ran for 50 yards and a touchdown and Kyle Stracher (Pine Plains/Stissing Mountain) had 47 yards on six carries.
Rashad Tucker (Freeport) caught six passes for 115 yards, including a 55-yard TD. CJ Messina (Sayville) finished with five receptions for 98 yards and ran for a score, Cole Burgess (Greenwich) caught four passes for 30 yards and a TD, and Joe Iadevaio (Massapequa/Plainedge) had three receptions for 21 yards and a TD.
Cortland intercepted three passes on the afternoon. Cordero’s 40-yard “pick six” gave Cortland a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. Cordero scored off an interception for the second straight week and has five interceptions through the Red Dragons’ first three games. Brett Harvey (Oakdale/Connetquot) and Jarrell Young (Albany/CBA) also registered interceptions.
Xzavion Isaac (Brooklyn/Midwood) led Cortland with seven tackles with one sack. Joe Ruggieri (Oceanside) made five tackles, broke up a pass and recovered two fumbles, and Shane Patterson (Wheatley Heights/Half Hollow Hills East) had five tackles and a pass breakup. Cortland’s eight sacks included two by Junius Keys (Queens/Eagle Academy) and one each by Isaac, Samuel Maddi (Binghamton), Anthony Dennison (South Huntington/Walt Whitman), Joe Martin (Marcellus) and Max Llewellyn (Sayville). Dennison’s and Martin’s sacks forced fumbles that the Red Dragons recovered.
Delgado completed 12-of-22 passes for 154 yards and Tariq Nelson caught seven passes for 107 yards for the Bengals. Anderson Osei-Gyimah posted 12 tackles and Darren Thompson and Kenneth Mosley each made eight tackles.
Cortland did not punt in the game. The Red Dragons scored touchdowns on their first seven offensive possessions, along with Cordero’s interception return. After losing a fumble late in the quarter, Cortland registered a field goal and touchdown on its first two fourth quarter possessions and took a knee to end the game.
Cortland is idle next weekend and will host currently unbeaten Morrisville State on Oct. 1 in the Empire 8 opener for both teams. Morrisville is 3-0 entering its non-league game at Buffalo State next weekend.