WHITEWATER, Wis. - It was a happy birthday for Jamestown High School graduate and Buffalo State junior Ben Denn last Saturday.
Denn, the Bengals' starting defensive end, and his teammates upset the three-time defending national champion and top-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks, 7-6.
The victory snapped the Warhawks' 46-game winning streak, and helped Buffalo State move into the national rankings for the first time in 12 years.
The Bengals are now ranked 19th in the D3football.com poll and No. 24 in the American Football Coaches Association poll.
Trailing 6-0 following a Wisconsin field goal with less than two minutes remaining in the contest, the Bengals put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a Casey Kacz touchdown pass to Ryan Carney (Olean/Olean) from 15-yards out.
The 6-1, 243-pound Denn made three tackles in the victory, and now has 10 through three games.
Other area athletes on the Bengals include freshman running back Nate Sharp (Falconer/Jamestown), junior offensive lineman Jake Casel (Jamestown/Jamestown) and freshman defensive lineman Jordan Sherlock (Fredonia/Fredonia).
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B.J. Monacelli (Cassadaga Valley/Cassadaga) recorded a team-high seven tackles, including six solo tackles, and broke up a pair of passes when Washington & Jefferson College defeated Grove City, 24-17.
Monacelli, a junior defensive back who also made one stop for a loss during the victory, is fourth on the team with 17 total tackles and leads the squad with 14 solo tackles.
He also is tied for the team-lead with one interception.
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Alfred University quarterback Zach Sopak (Southwestern/Falconer) completed 11 of 24 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown to lead the Saxons to a convincing, 28-7 victory over host St. Lawrence.
Sopak found fullback Chuck Beckwith for a 28-yard touchdown pass with a little more than three minutes remaining in the third quarter to clinch the victory.
The Southwestern alumnus has averaged 121 yards through the air this season in two games and has completed nearly 50 percent of his passes.
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Mike Cummings, a 1979 graduate of Jamestown High School, has guided the Central Michigan offense to new heights during his two seasons as the team's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
During his tenure, Central Michigan has ranked in the top 25 nationally in passing offense, averaging 274.2 yards per game in 2011 and 284 per game in 2010.
The Chippewas have thrown for for 295 yards or more 12 times over the past two seasons, and over 350 yards on five occasions.
Cummings, who earned three varsity letters while playing football at the University at Buffalo, has previously coached at Michigan State, Marshall, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.