BUFFALO — The beginning of the game couldn’t have gone much worse for Buffalo. Already missing six injured starters, the Bison fell behind 12-0 just 11 plays in. But it didn’t stay that way for long.
Sophomore Austin Kile, thrust into the role of starting quarterback because of the rash of injuries, threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores Thursday evening as the Bison erupted for a 53-12 victory against Montcalm.
Three of Kile’s touchdown tosses went to speedy sophomore receiver Dalton Jones on plays of 69, 73 and 36 yards. The other went to David Whittington on a 24-yard hookup as Buffalo (2-1) racked up 32 points in the second quarter to take a 39-12 halftime edge.
“Once our quarterback got out of his slump and got going, he started throwing it really well,’’ Bison coach Brian Batman said of Kile. “He was nervous, and that’s understandable. I don’t think he’s ever played quarterback in his life.
“It’s a game that really worries you as a head coach. New offensive linemen, a new quarterback, it was all over the place in practice. We did a lot of team stuff this week preparing to get them ready, just running plays and stuff.’’
Kile completed only five passes (5 of 11) but they accounted for 234 yards. Jones finished with three catches for 178 yards. Eli Brock, one of the few starting skill position players who wasn’t hurt, carried 16 times for 136 yards, including TDs of 7 and 50 yards.
Montcalm (0-3) vaulted into a surprising 12-0 lead less than 31/2 minutes into the game, with Doug Belcher throwing TD passes of 33 yards to Tyler Pigg on a flea-flicker and 39 yards to Christian Hudgins.
That came during a forgettable flurry for the Bison, whose first four plays consisted of two fumbled snaps, a 5-yard loss and an interception thrown to defensive lineman Shaun O’Donnell on an aborted screen pass. Also in there, Buffalo failed to cover an onside kick after the Generals’ first TD.
“That was the fear all week,’’ Batman said. “We had a big win last week, an emotional win last week in the last minute of the game [at Ravenswood], and I was worried we would come out a little flat and that’s what happened.
“I didn’t panic. We had plenty of game left, but it was worrisome for sure.’’
Sidelined for the Bison were starting QB Jackson England, top lineman Park Michels, running backs Chase Lovejoy and Alex Tempus and linemen Gale Armstrong and Devin Barker. Several reserve players were also out injured.
The game was delayed about 20 minutes in the third quarter as Montcalm lineman Markus Thomason was removed from the field by ambulance following what appeared to be a concussion suffered on a fumble return.