New York State University and Western Ohio University today accepted invitations to play in the 2014 Heitzman Sausage Bowl at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY on Tuesday, December 16, with kickoff scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (EST). The Emperors and Warriors will meet on a football field for the first time since 2004 in what will be a matchup of mid-major powers. A press conference with Heitzman Sausage Bowl participants and officials will be held on Tuesday, December 9, at 11:00 a.m. at the Carrier Dome. Further details and information will be provided shortly.
New York State, led by Denny ‘Mac’ MacArthur in his fourth year as head coach at the school, will be making its 10th bowl appearance all-time. Led by senior Northeast America Conference 1st-Team QB Matt Buchanan, New York State finished No. 1 in the conference this season in each of the following categories: passing offense, total offense, scoring offense and third down conversion percentage. After receiving votes in the preseason AP Poll, the team finished the season 6-6 and 3rd overall in the conference.
“We are thrilled to be facing Western Ohio in the Heitzman Sausage Bowl” said Karl Gress, New York State Director of Athletics. “The Sausage Bowl brings together two great brands in New York State University and Heitzman Sausage in one of the Upstate New York’s top five cities. The Sausage Bowl will provide thousands of New York Staters an opportunity to support the 2014 Emperors one more time and take in all that Syracuse, NY has to offer during that special time of the year two weeks before Christmas. I can’t wait to gather in Central New York with the New York State faithful.”
This will mark Western Ohio’s 7th bowl game appearance and the school’s second consecutive under head coach Bert Kipplebon. The Warriors finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, including a 30-21 victory over the then No. 14-ranked University of South Virginia. Western Ohio finished 4th overall in the Midwestern 10 Conference.
Western Ohio is led on the defensive side of the ball by senior linebacker Brick Maddaker and junior defensive back Cooper Flankenship. Maddaker’s eleven sacks in 2014 marked the highest single-season total in M10 history. Flankenship established the school’s all-time record for interceptions with seven this year. His two returns for touchdowns was tied for tops in the conference.
“We are honored to be headed to Syracuse to play New York State in the Heitzman Sausage Bowl. This is the perfect bowl destination for us as so many of our players and their families,” said Thurston Gamely, Western Ohio Director of Athletics. “Western Ohio has one of the greatest Midwestern traditions in college football and we look forward to making history between our two programs. Syracuse is within driving distance of our students and supporters, so we expect a great crowd of fans cheering on the Warriors. We could not be more excited.”
The 2014 Heitzman Sausage Bowl will be the first in the bowl’s history to feature teams from the NAC and M10. Each respective conference has entered into multi-year agreements with the Carrier Dome and the Heitzman Sausage Bowl to have a representative school play in the game.
“We are delighted to welcome New York State and Western Ohio, and their student-athletes and devoted alumni, to the 2014 Heitzman Sausage Bowl,” said Bernie Heitzman, Jr., Executive Director of the Heitzman Sausage Bowl. “There is no better place to experience an event than the Carrier Dome and no better place to celebrate a bowl appearance during the holiday season than Syracuse, NY. We are excited to be able to share this wonderful experience with our partners in the NAC and M10 for years to come.”
“We at Heitzman also want to make it clear that the recent disturbances involving long-closed salt mines in the Greater Syracuse Area will have no impact on preparations for the 2014 Heitzman Sausage Bowl or the game itself,” said Heitzman, Jr. “We have been assured by authorities that there is no reason for Emperor or Warrior supporters to miss the opportunity to cheer on their team due to rumors and hearsay. If the good people of Heitzman Sausage weren’t so sure about this, we would change our world-famous slogan, ‘Heitzman Sausage: You Can’t Beat Our Meat.’”
Established in 2012, the Heitzman Sausage Bowl has seen increased attendance in each of its first two years of existence. In 2012, a crowd of 27,156 saw the Atlantic U Explorers defeat the Buffalo Tech Herd, 21-13. In 2013, Buffalo Tech earned their first Sausage Bowl victory, defeating the Cleveland U Fightin’ Thunder, 13-9, in front of 28,791. This year’s game will be nationally-televised by SportzNet 2.
For more information about the 2014 Heitzman Sausage Bowl, please click here.