WASHINGTON – Two Gallaudet University fumbles led directly to 10 points as Mount Ida College defeated the Bison, 10-6, in Saturday's Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) clash before a homecoming crowd of 1,628 at Hotchkiss Field.
Gallaudet's turnovers proved to be costly and momentum changers against the Mustangs (3-4, 3-1 ECFC). The Bison defense, who entered today's game ranked No. 24 in Division III for total defense, stopped Mount Ida on fourth down at the Gallaudet 2 after its first possession took eight plays and covered 63 yards. The Bison (2-4, 2-2 ECFC) fumbled on their second play on offense when junior fullback BJ Flores (Raymondville, Texas) gained nine yards before coughing up the ball where Mount Ida's Jovan Wilkins (eight tackles) recovered at the Gallaudet 15. The Bison defense held the Mustangs to just four yards gained on three plays before Tyler Rodgers booted home a 30-yard field goal at the 8:34 mark.
On the flip side, Gallaudet's stout defense intercepted Mount Ida quarterback Jawad Yatim (6 for 10, 111 yards, one touchdown) twice but the result was no points as the Bison missed chances to get back in the game.
In the first quarter, after a Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) interception, the Bison offense stalled at the Mount Ida 9 after four plays led to 13 yards gained. Junior kicker Eric Setzer (Middletown, Md.) lined up his 26-yard field goal attempt, with the chance to knot the game at three apiece, but Johnny Quinones (six tackles) blocked the kick.
Gallaudet's second turnover proved to be more costly.
The Bison, who trailed 3-0 at halftime, received the ball to start the second half but a three and out and short Setzer punt had Mount Ida start its drive at the Gallaudet 40. Four plays later, the Mustangs were driving deeper into Bison territory but Yatim threw the ball right at Gallaudet's strong safety Carneilus Smith (Chesapeake, Va.). Smith intercepted the ball at the Gallaudet 15 and ran 41 yards, past midfield, before running back Jaleel Battle made a touchdown saving tackle.
The momentum had swung Gallaudet's way and sophomore David Jones (Washington, D.C.), who made his first start at quarterback, had the Bison offense on the move. GU used a rushing combination of Jones, Flores, senior Miguel Paniagua (New Orleans, La.) and sophomore John Anderson (Clarksville, Tenn.) to march 43 yards. Gallaudet was on the doorstep of taking its first lead in the game as the Bison faced a third and goal from the Mount Ida 1. Jones ran right into a wall of Mustang defenders and lost the ball as Kalyn Smithson (eight tackles) forced his second fumble and returned it to midfield.
The Mustangs needed eight plays to go 49 yards in three minutes, 31 seconds as Yatim threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Matt Greenman (four receptions, 99 yards) with 3:21 left in the third quarter.
Two fumbles. Ten points.
In the fourth quarter, Gallaudet started a drive from its own 23. The Bison went back to their ground game and were successful moving against the Mustang defense. GU drove into the red zone for a third time and were finally successful as Anderson ran into the end zone from three yards out. Setzer's extra-point attempt failed as he pushed the kick left and missed. GU trailed 10-6 with 5:33 left in regulation.
Mount Ida converted twice on third down on the ensuing drive and ran out the clock.
Gallaudet outgained Mount Ida 264-213 in offensive yards. The Bison ran for 217 yards and Jones completed 2 of 4 passes for 47 yards. Freshman wide receiver Joell Dixon (Clinton, Md.) hauled in both passes. Flores finished with a game best 94 yards on 25 carries while Jones gained 60 yards on 14 carries and Paniagua and Anderson totaled 37 and 34 rushing yards, respectively.
Alleyne led the Bison defense with 12 tackles, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one interception. Junior Ryan Santana (Palm Bay, Fla.) had a career game as the nose tackle had 10 tackles and sophomore defensive end Devante Walters (Rockdale, Ga.) added nine tackles, one sack for a loss of two yards and two quarterback hurries. Senior linebacker Gregg McConville (Frederick, Md.) recorded seven tackles and one sack for a loss of seven yards and freshman defensive end Robbie Owens (Waldorf, Md.) had Gallaudet's other sack of Yatim as he dropped him for a loss of nine yards. This is the third straight game the Bison defense has held the opposition to 12 or less points.
Mamour Samb, Sean Chinova and Anthony Sanders led the Mount Ida defense with 11 tackles each. Chris Toyloy had the lone sack, a loss of nine yards, to go with his three tackles.
Gallaudet hits the road next weekend as it heads to Norwich University (5-2, 3-1 ECFC) for an important ECFC game on Saturday, Nov. 1, at noon.