NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Gallaudet University football team received a spark to start the second half Saturday when freshman Brandon Capuano (Lexington, N.C.) returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown as the Bison took a 7-6 lead on the road against Norwich University.
Turnovers, again, cost the Bison an opportunity to pick-up a much-needed Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win as the Cadets outscored GU 13-2 the remainder of the second half. The 19-9 victory is the fourth straight conference win for Norwich (6-2, 4-1 ECFC) while Gallaudet (2-5, 2-3 ECFC) has lost its last three contests.
In less than two minutes in the fourth quarter the Cadets went from down one point to up 12. Norwich senior running back Al Georgio did the damage on the ground as he ran in two touchdowns from 16 and 10 yards out, respectively. Georgio's first touchdown came at the 13:06 mark in the fourth. On the ensuing Gallaudet drive, freshman quarter Antoine McKinney (Racine, Wis.) was sacked and fumbled the ball away at the Gallaudet 29. Georgio picked up a key first down on third down and then punched the ball into the end zone at the 11:22 mark as Norwich led 19-7.
Georgio carried the ball 37 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes from quarterback Joshua Woodward (9 of 18, 124 yards) for 21 yards.
Gallaudet's following drive used seven plays to cover nearly 28 yards before McKinney was intercepted by Gary Gladden at the Norwich 2. The Bison defense was able to tackle Georgio for a safety to pick-up two points. GU had three quick drives to close out the game as the Cadets defense forced the Bison to punt the ball away or turn it over on downs.
McKinney completed 2 of 13 passes for nine yards and he ran the ball nine times for 33 yards. Sophomore John Anderson (Clarksville, Tenn.) was the leading rusher for the Bison as he tallied 55 yards on 19 carries.
The Bison defense, ranked No. 17 in Division III for total defense, kept Gallaudet in the ballgame as they limited an opponent to 20 or less points for the fifth time this season, four consecutive game. Senior linebackers Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) and Gregg McConville (Frederick, Md.) made nine tackles as McConville added two tackles for a loss of nine yards. GU had two sacks for a loss of 16 yards and 10 tackles for a loss of 38 yards. Junior Ryan Santana (Palm Bay, Fla.) and sophomore Shawn Benavente (Phoenix, Ariz.) each had a sack for a loss of seven and nine yards, respectively.
GU will close out the season with two home games the next two weeks. The Bison will welcome Castleton State College (5-3, 3-2 ECFC) to campus on Saturday, Nov. 8, at noon.