WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University's 2014 football season began with a thud Sunday afternoon as the Bison were shut out by Shenandoah University, 20-0, before 612 at Hotchkiss Field.
The Bison (0-1) struggled to move the ball while on offense against a stout Hornets defense. Gallaudet had one of its worst offensive displays since the program returned to Division III status in 2007. The Bison compiled 114 yards of total offense and only gained 69 yards rushing.
Gallaudet's offensive woes started early in the game when the Bison punted five times and fumbled away two possessions in the first half but only trailed, 6-0, at halftime.
Shenandoah (1-0) used a 14-play, 65-yard drive, which resulted in a touchdown, to begin the third quarter. GU punted away its next two possessions before Shenandoah's Kye Hopkins scored his second 1-yard touchdown run with 4:20 left in the third quarter to place the visiting Hornets up 20-0.
Junior kicker Eric Setzer (Middletown, Md.), in his collegiate debut, was forced to punt nine times for 285 yards. Setzer and Gallaudet's special teams were effective as no punts were returned and four punts landed inside the 20-yard line, including one punt that was downed on the 1. The last time GU had nine or more punts in game was Sept. 22, 2007, vs. Denison when the Bison booted 10 punts.
Junior fullback BJ Flores (Raymondville, Texas) rushed 18 times for 62 yards and caught one pass for a gain of 24 yards. Junior quarterback Quentin Williams (Chesapeake, Va.) completed 3-of-8 passes for 45 yards and ran 17 times for 37 yards.
Shenandoah quarterback Drew Ferguson completed 13-of-21 passes for 76 yards and ran 13 times for 55 yards.
GU's best drive of the game happened in the second quarter when the Bison started at their own 9 and marched 72 yards on nine plays before Flores fumbled on the Shenandoah 23-yard line.
Freshman kicker Jacob Newton made both of his field goals (21, 32) in the first half and the two point after attempts in the second half for the Hornets.
GU senior linebacker Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) led all defenders with 14 tackles (five solo) and 1.5 tackles for a loss of five yards. Fellow senior linebacker Gregg McConville (Frederick, Md.) recorded 12 tackles (five solo), 1.5 tackles for a loss of five yards and recovered one fumble.
This game was originally slated for last night but severe thunderstorms in the nation's capital forced the postponement until this afternoon.
Last season, Gallaudet defeated Shenandoah, 31-20, in the season opener on the road and accumulated 454 yards of total offense and 390 yards on the ground. SU holds 3-1 series advantage against the Bison dating back to 2000.
The Bison were last shut out by Otterbein University, 15-0, in the 2012 season opener on the road Sept. 1, 2012.
Gallaudet has two weeks to regroup before it hits the road to face University of Rochester (N.Y.) on Saturday, Sept. 20, at noon.