WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University football team outscored Greensboro College 20-14 in the second half but it wasn't enough to overcome a rough first half as the Bison lost their home opener, 42-20, on a warm Saturday afternoon before 947 at Hotchkiss Field.
Greensboro (1-2) capitalized on Gallaudet's turnovers and struck fast as five scoring drives for the Pride took less then a minute and 12 seconds except one drive that took three minutes.
The Bison (0-2) threw three touchdown passes in the second half led by senior Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) throwing two strikes, 20 and 10 yards respectively, to freshman Jake Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) in the fourth quarter. Freshman Ramon Johnson (Sylmar, Calif.) got Gallaudet on the scoreboard with an eight-yard pass to junior John Anderson (Clarksville, Tenn.).
Greensboro responded quickly after Johnson's touchdown with a three-play drive capped off with a Mac Graham (11-for-25, 285 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions) 76-yard touchdown pass to Troy Hill to make it 35-6.
In the fourth quarter, Coleman found Bonheyo with a 20-yard pass in the corner of the end zone and completed the two-point conversion to freshman Dylan Mento (Hammonton, N.J.) to cut the lead to 21, 35-14.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bison successfully recovered an on-side kick as freshman Louie Akuffo (Bowie, Md.) jumped on the loose ball at the Gallaudet 47. On the next play Coleman threw an interception that was returned 23 yards. That turnover set up Cortez Vernon (12 plays, 55 yards) to run 42 yards down the sideline and into the end zone to put the Pride up 42-14 with 7:35 left in regulation.
Greensboro scored a touchdown on its first possession when Graham found Armani Williams (four receptions, 111 yards, two touchdowns) for a 19-yard score at the 12:07 mark. Midway through the first quarter, Johnson marched the Bison down the Pride 29 before throwing an interception at the Pride 13 on 3rd down and 21. Micah McMaster (nine tackles) returned the ball 87 yards for the touchdown and switched momentum in the game.
- Junior Shawn Benavente (Fremont, Calif.) led the defense with nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss of 11 yards
- Freshman TJ Ellison (Hull, Ga.) had Gallaudet's lone sack for a loss of 16 yards
- Freshman Solomon Worthey (San Diego, Calif.) picked off a pass for 35 yards and added six tackles
- Junior Jacy Pedersen (Newark, Calif.) had an interception, one pass breakup and five tackles
- Junior Sean Fenton (Chicago, Ill.) was second on the team with seven tackles, two tackles for a loss of six yards and two quarterback hurries
- Johnson finished the game 24-for-40 for 190 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions
- Coleman was 5-for-12 for 45 yards, two touchdowns, one interception
- Sophomore Montray Roberts (Dallas, Texas) was Gallaudet's leading rusher with seven carries for 65 yards and a long of 49
- Anderson finished with 11 carries for 28 yards
- Freshman Zane Pedersen (Pleasanton, Calif.) was the leading receiver for the Bison with 11 catches for 65 yards
- Johnson punted the ball five times for 203 yards and a long of 68 yards
- The Bison had the ball for 34:17 in the game
- Greensboro committed 11 penalties for 101 yards while the Bison played disciplined ball and only had two penalties for 30 yards
- GU had 21 first downs
"I am proud of our team for competing to the final whistle. We got down early but we didn't throw in the towel. We need to draw off the positives made in the game and build towards our conference opener in two weeks. I want to thank the crowd for being there from the start until the finish. We have great fans. We will continue to improve and look forward to our next home game in October." - Chuck Goldstein, Gallaudet football head coach
Gallaudet has a bye week next weekend before opening up Eastern Collegiate Football Conference play at Mount Ida College on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m.