WASHINGTON - On a rainy Saturday afternoon at Hotchkiss Field, Gallaudet University fell to Becker College, 42-18, in its first Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) game of the 2016 season.
Gallaudet, who owned time of possession and average field position could not put enough big plays together to ultimately defeat the Hawks (2-2, 1-0 ECFC).
Gallaudet (1-3, 0-1 ECFC) fumbled the ball five times, threw three interceptions and was only able to capitalize on half of its opportunities in the red zone.
Freshman quarterback Timel Benton (Columbia, S.C.) lead the Bison with 29 yards rushing on 16 carries while completing five passes for 124 yards. Senior linebacker Ryan Santana (Palm Bay, Fla.) led the Bison defense with nine tackles (eight solo), 1.5 coming for a loss of three yards.
After a quick score by Becker on a long kick return to start the game, Gallaudet battled back as Benton's pass was complete to sophomore Tony Libit (Deerbrook, Wis.) in the second quarter for a Gallaudet touchdown. GU missed the two-point conversion attempt and trailed Becker 7-6.
GU had a chance to take the lead in the second half when Benton connected a 90-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Lawrence Watson (Fayetteville, N.C.) but the play got called back to the Gallaudet 40-yard line due to a sideline interference penalty.
Instead of taking the lead, Gallaudet gave up a touchdown on a bizarre play. Freshman Jonathan McCrea (Washington, D.C.) punted the ball straight up in the air and the ball bounced back 22 yards where McCrea picked up the ball. A Becker defender ripped the ball out of his hands and raced to the end zone to give the Hawks a 14-6 lead.
Gallaudet's defense was able to recover in the second quarter which led to a blocked punt by Louie Akuffo (Bowie, Md.), who was able to return it for a touchdown.
Becker added one more touchdown right before halftime to take a 21-12 lead into the break.
Gallaudet's lone touchdown of the second half came off freshman running back Zack Barron's (Austin, Texas) three-yard rush with 5:54 left in the fourth quarter as GU trailed 35-18.
Becker quarterback Nas Sinkfield-Shelton led the way for the Hawks as he completed 12-of-22 passes for 132 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 11 times for 91 yards.
- Freshman Spencer Maples (Kempner, Texas) had three kick returns for 111 yards
- Freshman Adam Wemmer (Corralitos, Calif.) led Gallaudet's receivers with three catches for 81 yards
- Gallaudet had one interception
- Becker defeated Gallaudet 58-6 last season
GU heads north to Bangor, Maine, for its first ECFC road game of the 2016 season against Husson University (3-1, 1-0 ECFC) on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 1 p.m.