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Gritty Bison defense delivers lead before Norwich storms back

Gritty Bison defense delivers lead before Norwich storms back

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Gallaudet University football team took a 6-3 lead into halftime here Saturday and led midway through the third quarter before the host Cadets of Norwich University marched back into this Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) game. 

The Cadets (3-4, 3-1 ECFC) behind the rushing of freshman Patrick Brown, who ran for a career best 168 yards and three touchdowns, rallied Norwich to a 27-6 victory before 345 on an overcast, cool and wet day at Sabine Field.

Gallaudet's defense was lights out in the first half as they set the early tone of the game. Senior linebacker Sean Fenton (Chicago, Ill.) was right in the mix and leading the Bison defensive unit. On Norwich's seventh play to open the game it was Fenton who jarred the ball lose from Philippe Bazinet (3-for-9, 17 yards) for a five-yard loss and recovered the fumble on the Gallaudet 37. 

On the next Cadet drive, Fenton picked off Bazinet at the Norwich 44 and returned it 19 yards to the Norwich 25. 

Even though Gallaudet's offensive drives stalled in the first half the Bison (1-6, 0-4 ECFC) won the field position battle. 

The GU defense forced Norwich to punt for the first time on its third possession where Wesley Medeiros saw his punt blocked deep in his own territory by junior corner back Montray Roberts (Dallas, Texas), who recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a Gallaudet touchdown at the 5:25 mark in the first quarter. GU's two-point conversion failed as the Bison led 6-0.

Gallaudet had a chance to add more points in the second quarter when the Bison used a 15-play, 63-yard drive that took nearly nine minutes to get down to the Norwich goal line but were stopped by the Cadets on fourth down. GU received first and goal at the Norwich 8 after a Cadet pass interference penalty. A trio of Bison ball carriers attempted to find the end zone but were stopped short as the last play of the drive ended at the Norwich 2.

The Bison held their six-point advantage until 3:42 before halftime when Medeiros nailed a 43-yard field goal to get the Cadets on the scoreboard. The two teams went into intermission with Gallaudet leading 6-3.

The game flipped midway through the third quarter. Gallaudet punter Tony Libit (Deerbrook, Wis.) pinned the Cadets on their own 10-yard line after a 33-yard punt. Norwich went down the field, 90 yards on 12 plays, and scored on a Brown four-yard run at the 1:27 mark in the third quarter to take a 10-6 lead. The drive was nearly halted on third down and 19 at the Norwich 41 before Brown broke free for 21 yards. A personal foul by Gallaudet put the Cadets even closer to the goal line.

Gallaudet's defense was unable to contain Norwich in the fourth quarter as the Bison wore down. Brown scored touchdowns on runs of 32 and 70 yards while Medeiros added a 40-yard field goal as Norwich outscored the Bison 17-0 in the final 14 minutes of the game.

BISON TRACKS

  • Sophomore defensive end Solomon Worthey (San Diego, Calif.) led the defense with nine tackles (three solo) and one sack for a loss of eight yards
  • Fenton had eight tackles (six solo), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and 1.5 tackles for a loss of six yards
  • Sophomore fullback Kahan Louissaint (Gaithersburg, Md.) carried the ball 12 times for 38 yards and caught two passes for 19 yards
  • Freshman Spencer Maples (Kempner, Texas) was second on the team with 35 rushing yards on seven carries
  • Sophomore wide receiver Lawrence Watson (Fayetteville, N.C.) had one reception for 24 yards
  • Sophomore wide receiver Dylan Mento (Hammonton, N.J.) had three receptions for 17 yards
  • Freshman defensive back Yancy Jenkins (Riverview, Fla.) returned one kickoff for 32 yards

UP NEXT
The Bison return home and will welcome Castleton University (3-4, 3-1 ECFC) on Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. for a conference game.