WASHINGTON, D.C. – Time was not on the side of the Gallaudet University football team on a cool Friday night at Hotchkiss Field as the Bison lost their final game of the season 21-14 against Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) foe SUNY Maritime before a crowd of 525.
Gallaudet completes the 2011 season with a 5-5 overall record and a 4-3 record in the conference. Four of the five losses suffered by the Bison were by seven or fewer points.
"I am very proud of this team and our players who left it all out on the field tonight," said Gallaudet head coach Chuck Goldstein. "We faced a lot of adversity and had to overcome a lot of injuries this season but we stuck together and competed in every single game. The most important trait shown by this team is their will to not give-up and quit. We want to thank our seniors for their contributions over the past seasons to the program and we look ahead to a bright future next year."
Maritime (8-2, 6-1) ran for 228 yards, the second most allowed by the GU defense this year, and chewed up 38 minutes, 30 seconds of the game clock as the Privateers controlled the time of possession. Senior fullback Jamie Spanopoulos carried the load for the Privateers on Veteran's Day as he rushed 36 times for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
GU struggled to put together a sustained drive in the game as 10-of-11 drives lasted under three minutes. The Bison had six possessions that lasted only three plays or less, three of those drives ended with a Maritime interception. Junior quarterback Anthony Palmer (Unadilla, N.Y.) struggled in the new look offensive formation for the Bison as he completed 4-for-13 passes for 62 yards, was sacked twice and picked off three times. Freshman Benjamin Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) made his season debut under center as he came in midway through the fourth quarter and guided the Bison on the final two possessions. Coleman finished the game 3-for-10 for 58 yards, sacked once and threw one interception.
Gallaudet's last possession started on its own 31 and 10 plays, 69 yards later the Bison scored their second touchdown with 1:07 left to play in regulation down, 21-14. Freshman running back Vianney Boum Yamb (Silver Spring, Md.) scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard run after two Maritime penalties helped to extend the drive. Boum Yamb finished the game as Gallaudet's leading rusher with 30 yards on 12 carries. The Bison were without their top two quarterbacks and top rusher, who are all sidelined with injuries.
The Bison attempted an on-side kick but the Privateers recovered and ran out the clock to clinch the win. The final outcome was the same as last year as Maritime completed a perfect 10-0 regular-season with a 21-14 win at GU.
GU's defense played excellent considering the amount of time they spent on the field as the two teams went into halftime tied at zero. Maritime kicker Madison Leary missed two field goals (47, 48 yards) in the first half. Maritime quarterback Tyler Trodden was held to 3-for-8 passing for 47 yards, sacked twice and intercepted once. He also finished with 47 yards on the ground on 22 carries. The Bison held the Privateers on third-down conversions as they only made 4-of-18 attempts.
Freshman linebacker Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) made a game-high 14 tackles (11 solo) while junior Kevin Allen (Houston, Texas) and junior Tom Pangia (Hammonton, N.J.) made 12, 11 tackles, respectively. Sophomore defensive end Matt Harris (Lynchburg, Va.), who is leading all of Division III in sacks, made nine tackles, one sack and three tackles for a loss of eight yards and had one forced fumble. Senior John Van Wey (Alexandria, Va.) made six tackles, two tackles for a loss of 10 yards and one sack in his final game with the Bison.
Maritime recovered an on-side kick to start the third quarter and marched 44 yards to the end zone on eight plays as Spanopoulos scored his first touchdown in the game. Two possessions later, the Privateers increased their lead to 14-0 when Spanopoulos scored from four yards out.
GU responded on the ensuing drive after freshman Clarence Johnson (St. Louis, Mo.) returned the kick-off 31 yards to midfield. Palmer took a sack as Gallaudet faced 2nd and 21 from Maritime's 48-yard line when the right-hander threw a screen pass to junior Ryan Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) who ran down the middle of the field and angled his run towards the end zone for the touchdown to cut Maritime's lead in half with 11:26 left to play.
Maritime scored on the following drive when junior running back Fritz Jean scored from four yards out. Four plays earlier, Trodden connected with Xavier Torres on a 33-yard pass play to give Maritime a first and goal from the Gallaudet 8.
The game was the last for five seniors for Gallaudet including defensive back Neal DiMarco (Queens, N.Y.), offensive lineman Caleb Hinton (Knoxville, Tenn.), Van Wey, linebacker Ty Primous (Lynwood, Ill.) and offensive lineman Ryan Mahoney (Branson, Mo.). DiMarco and Hinton are two of Gallaudet's four team captains.