PAXTON, Mass. - A strong fourth quarter propelled the Gallaudet University football team past Anna Maria College, 29-9, here Saturday afternoon in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) opener. The Bison scored 22 points in the final 13 minutes to break open a close 9-7 game and spoil the AMCATS' homecoming.
Gallaudet (1-2, 1-0 ECFC) swung the game in its favor on one play when freshman slot Cassmeir Hutchinson (Chesapeake, Va. ) took a handoff and darted 80 yards down the field into the end zone at the 13:02 mark in the fourth quarter. The Bison converted the two-point conversion on a Damonte Bray (Clinton, Md.) rush as GU held a 15-9 lead.
The Bison were leading for the first time since late in the second quarter. Gallaudet had held a 7-6 advantage after sophomore super back DeMichael Shelbon (Monroe, La.) scored on a three-yard run with 13:28 left in the second.
Gallaudet's defense forced a quick three-and-out series, capped off by a big sack by freshman defensive back Christopher Webb (Sicklerville, N.J.) on third down, to force a punt deep in Anna Maria territory.
GU started the next series near midfield and marched 58 yards on six plays as junior quarterback Timel Benton (Columbia, S.C.) willed the Bison down the field. Benton (5-for-11, 72 yards) connected with senior wide receiver L.J. Watson (Fayetteville, N.C.) for a 12-yard touchdown with 7:54 left in regulation.
The Bison defense forced two turnovers, on back-to-back possessions for Anna Maria, to put the game away.
Senior defensive back Lorenzo Fuller (Miami, Fla.) forced a fumble and recovered it and junior linebacker Mauricio Orozco (Largo, Md.) intercepted a pass and returned it 10 yards to the Anna Maria to set-up GU's last scoring drive of the day.
Freshman slot Joseph Mendis (Brook Park, Ohio) took his first hand off and ran 15 yards into the end zone for a touchdown with 4:27 left in the game.
Anna Maria (0-5, 0-1 ECFC) got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter when Alex Cohen hit Marcelino Da Veiga with a 22-yard strike as the AMCATS led 6-0. Anna Maria kicker Peter Beuttel then connected on a 35-yard field goal as the AMCATS took a 9-7 lead into halftime.
Gallaudet's defense was led by senior linebacker Demontrai Lewis (Trinity, Texas) and Webb who had seven tackles each (five solo) and one sack. Lewis tallied two tackles for a loss of 28 yards and forced a fumble. Webb broke up two pass plays and Fuller intercepted a pass in the closing seconds as the Bison celebrated the win.
- Hutchinson ran for a game-high 151 yards on 10 carries
- GU's defense tallied four sacks for a loss of 29 yards and nine tackles for a loss of 54 yards
- The Bison piled up 398 yards of total offense and ran for 326 yards; all season highs
- Gallaudet averaged 7.2 yards per rush
- The Bison defense held Anna Maria to 212 yards and only 65 yards on the ground
Gallaudet is off next week before it begins the Bison welcome Castleton University (1-3) to Hotchkiss Field on Saturday, Oct. 13, at noon