WASHINGTON - Gallaudet University wasted little time on offense Saturday against Castleton University in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) game on a cool, crisp Saturday afternoon at Hotchkiss Field before 637 sun-drenched fans.
Gallaudet (2-2, 2-0 ECFC) turned its methodical triple option offense into a quick-strike, gut-punch force that scored four times on 60-yard plus plays en route to a 35-25 victory in the home opener.
The Bison scored twice, on back-to-back drives, to start the third quarter after the teams went into halftime knotted at 7-7.
Junior slot Damonte Bray (Clinton, Md.) scored on a 64-yard run to begin the fourth quarter as the Bison led 28-7 with 11:37 left in regulation. Bray finished the day with a team-high 149 all-purpose yards with 126 coming on the ground on 11 carries.
Castleton (1-5, 0-2 ECFC) responded as it found the end zone when quarterback Mitchell Caron (10-for-15, 125 yards, two touchdowns) hit Seth Gewanter for a three-yard strike to complete a nine-play, 63-yard drive.
On the ensuing Bison possession, junior quarterback Timel Benton (Columbia, S.C.) called his own number and bolted down the near sideline and scored on a 62-yard run as Gallaudet held a 35-13 lead.
The Spartans scored two more touchdowns in the final five minutes of regulation to cap a streak of five touchdowns on five straight possessions between the two teams. Castleton recovered an on-side kick before its final score, a four-yard run by senior Moe Harris (25 carries, 114 yards, two touchdowns).
GU outgained Castleton, 528-397, as the Bison ran for 326 yards on 44 carries (7.4 yards per rush).
Gallaudet scored the game's first points when Benton hit senior wide receiver L.J. Watson (Fayetteville, N.C.) for a 67-yard touchdown at the 14:48 mark in the second quarter. Castleton answered with a Harris nine-yard run to cap the longest drive, as far as plays, of the day as the Spartans used 11 plays to cover 70 yards.
Benton finished the game with 49 rushing yards on nine carries and completed 7 of 10 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown pass was a 69-yard pass to senior wide receiver Dylan Mento (Atco, N.J.) midway through the third quarter.
Senior defensive back Louie Akuffo (Bowie, Md.) led the Bison defense with 10 tackles (eight solo) and one tackle for a loss of one yard. Senior linebacker Demontrai Lewis (Trinity, Texas) was second on the team with seven tackles (five solo) and one tackle for a loss of five yards.
- Watson led the Bison with 107 receiving yards on two catches
- Menton finished the game with 86 receiving yards on three receptions
- Freshman slot Cassmeir Hutchinson (Chesapeake, Va.) ran for a game-high 136 yards on 13 carries
- GU averaged 9.8 yards per play and 20.2 yards per pass reception
- The Bison were a perfect 5-for-5 on extra-point attempts thanks to junior kicker Jacob Guertler (Staunton, Va.)
- Castleton only made 1 of 4 extra-point attempts, two chances were two-point conversion runs stopped short of the goal line
- The Spartans had the ball for over 11 minutes in the fourth quarter
- Chris Rice led the Spartans with eight tackles, three tackles for a loss of 15 yards
- Castleton's other quarterback Jacob McCarthy completed 11 of 26 passes for 122 yards
Gallaudet travels to Franklin, Mass., next Saturday, Oct. 20, to play conference foe Dean College (2-5, 1-2 ECFC) at noon.