WASHINGTON - Junior quarterback Timel Benton (Columbia, S.C.) threw for a career best three touchdowns but it wasn't enough to lift Gallaudet University past Greensboro College on a hot and steamy Saturday at Hotchkiss Field before 422 fans. GU missed three point after attempts and that was the difference in the game where the Pride eked out a 27-25 win.
Gallaudet (0-3) outscored Greensboro (1-2) in the second half, 19-13, after the Bison trailed 14-6 at the half.
The Bison scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions in the second half.
Benton connected on a 15-yard pass to sophomore Cassmeir Hutchinson (Chesapeake, Va.) just under four minutes into the third quarter. Hutchinson led the Bison with 221 all-purpose yards in the game including 116 yards on the ground on 10 carries. GU missed on a two-point conversion as it trailed by two, 14-12.
Greensboro responded with its own score as the Pride marched 60 yards on eight plays as quarterback Malik Williams (6-for-9, 116 yards, one touchdown) ran in his second 2-yard touchdown run at the 7:18 mark.
The teams continued to trade scores as big plays contributed to Gallaudet's third touchdown drive of the game. Freshman Austin Sliva-Wynne (Rosenberg, Texas) fielded the Pride kickoff in his end zone and brought it out to gain 29 yards to start GU's next drive. Hutchinson broke off his longest run of the game as he went 37 yards on the first handoff. On the next play, junior RJ Randle (McCalla, Ala.) ran for 15 yards and another Bison first down. Two plays later, Benton found a wide open sophomore wide receiver Eric Gregory (Metairie, La.) in the end zone for the 22-yard pass. The score made it 21-18 in favor of Greensboro. Sliva-Wynne tried to score on a two-point conversion but was tackled short of the end zone.
GU's defense stepped up on the next Greensboro possession when junior defensive back Dalton Taylor (Austin, Texas) picked off Williams' pass at the Gallaudet 5 with 4:42 left in the third quarter.
The Bison offense had found its grove and was moving down the field behind Hutchinson and Benton. The game flipped when GU faced 3rd down and 10 at its own 35. Benton dropped back for a pass and launched a pass into Greensboro territory where senior Damonte Bray (Clinton, Md.) made the catch for a gain of 41 yards only to have the play nullified by an offensive pass interference call.
The call changed the game.
Instead of being on the Greensboro 24 the Bison found themselves backed up even further in their own territory on the 20-yard line. GU punted on 4th and 25 and a short punt gave Greensboro prime position for its next drive that started on the Gallaudet 45. Four plays later, Early Green III (10 rushes, 63 yards) ran 25 yards into the end zone, a minute into the fourth quarter, as the Pride led 27-18.
GU was hampered, the entire game, by penalties as the Bison were whistled for double the amount of flags (15) to Greensboro's eight.
The Bison didn't quit and kept competing. Hutchinson fielded the ensuing kickoff and returned it 49 yards to the Greensboro 40. GU used 11 plays to chip away at the 40 yards it needed to cover to find the end zone. GU broke out a trick play that had Sliva-Wynne throw an 8-yard pass to sophomore Mitchell Dolinar (Las Vegas, Nev.) in the back of the end zone for the score. The Bison made the extra-point kick as they trailed by two, 27-25, with 7:56 left in regulation.
GU was a perfect 4-for-4 in the red zone in the game.
Gallaudet had one final possession in the game. The Bison started the drive at its own 16 after a 42-yard punt by Zac Ellison. GU got all the way up to the Greensboro 38 before Benton was dropped for a loss of 17 yards on third down. On the next play, newly inserted sophomore quarterback Logan Taylor (South Prince George, Va.) was sacked and the game was over.
The Bison scored the game's first points when Benton hit Sliva-Wynne for a 17-yard touchdown in the second quarter. GU's point after attempt kick was no good. Greensboro scored two back-to-back touchdowns to take an eight-point lead into halftime. The Pride's second score was set-up due to a Bison fumble at their own 28.
GU's defense was led junior linebacker Rodney Burford Jr. (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss of seven yards. Freshman linebacker Stefan Anderson (New Market, Md.) made a career best nine tackles followed by junior linebacker Mason Gooch (Mount Sterling, Ky.) with eight.
- Gallaudet finished with 313 yards of total offense
- The Bison had 176 yards on the ground and averaged 4.2 yards per rush
- Sliva-Wynne had 105 all-purpose yards
- GU is 0-7 vs. Greensboro since 2007
- The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (six teams) is a combined 2-21 in non-conference games this season
Gallaudet will have a week off before it jumps into conference play on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Castleton University (0-4) at noon.