WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University football team rolled up 385 yards of total offense as the Bison defense and special teams scored two touchdowns apiece en route to a 65-13 victory over the George Mason University club team on a picturesque Saturday afternoon before 700 fans at Hotchkiss Field.
Senior quarterback Jimmy Gardner (St. Augustine, Fla.) ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns and completed 3-of-9 passes for 58 yards and one touchdown to lead the Bison. Gardner scored the game's first points 12 seconds in as he busted free for a 60-yard touchdown run. Gallaudet (2-1) compiled 327 yards on the ground as the Bison controlled the tempo of the game. The Bison held the ball for nearly 37 minutes and ran 49 times against an undermanned Patriots squad.
Gardner paced the triple-option rushing attack but was aided by junior Mike Gimeli (Deerpark, N.Y.) who gained 80 yards on 10 carries and scored his first touchdown of the season two and a half minutes into the game. Sophomore Phillip Hayes (Baton Rouge, La.) ran in from six yards out to end the first quarter as the Bison led 20-0.
Gardner had a hand in both second quarter touchdowns as he ran one in from five yards and then connected with sophomore wide receiver Ryne Worsham (Chicago, Ill.) with a 21-yard pass just before the half. Gallaudet took a commanding 32-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Bison defense and special teams went to work against George Mason (0-2). Patriot quarterback Jack Langley (5-for-20, 85 yards) was picked off by sophomore defensive back Shelby Bean (Arvada, Colo.) on the first play from scrimmage. Bean ran the pick back 43 yards to the end zone. The Bison touchdown only took 12 seconds, the same amount of time it took them to score the game's first touchdown.
The disastrous start to the third quarter continued for George Mason on its next possession. The Patriots fumbled the ball away on the ensuing kick-off but the Bison quickly coughed the ball back up to the Patriots. Gallaudet's defense forced George Mason to punt deep in its own territory. John Moorhead punted the ball into his own blocker as the loose ball rolled backwards towards the end zone. Bean rushed in and scooped the loose ball up at the 3-yard line and scored the easy touchdown to put GU up 46-0.
George Mason special team woes continued on the next possession as Moorhead punted one of his game-high five punts to Gallaudet sophomore Gabriel Paulone (Fishers, Ind.). Paulone fielded the 31-yard punt at his own 17-yard line and weaved in and out of traffic before he broke free down the sideline to the end zone. The 83-yard punt return for a touchdown increased the Bison lead to 53-0. GU scored 21 points in three minutes and 46 seconds to start the third quarter. The quarter ended with another Bison special teams touchdown when the Patriots lined up to punt at its own 37-yard line. The snap sailed past Moorhead and into the end zone where freshman Matt Harris (Lynchburg, Va.) landed on the fumble for six additional points.
Gallaudet coach Chuck Goldstein unloaded the bench in the second half as a lot of new Bison players made their season debut at home. The fourth quarter featured a running clock, as the game was well at hand.
George Mason got on the board early in the fourth when Langley connected with Jasper Willis on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Bison freshman Tamir Armwood (Greensboro, N.C.) scored his first collegiate touchdown with seven minutes left in the game when he rumbled 46 yards for the score. George Mason's Kevin Kem returned the ensuing kick-off 72 yards for the touchdown and the final score of the game.
The Patriots only had 55 yards of total offense as they rushed for negative 40 yards on 18 attempts. GMU lost three of seven fumbles while Gallaudet lost two of four fumbles. The Bison were strong on third-down as they converted 7-of-10 opportunities and made both fourth-down attempts.
Gallaudet scored touchdowns on six of the first seven drives and finished the game with 10 touchdowns on 14 drives.
Sophomore linebacker Clayton Grossinger (Frederick, Md.) made a team-high five tackles, two for a loss of 26 yards and forced one fumble. Junior linebacker Ty Primous (Lynwood, Ill.) made four tackles, two for a loss of 19 yards, and forced one fumble. Freshman linebacker Steven Barber (Denver, Colo.) and junior John Van Wey (Alexandria, Va.) recorded a sack apiece. The defensive unit for the Bison made 34 tackles, nine for a loss of 55 yards, forced two fumbles, recovered three, intercepted Langley twice for 43 yards, broke-up six passes, hurried the quarterback five times and had two blocks.
Gallaudet will enter conference play next week when the Bison welcome Castleton State College to Hotchkiss Field on Saturday, September 25. The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) game is slated to kick-off at Noon. Gallaudet will be participating in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach to Cure MD on that day. To learn more about AFCA Coach to Cure MD please visit its website here: www.coachtocuremd.org.