Castleton Downs Gallaudet 31-28 in ECFC Opener
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Castleton State College offense rolled up 524 yards of total offense, and Carl Ojala (Pittsford, Vt.) booted a 20-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in a 31-28 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win over Gallaudet University at Hotchkiss Field Saturday afternoon.
With the game tied at 28-28 after a Phillip Hayes (Baton rouge, La.) touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion, Castleton marched 62 yards on eight plays to set up Ojala's game-winner.
Castleton (1-2, 1-0 ECFC) took the opening drive 64 yards on 11 plays, but could not punch it in from the three yard line on fourth down turning the ball over on downs. The drive proved to be a taste of things to come, as the Spartans moved the ball effectively all afternoon.
Gallaudet (0-2, 0-1 ECFC) got on the scoreboard first, as Mike Gimelli (Deer Park, N.Y.) capped a seven-play, 67-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown. Justin Wilson (Carmichael, Calif.) kicked the point after for a 7-0 first quarter lead. Quarterback Jimmy Gardner (St. Augustine, Fla.) hooked up with Cole Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) for a 43-yard strike during the drive.
The Spartans answered quickly as Shane Brozowski (Rensselaer, N.Y.) found Evan Cassidy (South Burlington, Vt.) for a 54-yard touchdown pass and catch on the third play of the ensuing drive. Luis Robitaille (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) knotted the score at 7-7 with a good PAT.
After both teams struggled to sustain their drives in the second quarter, Gallaudet finally broke through as Gardner completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Ryne Worsham (Chicago, Ill.) to put the finishing touches on a seven-play 80-yard drive. The point after failed, leaving the score 13-6.
Castleton once again scored on the ensuing possession, this time stringing together seven plays to cover 56 yards for the touchdown. Brozowski capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge, his first of two on the day. Brozowski hooked up with freshman Michael Patterson (Jackson, N.J.) for a 34-yard reception on third-and-long to keep the drive alive, and found Andrew Cavanagh (Brattleboro, Vt.) for a 26-yard strike to put Castleton at the goal line. Ojala was good on the PAT to give Castleton its first lead of the game at 14-13.
After falling behind 20-14 on a Gardner touchdown run, Castleton once again answered with a touchdown drive, again capped by a Brozowski touchdown run. Ojala was once again true on the PAT, giving Castleton a 21-20 lead, and the Spartans never trailed again.
Castleton's opening drive of the fourth quarter spanned eight minutes and 40 seconds, covering 62 yards on 15 plays down to the Bison five yard line. But, the drive stalled and Gallaudet blocked the Spartan attempt at a field goal to keep the one-point deficit.
Gallaudet put together a 10-play 43-yard drive, but was stopped on the Castleton 37 yard line on fourth-and-one. The Spartans took possession and marched 63 yards on seven plays for a Mick Wong (Hartford, Vt.) touchdown run.
Brozowski paced the Spartan offense, racking up 413 yards through the air, completing 33-of-46 attempts with one touchdown and an interception. The sophomore was also key to the Spartan running game, scampering for 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Cassidy and Cavanagh each passed the century mark in the receiving corps, Cassidy hauling in eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, and the freshman Cavanagh snaring six balls for 107 yards.
Gimelli led the Bison rushing attack with 128 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Hayes added 78 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, while Gardner finished with 70 yards on 16 carries and a score. Gardner also completed 7-of-11 attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown.
Dustin Young (Dunnellon, Fla.), Cody TanCreti (Hartland, Vt.) and Brandon Bergeron (Hartford, Vt.) each turned in 10-tackle performances, while Gabriel Aguilar (Barre, Vt.) added nine tackles and a funble recovery.
Tom Pangia (Hammonton, N.J.) led the Bison defense with 11 tackles and Shelby Bean (Arvado, Colo.) added nine tackles and an interception.
Castleton returns home to take on Mount Ida next weekend at 1:00 p.m. in another ECFC tilt.