NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Wet and sloppy field conditions slowed both teams Saturday but Apprentice School couldn't deny Gallaudet University from capturing its first football win of the 2011 season as the visiting Bison came away with a 14-3 non-conference victory.
Gallaudet and Apprentice have only met 15 times in the series history, most recently in 2002, but today's win by the Bison was the first since 1934 when Gallaudet won 15-0. The Builders controlled the series with 13 straight wins from 1960 until 2002.
The GU defense flexed its muscle against the Builders (1-3) as the Bison (1-2) held them to 51 total yards of offense and minus two yards rushing on 33 carries. Apprentice recorded eight first downs all game, six due to penalties, and was 0-for-14 on third-down attempts. Apprentice punter Blake Penix stayed busy as he made seven punts during the course of the game.
Gallaudet's defenders harassed Apprentice quarterback Paul Morgan (5-for-14, 53 yards, two interceptions) with its strong pass rush as the Bison sacked Morgan four different times for a loss 27 yards. The Bison continued to stampede through the Apprentice line and drop ball carriers in the backfield 13 different times for a loss of 56 yards. Senior defensive end John Van Wey (Alexandria, Va.) made three tackles for a loss of 22 yards to lead the Bison. Freshman linebacker Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) made a team-high seven tackles.
Morgan was also picked off twice as junior cornerback Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) made an interception in the first quarter and returned it 43 yards to the Apprentice 19-yard line to set-up the second Bison score. Senior defensive back Neal DiMarco (Queens, N.Y.) made the other interception with a return of 16 yards to seal the win for the Bison with 1:31 left in the game.
Gallaudet started the game with an on-side kick that was fielded by the Builders at the Bison 39-yard line. Two Bison penalties for 27 yards helped push Apprentice down to the GU four but a fumble by Morgan on third down cost the Builders a first down chance. Penix made a 20-yard field goal as Apprentice led 3-0 four minutes in.
The Bison responded with a nice scoring drive as they pounded the ball on the ground six times and completed one pass, The 65-yard drive ended with sophomore running back Michael Hantge (Hutchinson, Minn.) dashing in from eight yards out for the touchdown.
Tatum's interception, a minute later, gave the Bison excellent field position at the Apprentice 19. This time around Apprentice committed two penalties that aided the Bison as junior running back Phillip Hayes (Baton Rouge, La.) rumbled in from five yards out to give the Bison a 14-3 lead with 2:51 left in the first quarter.
The rest of the game the two teams traded short drives that ended in either a punt, a turnover or loss of possession. The two teams combined for 11 punts that covered 409 yards between Penix and junior Shelby Bean (Arvada, Colo.).
Gallaudet finished the game with 256 yards of total offense (220 yards on the ground on 53 attempts) and held the ball for 33 minutes and 45 seconds. Hantge led all-rushers with 72 yards on 12 attempts. Junior quarterback Anthony Palmer (Unadilla, N.Y.) started under center and completed 3-of-8 passes for 24 yards and one interception. Palmer also carried the ball 15 times for 35 yards. Fellow junior quarterback Gabriel Paulone (Fishers, Ind.) came into the game midway through the third quarter and threw the ball once for 12 yards and ran seven times for 34 yards.
The victory is the first official non-conference win for second year head coach Chuck Goldstein and the three points scored by the Builders is the lowest total allowed by a Goldstein coached team. The last time GU held a team to three or less points was a 37-0 Homecoming win against Becker College on October 24, 2009.
The Bison wrapped up its third and final non-conference game in September and now will turn its attention to the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). GU will travel to Paxton, Mass., on Saturday, October 1, at 1 p.m. to face Anna Maria College (0-3, 0-1 ECFC) in the conference opener for the Bison.
NOTE: The Gallaudet coaching staff took part in today's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach to Cure MD. GU's coaches wore special AFCA patches to show their support for the Coach to Cure MD. If you are interested in making a donation please log onto www.coachtocuremd.org.