/seasons/2012/contrib/20120823196267

Season preview: Gallaudet balanced and ready for 2012 season

More news about: Gallaudet

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2012 Gallaudet University football team will take to Hotchkiss Field this season as a close cohesive unit that is ready to put behind its  hard-luck losses of the past two years and begin a new chapter in program history.

Gallaudet lost its first two games last season by one point in overtime and four points a week later. The Bison rattled off three straight wins before a three-point loss, 10-7, on the road against Norwich before adding two more wins. Eight points in the first three losses of the season kept Gallaudet from an 8-0 start. GU hopes this year's edition of Bison football will turn the tide and swing those close games in favor of the buff and blue.

"We have been upgraded at almost every position. This is a really close team, there is no separation on this team. This team has come together so far in this training camp," said third-year head coach Chuck Goldstein.

Here is a breakdown of the 2012 Gallaudet Bison football team.

OFFENSE

Several new faces will lead the Bison offense led by the rushing attack of freshmen Braxton Baker (Webb City, Mo.) and BJ Flores (Raymondville, Texas). The lightning fast duo will share time at the fullback position and should help power the GU triple option attack.

A handful of veterans will line-up at the slot position led by junior All-Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) second team fullback Michael Hantge (Hutchinson, Minn.) along with junior Ryan Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) and juniors Nick Elstad (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Miguel Paniagua (Baton Rouge, La.). Hantge led the Bison with 636 rushing yards last season, ranked eighth in the conference, as he saw action in nine games and started eight. Bonheyo had 39 carries for 200 yards and a score while Elstad found the end zone three times on 58 carries and 177 yards.

Two different players are battling for the starting position under center at quarterback. The race is between sophomore Benjamin Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) and Todd Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.), Ryan Bonheyo's younger brother. Sophomore Quentin Williams (Chesapeake, Va.), last year's freshman phenom, is still working his way back from his season-ending injury he suffered in last year's Castleton State College game. Williams was named the ECFC Rookie of the Year and selected to the all-conference second team as running back and return specialist. In only seven games, Williams scored seven rushing touchdowns and threw for one score.

Senior wide receiver Ryne Worsham (Chicago, Ill.) was tied for first in the conference with 11 receiving touchdowns last season and caught 44 passes for 784 yards in 10 games played. Worsham was named to the All-ECFC first team offense as he had a streak of one touchdown pass reception or more for five straight games. Senior Kevin Berrigan (Frederick, Md.) returns after a year hiatus and watch out for fellow senior Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.), Gallaudet's standout cornerback, lining up at the wide out position.

"Worsham has big play potential anytime he gets his hands on the ball. If our quarterbacks can throw the ball up in his direction he will go up and come down with it," said Goldstein.

Protecting the Gallaudet quarterbacks and making running holes for the fullbacks and slots will be the group of juniors Joshua Ofiu and Chris Langan (Burtonsville, Md.), sophomores Tyler Snider (Thornville, Ohio), Shawn Madden (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman Todd Collins (East Islip, N.Y.). Snider started nine games as a freshman for the Bison and earned all-conference honorable mention honors. The GU rushing offense averaged 225 yards per game, which ranked third in the ECFC and 27th in Division III.

DEFENSE

Senior linebacker Tom Pangia (Hammonton, N.J.) is the heart-and-soul of the program and its defensive leader. The three-time team captain became the first-ever All-ECFC first team defender last year as he led the conference with 103 tackles (72 solo) as the team co-captain had 11 or more tackles in six of the 10 games this season. He forced two fumbles, recovered one, and made one interception as he started in all 10 games. Pangia comes into the 2012 season well decorated as he has been named to three different preseason All-American teams.

"Our defense has been set around Tom for the last three years," said Goldstein. "He is the type of kid every coach wants to have on his team. We are excited for his final year, expect big things from him."

Gallaudet will enter the 2012 season without its other preseason All-American defensive end Matt Harris, who led the nation in sacks last year, as he did not return to school this year.

GU shutdown cornerback Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) will cause problems in the secondary this year after teams elected to not throw his way a lot last season. The All-ECFC first team defender broke-up eight passes, ranked second in the ECFC, and picked off four passes, tied for third in the conference. Only 11-of-50 passes thrown his way were caught last year in the nine games he started.

Junior defensive lineman Adham Talaat (Springfield, Va.) will anchor the front line alongside seniors Kevin Allen (Houston, Texas) and Jared Pearce (Reno, Nev.). Talaat was an all-conference honorable mention defensive selection last year as he led the conference in blocks (three), tied for eighth in sacks (3.5) and recorded 32 tackles (22 solo) with 13 tackles for a loss of 33 yards in 10 games started. Allen made 43 tackles (31 solo) with 3.5 tackles for a loss of 15 yards in 10 games last season. Pearce added 30 tackles (17 solo) with five tackles for a loss of 22 yards in 10 games played.

Sophomore linebacker Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) is coming off a strong debut with the Bison as he finished fourth in the conference with 90 tackles, third in the conference with 35 assisted tackles and tied for fifth in the league in interceptions with three.

Senior strong safety Shelby Bean (Arvada, Colo.) was fourth on the team with 54 tackles (43 solo) with seven tackles for a loss of 17 yards and two interceptions in 10 games played. Sophomores Tobias Cantaberry (Genoa, Ill.) and AJ McCrea (Decatur, Ga.) will see time at safety and cornerback, respectively, and are ready to step into larger roles on the defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Goldstein hopes to have filled a void in the Gallaudet kicking game with the addition of freshman  Chase Magsig from Michigan. Last year the Bison had only two field goal attempts and made one from 21 yards out. GU made 32-of-38 point after attempts (84 percent) while the opposition converted 28-of-31 PATs (90 percent) against the Bison.

"Chase's kicking ability will give us the opportunity to put more points on the scoreboard," said Goldstein. "He will make an immediate impact and help us try and win the battle for field position with our opposition."

Last year, Bean was thrown into punting duties and excelled as he All-ECFC honorable mention honors as a punter. He ranked third in the ECFC in punting yardage with 1,446 yards (34.4 yards per punt), third in punts downed inside the 20 and had no punts blocked all season.

"His experience we are comfortable he can secure and get rid of the ball quickly and help our defense with field position."

Williams was an All-ECFC second team return specialist last season as he fielded nine kickoffs for 293 yards and two touchdowns (32.6 yards per return average) and had an 85-yard touchdown against Catholic.

The return duties will be handled this season between several different Bison. Tatum will be the main punt returner while Elstad (eight returns, 138 yards), Ryan Bonheyo and Flores will field kickoffs.

SCHEDULE

The Bison will look to avenge two close non-conference losses in their first two games that are on the road. Gallaudet will travel to Westerville, Ohio, to face Otterbein University on Sept. 1 to kick-off the season at 1 p.m. GU returns to the nation's capital the following week and will make the short trek to Catholic University of America on Sept. 7 for a 7 p.m. night game.

"I think we will know exactly where we stand after our first two road games," said Goldstein.  "Otterbein and Catholic are two quality programs and we showed last year that the Bison could hang with those talented teams."

Otterbein handed the Bison a heart breaking 28-27 overtime loss in the season opener last year at home. In week two, Gallaudet couldn't hang on against Catholic and lost another heart breaker 45-41 as the Cardinals scored three touchdowns in the final six minutes of play. Otterbein, who entered the 2011 season ranked No. 40 by D3football.com, struggled after the win over the Bison and finished 3-7. Like the Bison the Cardinals lost five games by a touchdown or less. Catholic finished its season 5-5 as it won three straight to start the season but concluded the year with three straight conference losses.

Following a bye week, the Bison will host Apprentice School for the season's first home game on Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. The Apprentice School finished the 2011 season with a 2-8 record with one of those losses coming at the hands of Gallaudet, the Bison won 14-3 over the Builders.

GU closes out the month of September at home with its first ECFC game as the Bison host Anna Maria College on Sept. 29 at noon. GU escaped Paxton, Mass., last year with a 48-40 triple overtime win over the AMCATS. AMC finished the 2011 season strong with two straight conference wins against Becker College and Husson University and finished 2-8 overall.

"Once we start ECFC play, I think we will compete at a high level because we have a lot of talent and experience coming back this year," said Goldstein.

The meat of the conference schedule begins in October with four games. The Bison travel to Husson on Oct. 6, for a noon game and return home to play the reigning ECFC champions Norwich University on Oct. 13, at noon. Norwich barely slipped by Gallaudet last season, 10-7, as the Cadets went 7-4 overall and were undefeated in conference play (7-0). The Bison will then travel to Leicester, Mass., to play Becker College on Oct. 20, at noon. Becker went 1-9 last season and lost 44-20 to Gallaudet in its homecoming game. Speaking of Homecoming, the Bison will host Castleton State College for the annual Homecoming game on Oct. 27, at 1:30 p.m. Gallaudet will be seeking to win its fourth straight homecoming game. Castleton (4-6) finished fifth in the ECFC last season (3-4), just one spot behind Gallaudet.

The final two games of the season will test Gallaudet as they face-off against the second and third-place teams in the ECFC last season. Gallaudet will host its final home game on Nov. 3 when Mount Ida College comes to D.C. The Mustangs went 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the ECFC last season and finished in third-place in the conference. Mount Ida handed Gallaudet its worst loss of the season last year, 28-12.

To conclude the regular-season, Gallaudet will travel to Throggs Neck, N.Y., to face SUNY Maritime (N.Y.) College on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. Gallaudet lost by a touchdown to the Privateers for a second consecutive season. Maritime was last year's ECFC runner-up with an 8-2 record and 6-1 conference mark.

The winner of the ECFC earns a berth into the NCAA tournament that begins mid-November along with the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III bowls for those teams that don't make the NCAA tournament.

SUMMARY

Since the Gallaudet football program returned to NCAA Division III status in 2007 the Bison have been seeking a conference championship and a postseason game. Those goals remain as Gallaudet takes the field for the 2012 campaign. GU has taken steps each year since 2007 to improve the program and get it closer and closer to reaching those goals. Will one or both of those goals be accomplished this year? Bison Nation will need to wait and find out as Gallaudet prepares for another season.

"Our goal is win each day. We want to prepare ourselves and do the things that winners do, to put ourselves in the best position to achieve our goals," said Goldstein.

Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Westfield State at Framingham State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Moravian at Juniata
Live stats
12:00 PM
Endicott at Salve Regina
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
St. Vincent at Thomas More
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at Union
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Colby at Hamilton
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Christopher Newport
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Ithaca
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Allegheny
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Mount Ida
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Amherst
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bowdoin at Trinity (Conn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Husson at Gallaudet
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Oberlin
Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at Utica
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Muskingum
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Stevenson
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alma at Albion
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Shenandoah at Guilford
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Massachusetts Maritime
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Hiram
Preview Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Anna Maria
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bridgewater at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at FDU-Florham
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at St. Lawrence
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Nichols at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Salisbury
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Brevard
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Apprentice
Audio
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Cortland at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Hope at Trine
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-River Falls
Video
1:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Sewanee
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Dickinson at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Tufts at Williams
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
MIT at Coast Guard
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Maine Maritime at Norwich
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Marietta
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Rose-Hulman
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Capital
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Bluffton at Manchester
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Anderson
2:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
Live stats
2:00 PM
Greensboro at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Worcester State
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Muhlenberg at McDaniel
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Western New England at Becker
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Methodist at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Adrian at Kalamazoo
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Denison at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Audio
2:00 PM
Olivet at Benedictine
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Austin
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Stout
Audio
2:00 PM
Eureka at MacMurray
Video
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Buena Vista
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Rockford at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. Olaf
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Greenville
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Cornell
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at North Park
Live stats
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Lake Forest
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Ripon at Macalester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Lawrence at St. Norbert
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Crown
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Iowa Wesleyan
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Merchant Marine at WPI
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Hanover at Earlham
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Video Preview Live stats
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Live stats
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Bridgewater State
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Chapman at La Verne
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Willamette
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Audio
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
Video Live stats Tickets
6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
Video Live stats
Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Oberlin
Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Live stats Video Preview