WASHINGTON, D.C. – A relentless defense set the tone for the Gallaudet University football team Saturday in the home opener at Hotchkiss Field as the Bison rolled over Apprentice School, 35-7, in a non-conference game before a crowd of 928.
Gallaudet (2-1) scored 20 points in the second quarter to build off its 8-0 lead from the first quarter. Senior cornerback Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, three minutes into the second quarter, to give GU a 14-0 lead. Tatum made four tackles, forced one fumble, and recovered one fumble for six yards while on defense.
Apprentice (1-3) fumbled its first two possessions, the latter of which led to a six-yard touchdown run by junior defensive end Adham Talaat (Springfield, Va.). The Builders were then forced to punt four straight times before throwing two interceptions.
Apprentice sophomore quarterback Jonathan Whelan (1-for-6, 13 yards) dropped back for a pass in the second quarter and was picked off by Tatum at the Apprentice 47 yard line. Tatum ran the interception back 23 yards which set-up a Todd Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) touchdown run from four yards out. Bonheyo finished the day 6-for-13 (54 yards, one touchdown) and ran for 66 yards on 12 carries and one score.
On the ensuing drive the Builders coughed up the ball on their second play when junior quarterback Paul Morgan (6-for-9, 54 yards) threw pass that was tipped up in the air by Gallaudet sophomore linebacker Gregg McConville (Frederick, Md.) and brought down at the Apprentice 22-yard line.
The Bison only needed five plays for Todd Bonheyo to throw a four-yard pass to his older brother Ryan Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) in the back of the end zone as 38 seconds left before halftime. GU took a 28-0 lead into intermission.
In the third quarter, Gallaudet's special teams rose to the occasion once more when junior Silvio DiCristo (Atco, N.J.) broke through the Apprentice line and blocked Blake Penix's punt. Sophomore Tobias Canterbury (Genoa, Ill.) scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 20 yards for the touchdown as GU led 35-0 with 6:56 left in the quarter.
Apprentice finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when Morgan found Trevon Johnson in the left corner of the end zone as the two connected on the 17-yard catch with 8:31 left in regulation.
The Bison defense was led by senior defensive end Jared Pearce (Reno, Nev.) who made a team-high nine tackles, three tackles for a loss of seven yards and two sacks for a loss of six yards. Freshman defensive tackle Cesar Torres (Fort Myers, Fla.) matched Pearce with two sacks for a loss of 11 yards and forced one fumble. Senior preseason All-American Tom Pangia (Hammonton, N.J.) made eight tackles, broke up one pass and had one tackle for a loss of two yards.
Apprentice was paced by defensive backs Reginald Huff and Izhia Roundtree with eight tackles each. Senior defensive end Kyell Collins recorded the team's lone sack.
This is the second straight win for Gallaudet over Apprentice after the Bison took last year's road contest 14-3. This was Apprentice's first appearance at Hotchkiss Field in 10 years.
GU will jump into conference play next Saturday, Sept. 29, at noon as it hosts Anna Maria College (1-2) in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference opener for both teams.