WASHINGTON - Gallaudet University's triple-option offense was hitting on all cylinders here Saturday against Alfred State College in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) game before a crowd of 419 at Hotchkiss Field. The Bison offense rolled up 623 yards of total offense and ran past the Pioneers in a 62-41 shootout to remain undefeated in conference play.
Gallaudet (2-3, 2-0 ECFC) outscored Alfred State (2-5, 0-2 ECFC) by 22 points in the second half, 43-21, after the Pioneers took a 20-19 lead into halftime.
The Bison running attack tallied 590 rushing yards on 63 carries for an eye-popping 9.4 yards per rush average. GU scored all nine of its touchdowns on the ground and had eight runs that went for 30 or more yards. The Bison controlled the game from start to finish and held the ball for nearly 37 minutes.
Junior running back RJ Randle (McCalla, Ala.) ran for a career best 239 yards on 14 carries (average of 17.1 per rush) and scored two touchdowns of 32 and 59 yards in the second half. The 239 rushing yards in a game is a new program record during the modern era of Gallaudet football. Quentin Williams ran for 234 yards against Castleton, in the first half before getting injured, back on Oct. 29, 2011.
Redshirt junior quarterback Timel Benton (Columbia, S.C.) tied a program record with five rushing touchdowns as he carried the ball 15 times for 154 yards (10.3 avg.). Gallaudet's first four touchdowns were on Benton runs of 1, 35, 13 and 17 yards. Benton's five touchdowns came on GU's first six scores of the game. Benton's fifth and final touchdown came at the 4:23 mark in the third quarter on a second 17-yard run to give Gallaudet a 41-20 lead.
Gallaudet's offensive line flexed its muscle, opened up running lanes and racked up many "pancakes" with their blocking upfront throughout the game. The Bison starting offensive line includes sophomore tackle Jamal Garner (Jacksonville, Ill.), senior guard Matthew Cracraft (Ferris, Texas), junior center Cress Fisher (Boyertown, Pa.), freshman guard Jay Waters (Augusta, Ga.) and senior tackle Reid Kelly (De Soto, Kan.). Junior guard Daniel Tanielu (Federal Way, Wash.) also contributed on the line play for the Bison.
The 62 points are the most scored by Gallaudet since it tallied 73 at home against Anna Maria College on Oct. 7, 2017. In that game, GU ran for a program record 716 rushing yards (765 offensive yards), 939 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns (10 rushing scores). The 21-point margin of victory is the largest since Oct. 28, 2017 when GU defeated Dean, 28-7, at home.
GU's defense disrupted Alfred State's running attack and constantly badgered quarterback DeShown Wilson (17 of 41, 284 yards, three scores) as he threw three interceptions. Pioneer running back Ronnie Clark, the reigning ECFC Offensive Player of the Week, ran for 197 yards last week against Anna Maria but was held to just 14 yards on six carries against the Bison. Alfred State finished the game with 350 of total offense as 284 yards came through the air and only 66 on the ground.
Wilson threw his second interception early in the third quarter as junior strong safety Dalton Taylor (Austin, Texas) made the pick and returned it 25 yards to the Gallaudet 39. The Bison were in business as they clung to a 27-20 lead. GU marched 61 yards on seven plays and scored on Randle's 32-yard run. Randle accounted for 49 of the 61 yards covered during that drive.
The final 14 possesions consisted of seven scoring drives, four from GU, as the teams exchanged quick-strike scoring drives that lasted under two minutes in duration.
Randle put the game away for good with his 59-yard touchdown run with 3:49 left in the fourth.
Sophomore free safety/kicker Jack Gray (Atherton, Calif.) made 6 of 8 extra-point kicks and came up with two interceptions. Freshman inside linebacker Stefan Anderson (New Market, Md.) led the defense with nine tackles, 1.5 sacks for nine yards followed by senior defensive tackle Everett Polzin (Frederick, Md.), who tallied six tackles and had 1.5 sacks for seven yards. Redshirt junior outside linebacker Mason Gooch (Mount Sterling, Ky.) made five tackles with 2.0 tackles for a loss of four yards.
The GU defense finished the game with 48 tackles (24 solo), 5.0 sacks for a loss of 31 yards, 8.0 tackles for a loss of 36 yards, three interceptions for 25 yards, four pass breakups and four quarterback hurries.
Alfred State defensive back Brian Williams led the Pioneers with nine tackles (seven solo) as they tallied 6.0 tackles for a loss of 31 yards, 1.0 sacks for a loss of one yard, forced a fumble and made 79 tackles (43 solo). Pioneer receiver Shy'rel Broadwater (seven receptions, 151 yards) caught all three Wilson touchdown passes including a 43-yard strike right before halftime.
- The 590 rushing yards in a game are third most in program history, the 623 total offensive yards is fourth most
- Gallaudet held the ball for over 10 minutes in the second and third quarters
- GU went 6-for-7 in the red zone, all rushing touchdowns
- Benton scored GU's only two-point conversion
- There were four, three-and-out series in the game
- Phillip Hayes was the last Bison to score five rushing touchdowns in a game (at Anna Maria on Oct. 31, 2009)
- GU is 3-0 vs. Alfred St. all-time
Gallaudet will host Dean College (2-4, 2-0 ECFC) next Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. on Homecoming. Dean defeated Anna Maria College (1-6, 1-1 ECFC) today on the road, 41-20.