Saturday, November 5, 2011(Newton, Massachusetts) - Behind a stellar individual performance by senior running back Johrone Bunch (Meriden, CT/F.T. Maloney), the Mount Ida College football team captured their second consecutive Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) victory over visiting Gallaudet University Saturday afternoon by a score of 28-12 on a chilly but clear day in Newton, Massachusetts.
On the ground, Bunch recorded two rushing scores tallying 160 total yards adding a touchdown throw on a halfback pass in the third quarter. With the performance Bunch becomes the all-time leader in the Mount Ida College football record books for rushing yards in a career (4,245) surpassing alumnus Antwan Harris who has held the record since 2006. Bunch broke the record with 43 fewer carries (785) than Harris throughout his career.
Bunch is 12th nationally throughout all of the NCAA Division III schools in rushing and leads the ECFC in yards per game on the ground with 155.8. He is the only player in the league to be averaging over 100 yards a contest for the year.
The Mustangs improve to an overall record of 5-4 pulling within a tie for third in the conference standings with a league slate of 4-2. The Bison drop to 5-4 for the season and fall into a tie with the Mustangs for the third spot in the ECFC with a record of 4-2.
On the second possession of the contest for the hosts, the Mustangs notched their first score of the game finishing a 12 play, 58 yard drive with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter. Mount Ida junior quarterback Scott Drosendahl (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora) found junior wide out Matthew Valentini (Lake Hoptacong, NJ/Jefferson TWP) in the back of the end zone from 14 yards out for the immediate advantage. The Mustangs made it 7-0 after a successful point after attempt (PAT) by senior kicker Bobby Hemann (Newington, CT/Newington).
After exchanging possessions a couple of times during the second quarter, the Mustangs drove down to the visitors' 13 yard line looking to capitalize again and add to their lead. Drosendahl felt pressure in the pocket on a third and goal and attempted to throw the ball out of the back of the end zone. Unfortunately for the Mustangs it was short and intercepted by Gallaudet sophomore Charles Hamlin (Great Mills, MD/Leonardtown). Hamlin took the pick out of the end zone 66 yards down field setting the Bison up on the Mount Ida 34 yard line.
The visitors converted their first score of the game, capitalizing on the turnover, on a nine yard strike from Gallaudet junior quarterback Anthony Palmer (Unadilla, NY/Model Secondary School for the Deaf) to junior wide out Ryne Worsham (Chicago, IL/Mount Carmel). A failed PAT attempt kept the visitors within a point of the hosts at 7-6 with 5:20 remaining in the second stanza.
With 1:52 to go before the midway point the Mustangs converted a seven play, 47 yard drive finished off by a 13 yard scamper from Bunch for his first of two scores on the day. Hemann booted a successful PAT attempt for the 14-6 advantage heading into halftime.
Midway through the third quarter the Bison notched their second score of the day with Palmer hooking up with Worsham again this time on a 26 yard touchdown strike on a four play, 80 yard drive making it 14-12 in favor of the hosts. Gallaudet opted to try for two but could not convert the isolation run up the middle that was stuffed by the Mount Ida defense.
Mount Ida freshman defensive back Jovan Wilkins (Poughkeepsie, NY/Poughkeepsie) set the Mustangs up on the visiting 31 yard line intercepting his fifth pass of the season. Wilkins is one pick away (5) from tying the all-time season record for interceptions (6). Bunch followed tallying the first passing touchdown of his career from three yards out to senior wide out Nick Lynch (Hampton Bays, NY/Hampton Bays). After a Hemann PAT the Mustangs pulled ahead 21-12.
The Mustang defense was stifling the whole game not allowing a point throughout the final quarter and a half of play. Mount Ida added an insurance score with three minutes remaining in the contest on a 28 yard scamper by Bunch for his second rushing touchdown of the contest for the 28-12 lead that would eventually become the Mustangs fourth ECFC win of the year.
Impressively, the Mustangs held the number one offense in the ECFC to 197 total yards and 36 yards rushing for the game. Sophomore defensive lineman Jon Proto (North Haven, CT/North Haven) led the Mustang defense with five solo tackles and two sacks. Freshman linebacker Jah-son Johson (Windsor, CT/Windsor), junior defensive end A.J. Knibbs (Spotswood, NJ/Spotswood), and freshman defensive lineman Anthony Sanders (Meriden, CT/Orville Platt) all added sacks for the hosts combining for 12 solo tackles. Sanders also added a fumble recovery.
Along with an impressive performance from Bunch, the Mustangs were led offensively by Drosendahl going 13-21 for 183 yards through the air and a touchdown throw along with an interception. Valentini and Lynch each caught TD passed combining for 107 yards receiving. Sophomore wide out Jordan Hyman (Middletown, CT/Xavier) added two catches for 60 yards.
The Bison were led offensively by Palmer under center going 12-28 with 161 yards passing and two touchdown throws. Worsham was the bright spot for the visitors today with 124 yards receiving and two TD catches.
Galladuet was led by junior linebacker Tom Pangia (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) defensively with a game high 12 solo tackles and three tackles for a loss.
The Mustangs will host their final regular season game of the year against visiting Castleton State College next Saturday on senior day with kick-off slated for 12:00 p.m. while the Bison head home to host number one Maritime College (SUNY) Friday evening in Washington, DC starting at 7:00 p.m.