Gallaudet ends 106 years of futility

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Ryan Bonheyo set up an early score with a big catch-and-run.
Gallaudet athletics photo 

Gallaudet defeated Catholic for the first time in 106 years, breaking open a 7-7 tie by scoring 28 of the next 35 points en route to a 47-27 win. 

Coming into the game, Catholic had won 23 of the 25 meetings, with the other two ending in ties.

CUA (1-1) created an early turnover by forcing a Gallaudet fumble, and five plays later, Greg Cordivari hit Wes Stringfield for a 6-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cardinals lead.

Late in the first, the Bison (1-1) pulled even when Todd Bonheyo hit Ryne Worsham for a 4-yard score.

Cordivari was picked off by Tony Tatum early in the second quarter, giving the Bison the ball at their own 26. After a lengthy drive, the Bison were forced to punt, but rather than kick, Gallaudet faked the punt and Shelby Bean hit Ryan Bonheyo for 27 yards and a first down at the CUA 10-yard line.

"I was surprised when I saw Todd threw the ball in my direction. I had it in my mind to go up and grab it and come down with it while staying in-bounds," said Tatum. "This win feels great and to know that we won as a team is the best part about it. We made history tonight!"

On the very next play, Tatum hauled in a 10-yard scoring strike from Todd Bonheyo to give the Bison their first lead of the night.

On CUA's next drive, Gallaudet forced a Cardinals fumble, which Nico Santiago scooped up and rumbled 65 yards to pay dirt to make it 21-7 in favor of the visitors.

CUA was able to cut it to a seven-point game with a 12-play, 65-yard drive that ended on a five-yard TD pass from Cordivari to Jason Howard late in the quarter, and the score remained that way heading into halftime.

Early in the third, Cordivari was intercepted by Bean who returned it 61 yards to the CUA one-yard line.  On the very next play, Todd Bonyeho plunged across the goal line to put the Bison on top 28-14.

Another Cordivari interception, this one again picked off by Tatum, was converted into another Gallaudet touchdown. The Bison went 52 yards in 13 plays and Todd Bonyeho again scored on a 1-yard plunge to make it 35-14 with 5:33 to play in the third.

Cordivari hit Tanner Keefe for an 8-yard touchdown late in the quarter, sending the teams into the final 15 minutes with CUA trailing by 14.

Gallaudet tacked on two more scores early in the fourth to all but seal the win, and CUA received a late touchdown from Christian Baker to set the final margin at 20 points.

"It was nice to see a full team effort tonight as our offense, defense and special teams came together to play as a complete unit. A lot of players stepped up in key moments," said Gallaudet coach Chuck Goldstein after the victory. "We had terrific support from our administration, faculty, staff and students who made the short trip to attend the game tonight. Not many schools can say their President, Provost, Vice-President, Dean of Student Affairs and Athletic Director travel for a big game like this. It was terrific to deliver our program's first win with them and our fans in attendance."

CUA finished with only 239 yards of total offense, including just 124 through the air. The Cardinals turned the ball over five times and lost the time of possession battle 36:36 to 23:24. 

Senior linebacker Tom Pangia led the Bison defense with 14 tackles and two pass breakups. Sophomore linebacker Jaris Alleyne added 10 tackles. Senior Shelby Bean made two interceptions and converted a fake punt with a 27-yard pass. Bean came out to punt in the second quarter but dropped back and threw a pass to junior Ryan Bonheyo who made the catch, fumbled, but GU recovered which allowed Ryan's younger brother Todd to throw a touchdown pass to Tatum.

Nick Cortese led the way for CUA on the ground with 34 yards, while Andrew Ouellette, John Serdakowski and Stringfield all caught three passes.

Patrick Thomas led the Cardinal defense with nine tackles, with Kevin Ross and Conor Stueckler next in line with eight stops.

Gallaudet finished with 221 yards on the ground, led by BJ Flores with 99 yards on 14 attempts and Todd Bonheyo with 40 yards on five attempts. Bonheyo also completed 6 of 15 passes for 88 yards.

Gallaudet and Catholic have only met three times since 1994 but prior to that the two schools had a lengthy rivalry that was very one-sided. Over the years Catholic embarrassed Gallaudet by the tune of 60-0 in 1925, 91-0 in 1931, 41-0 in 1975 and 64-0 in 1994. There were two ties in the series in 1914 and 1919 and the first contest took place in 1906. Twice in the past 20 years. Catholic has gone 1-9 with its only win against Gallaudet.

"Tonight's win is not just for this year's Gallaudet team but all of the prior Bison teams that never had the chance to enjoy a win like tonight," said Goldstein.