LEICESTER, Mass.- Gallaudet University senior Ryan Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) returned a blocked field goal 79 yards for a touchdown as time expired, giving the Bison to a dramatic 40-34 victory over Becker College in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. With the win, Gallaudet remains perfect at 8-0 (5-0 ECFC), while the Hawks fall to 1-7 (0-5 ECFC).
Becker got on the board on their opening drive when Bobby Baker (Monroe, Conn.) hit DeJahn Dawkins (East Hartford, Conn.) across the middle for a five yard touchdown pass, putting Becker in front 6-0. The Bison took the lead on the first possession when Todd Bonheyo (Fredrick, Md.) took the ball 49 yards to pay dirt. The point after attempt gave Gallaudet a 7-6 advantage.
The Hawks took the lead back just 19 seconds later when Bobby Baker hit DeJahn Dawkins down the near sideline for a 71 yard touchdown pass, giving Becker 12-7 lead.
Becker increased their lead to 18-7 when Matthew Romasco (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) opened the second quarter with 27 yard touchdown run. DeJahn Dawkins sent the Becker into halftime with a 21-7 advantage when he nailed a 27 yard field with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Gallaudet came out of the locker room on fire in the second half, scoring two touchdowns in 3:53. The first score came on a seven play, 73 yard drive, which was capped off by a Ryan Bonheyo 21 yard touchdown run. The Bison tied the game on the ensuing kickoff when Zach Abbott (El Dorado, Ark.) stripped the ball from Becker returner Davin Collins (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), and returned six yards for the touchdown.
The Bison took the lead on their next possession when Todd Bonheyo found BJ Flores (Raymondville, Texas) on six yard touchdown completion, putting Gallaudet in front 28-21.
Facing a fourth and goal from the Gallaudet 14 yard line, Becker quarterback Dylan McGuire (Somers, N.Y.) hit DeJahn Dawkins in the middle of the end zone for a game tying touchdown with 6:34 remaining in regulation.
The seesaw battle would continue on Gallaudet's next possession. After Darius Flowers (Birmingham, Ala.) took a sweep 55 yards down to the Becker one yard line, BJ Flores scampered into the end zone for the go ahead touchdown, giving the Bison a 34-28 lead.
On the Hawks next possession, they orchestrated a five play, 65 yard drive, tying the game on a Shaun Llewellyn (Bloomfield, Conn.) touchdown completion. The Hawks defense stood their ground on Gallaudet's next drive. With the Bison facing a fourth and 18 from their own 30 yard line, they were forced to punt. Becker partially blocked the punt, setting them up with great field position at the Gallaudet 33 yard line with 1:36 remaining in regulation.
The Hawks were able work the ball down to the Gallaudet 14 yard line, setting them up for a 31 yard field goal attempt by DeJahn Dawkins with two seconds remaining on the clock. Gallaudet freshman Chris Papacek (Cuero, Texas) blocked the kick and Ryan Bonheyo scooped the ball up, taking it 79 yards for the game winning touchdown.
BJ Flores led the Bison rushing attack with a team high 71 yards. Todd Bonheyo threw from 42 yards and rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown. Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) finished with a game high 13 tackles, including four and half for a loss to pace the Gallaudet defense. The Gallaudet defense made 11 tackles for a loss and sacked the Becker quarterbacks five times.
Becker quarterbacks Bobby Baker and Dylan McGuire combined for 348 passing yards and four touchdowns. Matthew Romasco carried the ball 15 times for a game high 98 yards on the ground. DeJahn Dawkins caught eight balls for a game high 170 yards receiving. Senior Shaun Llewellyn chipped in with ten catches for 90 yards and Brandon Mulling (Naples, Fla.) pulled in four catches for 88 yards. The Becker defense was led by senior linebacker Melvin Booker (Roxbury, Mass.) with ten tackles and a sack. The Becker defense made 11 tackles for a loss and sacked the Gallaudet quarterback five times.
Both teams return to the gridiron next Saturday, November 9 when they continue Eastern Collegiate Football Conference action. Gallaudet returns home to face Anna Maria College at 12:00 p.m., while Becker travels to Castleton State University for a 12:00 p.m. tilt with the Spartans.