Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Norwich University football team picked up its second win of the season with a 27-6 victory over Gallaudet University in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at Hotchkiss Field.
The win puts the Cadets at 2-0 in league play and 2-3 on the year, while Galladuet drops to 0-2 in the ECFC and 0-4 overall.
The Cadets looked to get on the board early but an early fumble halted the progress as Gallaudet recovered the ball on the Norwich 29-yard-line to start their second drive of the game. The Bison would produce a touchdown off of the turnover on a Dylan Mento (Hammonton, N.J.) 25-yard reception from quarterback Ramon Johnson (Sylmar, Calif.). Gallaudet attempted a 2-point conversion but the pass fell short as the Bison had to settle for the 6-0 lead at the 5:17 mark in the first quarter.
The Cadets struggled to move the chains down the field, forcing to punt the ball away on the next three drives. Despite the offensive struggles, Norwich’s defense kept the Bison at bay, including a forced fumble by senior defensive back Sir Michael Finney (Killeen, Texas), that ended up being recovered by Gallaudet in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, the Cadets’ defensive unit stonewalled Gallaudet, forcing the Bison to punt the ball away to Norwich’s 17-yard-line. The Cadets struggled on the first two downs with a sack and an incomplete pass before quarterback Philippe Bazinett (Otterburn Park, Quebec)scrambled down the field for 15 yards and a first down to move the chains. The Cadets found themselves in a 3rd down situation once again but Bazinet found wide receiver Matt Mulcahy (Essex, Vt.) open for the 16-yard reception and a new set of downs at the Norwich 35-yard line. Bazinet would complete another pass to Mulcahy on a 9-yard reception, before being forced to scramble outside of the pocket and down the field for a 38 yard run before stepping out of bounds inside the Bison’s 2-yard-line. Two plays later, senior running back Sam Chaves (Alfred, Maine) would punch through the goal line for the touchdown, followed by an extra-point from sophomore kicker Robbie Harrison (Brandon, Fla.) for the Cadets’ first lead of the game, 7-6.
Norwich’s defense limited the Bison’s production to just 88 yards in the first half, forcing three fumbles and four punts for 128 yards before Harrison attempted a 36-yard field goal with just 14 seconds left in the first half. Harrison would kick it successfully through the uprights for the Cadets’ 10-6 lead at the break.
The Cadets continued to rely on their defensive unit throughout the second half, limiting the Bison to just 72 offensive yards to Norwich’s 157 yards. Norwich continued to pile on the points starting with a Harrison 39-yard field goal before Bazinet connected with freshman Ryan Cirillo (Butler, N.J.)on a 10-yard pass for the touchdown for the 20-6 score after three quarters.
Norwich would extend the lead once more in the fourth quarter after junior Michael O’Neill (Winthrop, Mass.) returned a 51-yard punt to the end zone for the final score, 27-6.
Junior linebacker Jake Apthorpe (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) led the defensive efforts for the Cadets, recording a team-high eight total tackles, including two sacks and three tackles for losses. Senior linebacker Cody Lindell (Cranston, R.I.) and sophomore defensive lineman David Heinsohn (Lorton, Va.)would each record a sack and a tackle for loss, while Harrison collected nine points on special teams after making two field goals and three extra point attempts on the day.
The Cadets are back in action next week as they host ECFC foe Maritime (N.Y.) for the 1 p.m. contest at Sabine Field.