CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University earned 425 total yards of offense and held off a Gallaudet rally to defeat the Bison, 28-17, Saturday afternoon in the Spartans' final home game of the 2017 season at Spartan Stadium.
Mitchell Caron completed 27-of-37 passes for 274 yards and one touchdown, with Adnane Adossama catching six passes for 96 yards. Moe Harris passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season, earning 128 rushing yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns.
Both teams put together long drives at the start of the game, but neither one was able to score. Gallaudet started with a 12-play, 59-yard drive that took six minutes, but the Spartan defense stopped the Bison at the Castleton 15-yard line on downs. Castleton responded with a 12-play, 76-yard drive, but the Bison defense held the Spartans to a field goal attempt that missed wide left.
Castleton had another opportunity, taking over after Shane Hurley recovered a fumble on the Spartan 37-yard line and driving down the field, but Louie Akuffo stopped Harris at the Bison two-yard line on fourth-and-goal. However, on the ensuing Bison possession, Hurley and Justin Nolan tackled Bryce Marion in the end zone for a safety.
After an exchange of punts, Castleton drove the ball 90 yards on seven plays, culminating with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Caron to Jermaine Coggins. On the next Gallaudet drive, Chris Rice sacked Timel Benton and forced a fumble that was recovered by Dustin Rock. The Spartans took advantage with a 50-yard drive, capped by a 13-yard run by Caron to give Castleton a 15-0 halftime lead.
Gallaudet (3-6, 3-3 ECFC) broke through midway through the third quarter with a field goal, but the Spartans responded in the final four minutes of the quarter, as Harris lept over the pile from two yards out to increase the Castleton lead to 21-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bison took advantage of a Castleton fumble deep in Spartan territory, as Darrion Green took the ball along the left sideline into the end zone from 20 yards out. Although Gallaudet failed to recover an onside kick attempt, Mason Gooch intercepted a Caron pass and ran it back 55 yards for a touchdown to close the Spartan lead to 21-17 with 7:43 left in regulation.
The teams exchanged punts, and then Castleton kept the ball on the ground in an attempt to run the clock out. On fourth down, Harris broke free along the sideline and took it into the end zone from 34 yards out to give the Spartans the necessary cushion for the victory.
Jakob Trautwein led the Castleton offense with 11 tackles and an interception, while Gooch led all players with 16 tackles for the Bison. Offensively, Gallaudet was led by Benton with 73 rushing yards on 14 carries and Green with 70 yards on the ground on just four carries.
Castleton (5-4, 4-2 ECFC) concludes the regular season with a road game at Alfred State next Saturday, Nov. 11, starting at 1 p.m.