Castleton football turned some heads in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference
this past Saturday, Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C. Actually they twisted heads clean off by beating a Gallaudet program that is over 100 years older, 31-28. The Bison beat down the Spartans 49-18 a year ago.
With just 11 tics left on the clock, and the score knotted at 28 all, Castleton had used their last timeout to line up a field goal on second down that would put Kicker, Carl Ojala, 20 yards away from stardom.
“There was time left and downs left. It was only second down with 15.5 seconds left,” said head coach Rich Alercio. “I didn’t want to have a sack or holding penalty.”
Ojala split the uprights to give the Spartans a three-point lead. All that was left to do was to stop a kick return and make sure the Bison offense didn’t convert a deep pass. Game over.
“It made the eight-hour bus ride go a lot faster,” Alercio laughed.
Castleton took the opening drive 64 yards before being stopped on a fourth-and-goal from the Gallaudet three-yard line.
Gallaudet scored first with an eight-yard run by Mike Gimelli that finished off a 67-yard drive. Justin Wilson’s extra-point made it a 7-0 first quarter lead for the Bison.
Castleton scored to open up the second quarter with a 54-yard bomb from quarterback Shane Brozowski to wide receiver Evan Cassidy for the team’s first score. Luis Robitaille kicked the extra-point to tie the game at 7.
After Gallaudet responded with an 80-yard scoring drive of its own, Castleton closed out the first half with a 56-yard drive capped by a one-yard plunge by Brozowski. Castleton entered halftime with a 14-13 lead since Wilson’s second PAT attempt was blocked.
Gallaudet took a 20-14 lead mid-way through the third quarter and once again the Spartans answered with another Brozowski run and Ojala extra-point to go up 21-20.
In the fourth quarter, the Spartans were able to eat up some clock time with an eight-minute drive that stalled on the Gallaudet five-yard line when Ojala’s field goal attempt was blocked.
Castleton running back Mick Wong capped a 63-yard drive to put the Spartans up 28-20. Gallaudet answered with a score and two-point conversion to tie the game but Castleton would have the final say on Ojala’s game-winner.
Brozowski had Brady-like numbers going 33-46 on pass attempts for 413 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The sophomore passer also rushed for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Cassidy had eight receptions for 109 yards and found the end zone once.
“[Brozowski] was phenomenal,” said Alercio. “He played better than he has ever played. Those are huge numbers.”
The Spartans return home for an ECFC matchup with Mount Ida on Oct. 2 at