Football Downs St. Lawrence, 28-6, On A Muddy Senior Day
THACA, N.Y. – The Ithaca College prevailed over St. Lawrence University, 28-6, in a Liberty League showdown on Senior Day and Parents Weekend at Butterfield Stadium Saturday afternoon to improve to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. For the second week in a row, Ithaca had to navigate through near unplayable field conditions, as steady rainfall soaked South Hill and turned the field into a mud pit by the middle of the first quarter. The Bombers earned the initial possession of the contest but quickly went three-and-out. St. Lawrence took over at its own 35-yard line and flipped the field to the IC 27 before turning the ball over on downs just three minutes in. Ithaca moved the ball into Saints' territory on a 15-yard pass from sophomore Wahid Nabi to classmate Hayden Frey and a seven-yard run by Nabi. The drive would stall there, but senior Pat Minogue pinned St. Lawrence inside its own 10 with a punt to the 8-yard line. The Saints were held in check there and had to punt the ball back to IC, which took over in plus territory at the St. Lawrence 45 with 5:36 to go in the first quarter. A 33-yard completion from Nabi to junior Will Gladneyinitiated the drive, and then junior Kendall Anderson handled things from there. Anderson carried the ball three times for 12 yards, which was capped off by a 3-yard rushing touchdown to give IC a 7-0 with 3:26 to go in the quarter. St. Lawrence would once again go three-and-out after sophomore Antonio Valle came up with a 6-yard sack on first down to put the Saints behind the sticks to start. On Ithaca's next possession, the Bombers faced 2nd-and-14 after a botched snap. On that snap, which was another broken play, Nabi picked up the errant snap and threw an underhand heave down to field to get the ball away. The wobbly pass fell into the arms of Anderson for a 23-yard gain down to the St. Lawrence 28 to end the first quarter. After the teams flipped sides of the field, IC was unable to capitalize on the momentum and punted the Saints inside their own 10-yard line once again. St. Lawrence picked up one first down before giving the ball back to the Bombers on a punt that reached the Saints' 40-yard line after a 7-yard return by sophomore Andrew Vito. Nabi was sacked on first down, but then connected with Gladney for 15 yards to move the chains. Anderson then rushed four five and three yards, before breaking off a 22-yard run for his second touchdown of the game to increase Ithaca's lead to 13-0 with 8:43 until halftime. The Bombers got the ball right back on St. Lawrence's first play from scrimmage, as senior RJ D'Amico intercepted a pass at the IC 43-yard line. A holding penalty on the return moved the spot back 10 yards, but Anderson erased that with a 62-yard burst down the left sideline down to the St. Lawrence 5-yard line. Two plays later, junior Isaiah D'Haiti punched in a 6-yard run to give the Bombers a three-score lead at 20-0 two minutes later. Ithaca added another touchdown before intermission on a 5-yard jaunt by D'Haiti with 1:41 to go and the Bombers went into break with a 26-0 lead. The big play on the drive came on a 22-yard reception by Gladney, who finished the game with four catches for 74 yards, while Nabi was 7-for-17 for 119 yards and an interception. Ithaca outgained St. Lawrence, 270-30, in the first half. Out of halftime, the field conditions worsened and neither team was effectively able to move the ball, as the final yardage numbers read, 322-104, in favor of Ithaca. The Bombers finished with 203 yards on the ground for the first time one day shy of a year (Utica - Oct. 28, 2017 - 231 yards. St. Lawrence scored its lone touchdown of the contest on an 19-yard completion from Aaron Ruthman to Joseph Viscardo with 3:15 to play in the third quarter. The Saints used a 21-yard interception return to set up the touchdown on the first snap. In the fourth quarter, Ithaca added a safety with 9:18 to play after a Minogue punt spotted St. Lawrence at its own 2-yard line. Three plays later, D'Amico and junior Nick Garone came up with a stop in the end zone to cap off the scoring. It was the first safety for Ithaca since the Bombers recorded one against Hartwick in 2016. Prior to the safety, Garone staked the Ithaca offense with incredible field position with a forced fumble and recovery at the St. Lawrence 38-yard line. On the free kick, freshman Billy Tedeschi returned the ball 40 yards down to the St. Lawrence 22-yard line, but IC would turn the ball over on downs. The game came to a close with two punts, a turnover on downs and victory formation for the Bombers. Anderson finished the contest with a career-best 120 yards on 18 carries, while D'Haiti added 28 yards on 12 touches. Defensively, Ithaca used the poor weather to its advantage and held St. Lawrence to 243 yards fewer than the Saints' season average. St. Lawrence entered the contest averaging 283.1 yards passing, but only managed 90 on Saturday. Garone led the way with nine tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and the forced fumble and recovery. D'Amico made five stops with four pass breakups, while Minogue logged five tackles and punted the ball nine times for an average of 33 yards, which included four that traveled inside the 20-yard line. Senior Brien Pacholec added three tackles, a sack and forced fumble. The Bombers hit the road for the final two games of the regular season. IC will travel to Hobart next Saturday, November 3 for a 1 p.m. kickoff and then head to Cortland for the 60th Cortaca Jug Game at 12 p.m. on the 11th.