/seasons/2019/contrib/201909215fmbgk

No. 22 Ithaca Stifles Alfred in 27-9 Home Victory

More news about: Ithaca

ITHACA, N.Y. – The nationally ranked No. 22 Ithaca College team ran its record to 2-0 on the early season as the Bombers used 27 unanswered points to secure a comfortable 27-9 victory over visiting Alfred University on Saturday, September 21 at Butterfield Stadium. The home-opening victory marks the 40th win over the Saxons in 60 all-time meetings dating back to 1933.

The Bombers won the opening coin toss but deferred to the second half. Alfred started its first possession of the game on its own 25-yard line after a touchback off the foot of freshman Nicholas Bahamonde.

The Saxons quickly moved down the field on a 15-yard completion and back-to-back 6-yard plays to move into Ithaca territory. After a 9-yard run by Ben Burk and an 18-yard completion from Burk to Zach Leinenbach, Alfred was set up with first-and-10 at the Ithaca 16.

Alfred's drive stalled there and the Saxons had to settle for a 30-yard field goal attempt from Dustin McCaslin, which was good to give AU an early, 3-0, lead just four minutes into the contest.

Ithaca answered with a long kick return by sophomore AJ Clifford, but it was negated with a penalty on the return, and the Bombers started their initial drive at the 17-yard line.

IC quickly face a third down situation but converted on a 5-yard run by senior Kendall Anderson. On the next snap, senior Joe Germinerio connected with fellow senior Will Gladney for a 31-yard completion to move into Alfred territory.

Two plays later, Germinerio found junior Andrew Vito for a 23-yard strike to push the Bombers inside the red zone, but Ithaca would be forced to kick a 33-yard field goal from Bahamonde to tie the game at 3-3 with 8:06 left in the quarter.

Alfred answered with a long drive down to the Ithaca 25-yard line on 10 plays. The Saxons elected to go for a fourth-and-3 at the 25, but sophomore Anthony Robinson broke up a potential first down catch to turn Alfred over on downs.

Ithaca was once again on the move with an 18-yard completion to Vito, a 5-yard catch by Gladney and a 22-yard reception from sophomore Donte Garcia to spot IC at the Alfred 30-yard line within four snaps. The Bombers pushed the ball down to the 13-yard line by the end of the first quarter.

As the second stanza got underway, Garcia caught a 4-pass and ran for five more to set up a 4-yard touchdown jaunt from Germinerio to extend Ithaca's lead to 10-3. Ithaca's second scoring drive covered 75 yards on 11 plays and chewed up 4:49 of the game clock.

Alfred took over in great field position, at its own 43, after an attempted pooch kick sailed out of bounds, but the Saxons were unable to capitalize and had to punt after six plays.
The Bombers would take over at their own 15-yard line, but three plays later, turned the ball over on an interception.

Alfred trotted its offense back onto the field in plus territory and chipped away with short-yardage plays down to the IC 17. Facing third-and-9 at the 18, the Saxons were flagged for holding. On the ensuing snap, junior Khiry Brown made a leaping interception in the end zone to give the ball back to the Bombers.

The half would end on punts by both teams and an Alfred sack on the final play of the opening 30 minutes.

Ithaca received the kick to begin the second half and picked up four first down on the way to a 4-yard touchdown run by senior Isaiah D'Haiti just 4:08 in the third quarter to make the score 17-3. On the 10-play drive, Ithaca never produced a play longer than 14 yards, but the Bombers were able to methodically matriculate the ball down the field.

Alfred was flagged for a 15-yard penalty on the score and Ithaca kicked off from midfield. The Bombers regained possession on another pooch kick from Bahamonde, which was corralled by sophomore David Nieto at the Alfred 32-yard line. Five plays later, Bahamonde drilled a 43-yard field goal to increase IC's advantage to 20-3.

Bahamonde once again put together a solid special teams performance with two field goals, four touchbacks and two extra points.

After another touchback, Alfred moved the chains on its first snap, but then went three-and-out after a sack from senior John Hadac, who finished the game with 10 total tackles, 3.0 for loss, two sacks and three quarterback hits.

Ithaca was unable to sustain a drive and punted the ball back after three plays. The Saxons took over inside their own 20-yard line with 6:11 left in the third quarter and was faced with another third-and-long, but after an incompletion, Ithaca was called for a15-yard penalty to continue to drive. Alfred then broke off a 14-yard run and 28-yard completion to set up at the Ithaca 22. Once again, Ithaca's defense was up to the task as it forced Alfred to turn the ball over on downs once again at the 24.

Another three-and-out from the IC offense gave Alfred the ball at its own 24 with 1:29 to go and the quarter would come to a close near midfield.

On the first snap of the fourth quarter, senior Nick Garone intercepted a pass over the middle and returned it 24 yards to Alfred's 30.

It would then take IC six plays to find the end zone on a 4-yard reception from Garcia on third-and-2 to cap off the 27 unanswered points with 13:46 remaining in the game.

Alfred responded with a 13-play, 75-yard drive to pull back to within a 27-9 difference, but the two-point conversion was intercepted by sophomore Chris Alexander.

Ithaca then put together its best drive of the game, although there were no points to show for it. The Bombers started their drive at the 30-yard line with 9:20 to go and used up all the clock on a 13-play, 56-yard drive to end the contest in victory formation at the Alfred 14.

Ithaca outgained Alfred, 370-337, in the game and held a slim 21-to-20 advantage in first downs. IC ran for 121 yards and threw for 249 and was 9-for-15 on third down.

Germinerio went 27-for-40 through the air for 249 yards and a touchdown, to go along with his rushing score. D'Haiti carried the ball nine times for 52 yards, while Anderson rushed for 41 yards on six touches. Garcia had 20 yards on the ground and 38 yards receiving on eight touches.

Gladney led all receivers with 90 yards on eight receptions, while Vito had nine catches for 84 yards.

Defensively, Garone matched Hadac with a team-high 10 tackles, while Anderson notched nine tackles and three pass breakups. Senior Rob Daly also recorded nine tackles, while sophomore Michael Roumes and senior Noah Hill each posted seven tackles. Sophomore Cade McDermott and Warren Watson II both registered six stops in the win.

Ithaca remains at home next Saturday, September 28, for a non-conference 1 p.m. kickoff against St. John Fisher, which is 3-0 on the season.

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