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No. 11/12 Ithaca Routs St. Lawrence, 59-20, in Liberty League Opener

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CANTON, N.Y. – The nationally ranked No. 11/12 Ithaca College football team improved to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Liberty League with an impressive 59-20 victory, which included 52 unanswered points, at St. Lawrence University on Saturday at Leckonby Stadium. Ithaca racked up 545 yards of offense (351 passing, 194 rushing) and the defense recorded four interceptions, including a 70-yard pick-six from sophomore Michael Roumes.

Senior Joe Germinerio continued his hot start to the season as he threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns on 19-of-27 passing and ran for another score with 47 yards rushing. Senior Will Gladney hauled in three touchdown passes for the third time this season and finished the game with 135 yards on eight catches to become the first-ever player at Ithaca to reach 200 career receptions.

St. Lawrence quarterback Tyler Grochot entered Saturday's contest averaging 329 yards passing. The Bombers locked down Grochot for 213 yards through the air and intercepted him four times in the first half.

Prior to the 70-yard touchdown return by Roumes, senior Nick Garone and sophomores David Nieto and Kevin Schoch notched interceptions.

St. Lawrence got on the board first as the Saints drove 80 yards on seven plays on the opening possession of the contest. A 45-yard reception set up the 14-yard touchdown catch by Joseph Viscardo with 12:13 on the clock. The ensuing point after was blocked by Garone to account for the 6-0 score.

From there, it was all Bombers as IC rattled off 45 points in the first half, including 35 points in the second quarter to take a 45-6 lead into intermission.

After the SLU touchdown, the Bombers needed just six plays to travel 58 yards to find the end zone and take a 7-6 lead. Sophomore AJ Clifford set up the short field with a 32-yard kick return.

The Bombers moved down to the St. Lawrence 32-yard line on five plays and then Germinerio connected with Gladney for a leaping grab in the end zone with 10:15 to play.

IC got the ball back on a turnover on downs, but immediately gave possession back to St. Lawrence on a fumble. Three plays later, Garone secured his third interception of the season and the Bombers put up three points on a 29-yard field goal from Nicholas Bahamonde with 3:50 left to extend their lead to 10-6.

It took just 3:06 into the second quarter for Ithaca to score again as Germinerio plowed in from 1-yard out to make the difference 17-6. On the drive, the Bombers used a 19-yard catch from junior Andrew Vito, a 14-yard Germinerio run and a 13-yard rush by senior Kendall Anderson to set up the eventual score. The Bomber drive covered 87 yards on 15 plays.

St. Lawrence turned the ball over once again on the ensuing drive and Nieto earned his first career interception at the Saints' 41-yard line.

IC capitalized four plays later on a 10-yard touchdown run by senior Isaiah D'Haiti to push Ithaca's lead to 24-6 with 9:47 left. The touchdown was the 20th in D'Haiti's career, which moves him into the top 10 all-time, and he ended the day with 46 yards on eight carries.

Three plays after the kickoff, Schoch pulled down the third interception for IC's defense with 9:02 on the clock.

Sophomore Michael Anderson started off the next drive with receptions of 12 and 21 yards and then D'Haiti followed with a 10-yard run. Geminerio then went to Gladney on back-to-back passes and the second one was good for a 10-yard touchdown as Gladney hurdled a St. Lawrence defender near the goal line and jogged into the end zone to give IC a 31-6 advantage.

St. Lawrence drove into IC territory on its next possession but had to punt the ball back to the Bombers at their own 17-yard line with under five minutes left in the half.

The Bombers once again put together a superb drive as they marched 83 yards on 12 plays, which was capped off by a 13-yard touchdown reception by junior Austin Hedglen. The chunk plays of the drive came on a 35-yard reception from M. Anderson and a 19-yard grab by junior Andrew Vito.

Now with the score 38-6, the Saints looked to build some momentum heading into the locker room as they drove 43 yards in four plays. The Bombers called timeout with 26 seconds on the clock, and on the next snap, Roumes took the fourth interception all the way to the house for a 70-yard touchdown to put Ithaca up, 45-6, at the half.

IC received the opening kickoff in the second half and Clifford once again gave the Bombers terrific field position at the 50 with a 30-yard return. Clifford finished the game with 88 return yards and 47 yards rushing.

On the first play from scrimmage, Germinerio connected with Gladney for 26 yards, and three plays later, the duo linked up again for a 12-yard score less than two minutes into the third quarter, which gave IC a 52-6 lead.

St. Lawrence got back on the board with just over five minutes to play in the third quarter on a 10-yard pick six, but Ithaca responded with a 2-yard touchdown run by sophomore Chase Hebron in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

A 10-yard run by St. Lawrence's Jamie Battaglia accounted for the final touchdown of the game with 8:33 to play.

The Bombers racked up 29 first downs in the game, including 20 in the first half. IC also went 10-for-14 on third down and scored on all seven trips into the red zone.

Bahamonde averaged 60.9 yards on 10 kickoffs with five touchbacks and made all eight PATs.

Defensively, Schoch, junior Khiry Brown and freshman Drew Brenner all had five tackles. Sophomore Anthony Robinson notched four tackles with a forced fumble and two pass breakups, while junior Thomas Diver also had four stops.

Sophomore Chris Alexander registered a sack for nine yards, while Garone and senior John Hadac combined on another sack.

The Bombers are back home next Saturday, October 12 for a 1 p.m. Liberty League showdown against Buffalo State College. IC and Buffalo State were former rivals in the Empire 8 Conference for a few seasons.

Sep. 25: All times Eastern
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