/seasons/2019/contrib/2019110318uifl

Turnovers costly for No. 8 Ithaca in loss to No. 25 Union

More news about: Ithaca

ITHACA, N.Y. – The nationally ranked No. 8 Ithaca College football team saw its unbeaten season come to an end on Saturday as the Bombers fell to No. 25 Union College, 31-21, at Butterfield Stadium. Ithaca is now 7-1 on the season, while Union improves to 8-0 and claims the Liberty League championship, which comes with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Although Ithaca racked up 497 yards of offense, the Bombers turned the ball over three times with a pair of interceptions and a fumble. Ithaca also gave the ball back to Union three more times on turnover on downs.

Union dominated time of possession, as the Dutchmen held the ball for 36:44, including nearly 12 minutes in the third quarter. A major reason for the disparity in possession was due to the fact that the Dutchmen ran the ball 50 times for 223 yards, and 181 of those yards on the ground came from Ike Irabor, who scored three touchdowns in the game.

For Ithaca, senior Joe Germinerio threw for 397 yards on 38-of-60 passing with two touchdowns. Germinerio also notched a rushing touchdown and ran for 40 yards.

Junior Andrew Vito was on the receiving end of 12 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Vito's score came on a 73-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter and his second took place with 3:16 remaining in the game, which cut Ithaca's deficit to 24-21.

Senior Will Gladney caught 11 passes for 79 yards, while senior Isaiah D'Haiti had 44 yards receiving on six catches. Sophomore Jacob Cooney recorded four grabs for 40 yards, while senior Kendall Anderson ran for 38 yards on four carries.

Union won the toss and deferred to the second half. Ithaca started the initial possession from its own 28 and went 3-and-out.

The Dutchmen took a 7-0 lead after the IC punt as they matched 74 yards on 13 plays and used up 6:41 of clock. Will Bellamy capped off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ross Jr. as Union converted three third downs on the drive.

Ithaca immediately answered with the 73-yard touchdown by Vito just 1:24 later to knot the score at 7-7.

After a kick out of bounds, Union quickly moved into IC territory on a pair of runs by Irabor. Ithaca forced a fumble later in the drive, but the ball rolled out of bounds and Union maintained possession at the IC 33-yard line. Union then moved into the red zone, but the drive stalled and the Dutchmen settled for a 38-yard field goal from Will Halpin to make the score 10-7.

The Bombers would threaten to tie or take the lead early on in the second quarter as they reached the 34-yard line, but elected to go for it on fourth down and threw an incomplete pass.

Ithaca would partially block a punt on Union's next drive but turned the ball back over on an interception.

After another Union punt, the Bombers took a 14-10 lead with 2:34 left in the half on a sneak by Germinerio. Ithaca used up 6:28 of the clock on an impressive 16-play, 93-yard drive.

Union did not trail for long as Irabor scored on a 3-yard run with just under a minute left in the half to put the Dutchmen back up, 17-14. On the possession, Bellamy hit Ross for a 43-yard completion and then IC was flagged for a 15-yard penalty. Now at the 19-yard line, Ithaca picked up another penalty to give Union a goal-to-go situation and scored a few plays later.

The Dutchmen were held at bay for the entire second quarter, with less than 10 yards of offense, until that final drive.

Neither team would score in the third quarter which set up an explosive final period. Union did, however, have a chance for points in the third but missed a 25-yard field goal after a 10-minute drive.

In the fourth quarter, Union built a 10-point lead on an 11-yard run by Irabor with 12:18 to play.

IC gave the ball back on a turnover on downs after a botched snap on fourth-and-one, but got the ball back on a forced fumble by senior John Hadac and recovery from sophomore Michael Roumes.

The Bombers once again gave the ball back on an interception, but the defense held tough, and gave the IC offense the ball back with 4:40 to play.

Another Germinerio-to-Vito connected brought the Bombers back to within a field goal at 24-21 with 3:16 to play. Vito also had a 32-yard reception earlier in the drive and Germinerio recorded 26 yards on the ground.

Ithaca had to recover the ensuing onside kick but was unable to do so. Union put the game away with 2:23 left on a 46-yard run by Irabor.

Defensively, senior Nick Garone logged 16 total tackles, while sophomore Miles Haynes has 11 stops. Sophomore Ed Longest recorded nine tackles and classmate Cade McDermott notched eight tackles. Hadac finished the afternoon with seven tackles, one for a loss and the forced fumble.

Ithaca travels to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute next Saturday, November 9 for a 12 p.m. kickoff in Troy, N.Y.
 

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