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Ithaca Claims 61st Cortaca Jug, 32-20, In Front of 45,161 Fans

More news about: Ithaca

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For the third year in a row, the Cortaca Jug will remain on South Hill, as the Ithaca College football team topped Cortland, 32-20, on Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. in front of a NCAA Division III record crowd of 45,161 fans. Ithaca and Cortland are now both 8-2 on the season.

The 2019 Cortaca Jug Game surpassed the previous DIII record of 37,355 set in Tommie-Johnnie matchup in 2017 at Target Field.

The Bombers controlled the game from start to finish, as IC held onto the ball for 44:26 and ran 78 plays. Ithaca rushed for a season-best 195 yards on 51 carries and threw for 251 yards on 21-of-27 attempts.

Senior Joe Germinerio accounted for all five Ithaca touchdowns as he ran for three and passed for two more. Germinerio rushed 34 times for 159 yards and threw touchdown passes to senior Will Gladney (23 yards) and junior Andrew Vito (46 yards).

Vito finished the afternoon with 124 yards on 12 receptions, while Gladney had four catches for 59 yards.

Defensively, junior Khiry Brown led the team with nine total tackles, a forced fumble and recovery, which was returned 24 yards and broke up two passes. The forced and recovered fumble came in the second quarter after a long completion by Cortland and Brown ripped the ball away at the Ithaca 30-yard line. The Bombers would go on to score after the turnover to make the score 19-6 heading into halftime.

Senior Nick Garone notched six tackles with a blocked kick and pass breakup, while sophomore Miles Haynes had five tackles. Sophomore Anthony Robinson added four tackles and sealed the victory for IC with an interception with 1:29 left in the game. Senior John Hadac recovered a fumble in the first half, to go along with two tackles.

Ithaca outgained Cortland, 446-to-307, in the contest and held a 25-to-17 edge in first downs.

The Bombers received the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards on 13 plays for the first score of the game, which was a 1-yard run by Germinerio. IC ate up 6:35 on the drive. The possession began with a 7-yard run by Germinerio, followed by a 10-yard catch from Vito. Germinerio then ripped off a 15-yard rush to spot Ithaca inside Cortland territory.

Two plays later, IC faced third-and-6 at the Cortland 42, but the drive continued as Germinerio found Gladney for a 14-yard reception. A 9-yard catch from Gladney, followed by runs of six and five yards by senior Kendall Anderson placed the Bombers inside the 10-yard line. It was all Germinerio from there as he ran three more times until he found the end zone.

Cortland had its first crack on offense starting at its own 18 after the kickoff. The Red Dragons would move up towards midfield five plays later after a pass interference call on IC and short runs from Zach Tripodi and Angelo Foster. Now with first down at the Cortland 48, quarterback Brett Segala fumbled the shotgun snap and Hadac recovered the loose ball to spot the Bomber offense at the Cortland 40-yard line.

On the first play, Cortland was flagged for pass interference and IC was setup at the 25-yard line. The Bombers would come away empty-handed as two offensive penalties push IC back to the 49-yard line. Germinerio would get 18 yards back on a pair of rushes, but a 48-yard field goal attempt went wide right.

Ithaca closed out the first quarter with a 101-to-11 advantage in yards.

In the second quarter, Cortland got on the board with 10:18 remaining on a 6-yard run by Tripodi, who scored three touchdowns on the day. The ensuing PAT was blocked by Garone to make the score 7-6. That drive would turn out to be Cortland's longest of the game in terms of time of possession at 3:51.

The Bombers answered with a 15-play, 76-yard drive that chewed up 8:19 of the quarter. Another 1-yard plunge by Germinerio put Ithaca ahead, 13-6, after a missed extra point. On this drive, IC's longest play from scrimmage was 14-yard catch by Vito. IC picked up five first down on the possession and converted on all three third down tries.

Perhaps one of the two most crucial plays of the game occurred on Cortland's next possession. The Red Dragons began the drive at their 32, and after gains on five and eight yards, Cortland moved up to the 45. On the next snap, Segala found Cole Burgess for a 25-yard completion down to the Ithaca 30-yard line, but Brown ripped the ball away and ran 24 yards the other direction to give IC another possessions with 1:15 left in the half.

The Bombers used that momentum and found the end zone once again with just nine seconds left in the half, this time on a 10-yard Germinerio scramble run. On first down, Germinerio picked up 13 yards and then found Vito for an 8-yard completion. A personal foul on Cortland moved the ball up to the 12, and two plays later, Germinerio scored his third touchdown of the half and sent the Ithaca student section into a frenzy.

IC went into halftime with a 19-6 lead after a blocked extra point. The Bombers possessed the ball for 21:33 of the first half and racked up 215 yards.

In the third quarter, Cortland received the kick but quickly went three-and-out after pass breakups by Brown and Haynes.

Ithaca took over at its own 46-yard line after a 10-yard punt return by sophomore Michael Anderson.

After consecutive no gain plays, the Bombers faced third-and-10, but M. Anderson moved the sticks on an 11-yard catch. IC then moved up near the red zone on a 5-yard run by sophomore Donte Garcia, a 6-yard jaunt from Germinerio and an 8-yard grab from Vito. An incompletion and run of 1-yard forced the Bombers into a fourth-and-one at the Cortland 23. On the next snap, Germinerio found Gladney for a 23-yard touchdown catch on a fade route with 9:49 remaining to extend IC's lead to 26-6.

IC and Cortland would trade punts over the next four drives, which included a booming 52-yarder from sophomore Brian Fallon to push the ball down to the Cortland 12 with 2:02 left in the third quarter.

On the very next play, Segala connected with Jason Carlock for an 80-yard completion down to the Ithaca 8-yard line and Cortland crossed the goal line two plays later on another Tripodi score to cut Ithaca's lead in half, 26-13, with 1:30 to play.

The Bombers would back themselves up once again after the kickoff as an offensive pass interference and holding call pushed IC back to its own 6-yard line and put the down and distance at first-and-30. A pair of runs wound out the clock in the third quarter, but the Bombers were still up against a monumental task of third-and-24 to begin the fourth quarter.

This is where the other major play of the game occurred. Germinerio found sophomore Jacob Cooney for a 35-yard reception to get Ithaca out of the shadow of its own end zone and continue the drive. IC then advanced into a goal-to-go situation and had to settle for a field goal attempt. Although the kick was missed, Ithaca chewed up half the quarter and gave the ball back to Cortland with just over eight minutes left in the game.

Cortland would answer after the missed field goal and found the end zone just 1:32 later to pull the Red Dragons to within a score at 26-20 with 6:53 to go. On the 7-play, 80-yard drive, Ithaca was flagged for three separate 15-yard penalties, which allowed the Red Dragons to move down to the Ithaca 27-yard line. Segala then hit Burgess for a 24-yard gain and Tripodi capped off the drive with a 3-yard run.

Now in a fight with 6:49 left in the game after the kickoff, Ithaca needed another sustained drive, which is exactly what the Bombers did. Garcia began the drive with a 2-yard run and then Germinerio notched five straight carries for 27 yards. After two more runs by Garcia and Germinerio, Cortland burned two timeouts with 3:14 to go and Ithaca faced a third-and-six at the Red Dragon 46-yard line.

Out of the timeout, Ithaca pulled out a play for the ages with a pair of fake handoffs to stretch the Cortland defense and Germinerio threw a perfect pass to a wide open Vito for a 46-yard touchdown with 3:06 left to give the Bombers a 32-20 lead after an unsuccessful two-point conversion.

Cortland had to move quickly to have any chance to get back into the game. The Red Dragons were able to move into IC territory in nine plays, but on the 10th snap, a Segala pass was intercepted by Robinson at the 25-yard line with 1:29 remaining to end the game.

The Bombers wound down the clock with three victory formation kneel downs.

Ithaca is now 42-33-3 all-time against Cortland and 37-24 in Jug Games.  

READ MORE ABOUT THIS YEAR'S CORTACA JUG GAME

Ithaca College News – Cortaca Rocks MetLife

Forbes  – Division III Attendance Record Will Be Set When Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland Battle for the Cortaca Jug

New York Times – Ithaca-SUNY Cortland Rivalry Leads to Division III Attendance Record

D3football.com – Cortaca Jug Ready for the Big Stage

D3football.com (recap) – Ithaca Wins on Big Stage

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