ITHACA, NY – It was a memorable day on South Hill, as the nationally ranked No. 9/10 The Ithaca College football team ran away with a 63-20 NCAA First Round win over UMass-Dartmouth at Butterfield Stadium. The NCAA victory is the first for the Bombers program since 2013, as IC improves to 11-0 on the season and moves on to play Springfield College next Saturday in Ithaca.
Ithaca utilized six UMass Dartmouth turnovers and rushed for 365 yards (no yardage lost) on 51 attempts. The Bombers also threw for 175 yards on 14-of-18 for 540 yards of total offense. IC rushed for six touchdowns in the win and threw for three more.
The Bombers quickly blew the game open as they produced three takeaways, which led to three touchdowns, in less than seven minutes of play. UMass-Dartmouth received the opening kick but gave the ball to IC on its second snap as Jordan Sosa notched a strip sack and recovery at the UMD 24-yard line.
With 12:42 on the clock, Jake Williams caught an 11-yard pass from AJ Wingfield to give IC a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Donte Garcia forced a fumble and Tamir Rowser recovered at the UMD 29-yard line. Three minutes later, Williams pounded in his second score of the day with another 1-yard run at the 9:50 mark to make it a 14-0 game.
It took just two more plays for the Corsairs to turn the ball over again Matt DeSimpliciis knocked the ball away on a running play and Michael Roumes fell on the loose ball at the 27.
The Bombers needed one play to move down to the goal line Michael Anderson took a reverse 25 yards down to the 2. A heavy dose of Williams put the Bombers ahead 21-0 with 8:35 to go on a 1-yard run for his third score of the contest.
UMass Dartmouth managed to put together a response but turned the ball over on downs at the IC 5-yard line with 4:15 remaining in the quarter. The Bombers moved up to midfield after a 16-yard run from Williams and three runs for 21 yards from Jalen Leonard-Osbournebut Wingfield was then intercepted at the UMD 43-yard line.
The Bombers got the ball right back as the Corsairs gave the ball away for the fourth time in the quarter on another fumble. This time it was caused by Ben Stola and recovered by Jason Green at midfield to close out the opening 15 minutes.
Ithaca took its 21-0 lead into the second quarter and added three more touchdowns to blow the contest open with a 42-0 advantage at halftime.
In the second quarter, the Bombers scored their first touchdown on a fourth down pass from Roumes to Jonathan Koumas with 12:00 to go.
A turnover on downs with 8:52 to play by the Corsairs gave the ball back to IC, and a 35-yard run by Leonard-Osbourne extended IC’s lead to 35-0 with 4:53 left in the half.
After a short UMass Dartmouth punt spotted IC at the UMD 44-yard line, Anderson took an end-around for 13 yards and a 22-yard jaunt by Williams put the Bombers inside the 10-yard line. Back-to-back Conner Hayes runs resulted in the final touchdown of the half with 1:55 to go, giving IC a 42-0 lead.
There was only one touchdown scored in the third quarter, a 16-yard pass from Dante Aviles-Santos to Luis Gonzalez. The scoring drive was aided by a pass interference by IC to make it a 42-6 difference with 2:57 remaining. The point after was missed as the Corsairs were pushed back 15 yards following the score.
The fourth quarter was packed with action as five touchdowns were scored. IC notched the opening score on the first play from scrimmage as Max Perry scooted for a 33-yard run to put the Bombers back ahead by 42 points at 49-6.
A three-and-out for UMD gave the Bombers the ball right back, but IC turned it over on a fumble. The Corsairs then threw an interception Cade McDermott, but it was fumbled back to UMD to resume the drive. On the next snap, Ryan Salisbury recorded a pick-six, but it was called back due to an IC penalty.
The drive would continue, and IC forced a turnover on downs with a sack, but another penalty prolonged the drive and UMD scored on a 9-yard pass to make it a 49-13 game with 5:08 left in regulation.
IC got that touchdown right back as Perry hit Anthony D’Addetta for a 60-yard touchdown pass at the 4:59 mark to flip the scoreboard to 56-13. Not even a minute later, UMD connected on a 62-yard strike to get within a 56-20 difference, but another touchdown run by Perry, this time for 21-yard closed out the game with 2:01 on the clock to account for the 63-20 final.
Perry led IC with 95 yards passing on 5-of-6 attempts, to go along with 83 yards rushing on nine attempts. Leonard-Osbourne led the rushing attack with 89 yards on nine carries, while Williams had 80 yards on 14 attempts. Wingfield threw for 59 yards on 8-of-11.
On defense, Koumas led the charge with nine total tackles. Sam Tourangeau notched eight stops, while Derek Slywka and Luke Burns each recorded five tackles. Tommy Moran broke up three passes in the game.
Nicholas Bahamonde made all nine points after attempts and booted three touchbacks.
Ithaca and Springfield, former Empire 8 foes, will square off next Saturday for the 39th all-time meeting for a trip to the national quarterfinals. Springfield prevailed in an upset of No. 22 Endicott in the first round, 17-13.