1988 playoffs

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Stagg Bowl XVI
Ithaca 39, Central 24
Dec. 10, 1988, in Phenix City, Ala.

Stagg Bowl Most Outstanding Player Paul Parker rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns, leading Ithaca to a 39-24 win over Central.

Central came into the game yielding an average of fewer than 100 rushing yards per game, but Ithaca rushed for 408 on the afternoon. The passing attack was effective as well, as quarterbacks Todd Wilkowski and Tom Pasquale combined to complete 11 of 15 passes for 116 yards. The team completion mark of .733 established an Ithaca playoff record.

Touchdown runs of 23 and 26 yards by Parker, a 5-yard scoring run by Wilkowski, and Matt Sullivan’s 42-yard field goal helped Ithaca build a 25-8 advantage. The Dutchmen closed the gap to 10 points on a third-quarter touchdown, but on the following kickoff Mike Scott scored on an 84-yard return. Parker’s third touchdown put the game out of reach in the fourth.

''To think these kids can win a championship is really amazing,'' coach Jim Butterfield said after the game. ''I didn't have any idea at the first of the season, though I knew they would be good. They accomplished many things because of leadership and togetherness.''

Cornerback Tom Knapp tied a Stagg Bowl and school playoff record with three interceptions, and linebacker Matt Herbst led the team in tackles with 11.

Playoff results
First Round

Cortland State 32, Hofstra 27
Ithaca 34, Wagner 31 (OT)
Ferrum 34, Rhodes 10
Moravian 17, Widener 7
Wittenberg 35, Dayton 28 (OT)
Augustana 25, Adrian 7
Central 7, Concordia-Moorhead 0
UW-Whitewater 29, Simpson 27 

Quarterfinals
Ithaca 24, Cortland State 17
Ferrum 49, Moravian 28
Augustana 28, Wittenberg 14
Central 16, UW-Whitewater 13 

Semifinals
Ithaca 62, Ferrum 28
Central 23, Augustana 17 (2 OT)

Stagg Bowl XVI
Ithaca 39, Central 24, at Phenix City, Ala.

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