ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Bombers (1-0) scored 30 points
in the final 30:28 to break open a close game and beat the visiting
St. Lawrence Saints (0-1) in both team's season opener. The
win marked the 30th time in the past 34 years that Ithaca has
opened the season with a win.
Junior cornerback Mike Conti (Daniel Hand/Branford, Conn.) sparked Ithaca's scoring burst, returning an interception 66 yards for a Bomber touchdown 32 seconds before halftime. In the second period, Ithaca rushed for 209 yards, with three running backs – senior Dan Ruggiero (Pen Argyl/Pen Argyl, Pa.), sophomore Clay Ardoin (Dolgeville/Dolgeville) and freshman Jared Prugar (York/York, Maine) – scoring touchdowns. Conti's interception came on an overthrown pass after the Saints had driven 66 yards to the Ithaca 38-yard line.
Ithaca's win spoiled the head coaching debut of St. Lawernce's Mark Raymond, who spent six years as the Bombers' defensive coordinator. The Bombers are now 29-6 all-time against the Saints with 22 straight wins (including 11 straight at Butterfield Stadium, where St. Lawrence has scored one touchdown since 1995).
The Bombers scored on four of their first five second-half possessions before kneeling down to run out the clock on their final drive.
Junior Andrew Rogowski (Canisius/East Amherst) opened the third-quarter scoring with a 21-yard field goal. The Ithaca defense forced a three-and-out (one of eight times the Bomber defense allowed the Saints to run four or fewer plays on a possession) and Prugar capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive with a one-yard run for his first collegiate score.
The Saints forced Ithaca's only second-half punt on the Bombers' next drive but turned the ball over on their first play. Sophomore linebacker Will Carter (Westlake/Thornwood), one of 11 first-time Ithaca starters, intercepted a pass near midfield and returned it to the Saint 32. He lost the ball on a fumble, but St. Lawrence's recovery was ruled out of bounds. Two plays later, Ruggiero ran through a huge hole on his way to a 31-yard touchdown.
After a failed fourth-down conversion (St. Lawrence had three in the second half), the Bombers drove 37 yards in four plays for their final score. Ardoin, who led Ithaca with a career-high 71 rushing yards, scored on a 30-yard run.
Rogowski and St. Lawrence junior Matthew Dodge (New Hampton School/Meredith, N.H.) both kicked first-half field goals. Rogowski's 22-yard kick on Ithaca's second drive opened the scoring and Dodge tied the score with a 47-yard effort late in the second quarter.
Ithaca's defense held the Saints to 156 yards of total offense and collected four turnovers. Junior linebacker Joe Gilfedder (Governor Livingston/Berkeley Heights, N.J.) and senior defensive tackle Andrew Haim (Douglas MacArthur/Levittown) recovered fumbles; Gilfedder's recovery – on a fumble forced by sophomore strong safety Allen Fessette (Beekmantown/Plattsburgh), another first-time starter – set up Rogowski's first field goal. He led Ithaca with nine tackles, including two for loss. Senior free safety Andy Lonsky (Delaware Valley/Milford, Pa.) made a apair of tackles among his seven totals tops. Carter and junior linebacker Eric Toporoff (Montvale Township/Towaco, N.J.) made six tackles apiece. Toporoff broke up two passes and added a pair of sacks, forcing fumbles on both plays (St. Lawrence recovered both).
St. Lawrence's defense was paced by junior safety Trevor Saunders (Dobbs Ferry/Mount Vernon), junior linebacker Phil Hamilton (Winthrop/Winthrop, Mass.) and senior end Chris Palmer (Portsmouth/Portsmouth, R.I.), who each recorded eight tackles. Junior tackle Doug Geraghty (Newfield/Selden) picked up a pair of tackles for loss.
Sophomore wide receiver Joseph Ingrao (St. Anthony's/Nesconet), one of eight first-time starters for Ithaca's offense, led all receivers with six catches for 108 yards. Senior Rob Zappia (Greece Athena/Rochester), another first-time starter, threw for 177 yards. He became the seventh straight Bomber quarterback to win his starting debut; since 1978 28 quarterbacks have started a game for Ithaca and 24 of them won their first start.
Junior quarterback Andy Spadoni (Webster Schroeder/Webster) threw for 75 yards and junior tailback Ramon Mignott (Bridgeport Central/Bridgeport, Conn.) ran for a team-leading 39 yards for St. Lawrence.
The Bombers remain home next weekend to host the Union Dutchmen Saturday. The Saints host Norwich.
- 30 -
Box Score (Final)
St. Lawrence vs. Ithaca (09/04/10 at Ithaca, N.Y.)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
St. Lawrence........ 3 0 0 0 - 3 Record: (0-1)
Ithaca.............. 3 7 3 20 - 33 Record: (1-0)
1st 10:19 IC - Andrew ROGOWSKI 22 yd field goal, 7-35 2:35, SLU 0 - IC 3
01:41 SLU - Matthew Dodge 47 yd field goal, 5-21 1:59, SLU 3 - IC 3
2nd 00:32 IC - Mike CONTI 66 yd interception return (Andrew ROGOWSKI kick), , SLU 3 - IC 10
3rd 05:28 IC - Andrew ROGOWSKI 21 yd field goal, 12-56 5:45, SLU 3 - IC 13
4th 13:16 IC - Jared PRUGAR 1 yd run (Andrew ROGOWSKI kick), 10-69 5:00, SLU 3 - IC 20
07:38 IC - Dan RUGGIERO 31 yd run (Andrew ROGOWSKI kick failed), 3-35 0:52, SLU 3 - IC 26
04:11 IC - Clay ARDOIN 30 yd run (Andrew ROGOWSKI kick), 4-37 2:17, SLU 3 - IC 33
FIRST DOWNS................... 9 10
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 41-61 36-98
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 95 177
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 23-8-2 23-11-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 64-156 59-275
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 0-0 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 7-138 2-43
Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 2-91
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 5-28.8 6-28.8
Fumbles-Lost.................. 4-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 6-30 2-20
Possession Time............... 29:17 30:43
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 17 6 of 17
Fourth-Down Conversions....... 2 of 5 1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-1 3-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 1-8 5-31
RUSHING: St. Lawrence-Ramon Mignott 13-39; M. Washington 12-34; Ethan Sutton 1-8; Jeremy Ramos 4-8; TEAM 2-1; Alonzo Holcombe 2-1; JP Kearney 4-minus 5; Andy Spadoni 3-minus 25.
Ithaca-Clay ARDOIN 16-71; Dan RUGGIERO 9-41; Jared PRUGAR 4-3; TEAM 3-minus 4; Rob ZAPPIA 4-minus 13.
PASSING: St. Lawrence-Andy Spadoni 6-14-2-75; JP Kearney 2-9-0-20.
Ithaca-Rob ZAPPIA 11-23-0-177.
RECEIVING: St. Lawrence-Tim Robinson 3-68; Ethan Sutton 2-20; D. Haseotes 1-5; Mike Tateosian 1-3;
M. Washington 1-minus 1.
Ithaca-Joseph INGRAO 6-108; Michael MOON 2-33; Jordan SMITH 2-20; Clay ARDOIN 1-16.
INTERCEPTIONS: St. Lawrence-None. Ithaca-Mike CONTI 1-66; Will CARTER 1-25.
FUMBLES: St. Lawrence-Andy Spadoni 3-1; TEAM 1-1. Ithaca-Will CARTER 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): St. Lawrence-Trevor Saunders 6-2; Phil Hamilton 3-5; Chris Palmer 2-6; Ben Cryts 1-5; Doug Geraghty 1-5; Ryan Fedo 1-4; Justin Vega 1-3; Oraene Morgan 1-3; B. McCarthy 1-2; Jesse Clark 1-1; Joe Napolitano 1-1; Louis Jenkins 1-1; Robert McCourt 1-0; Sean Gretz 1-0; Will Chapman 0-1; Jarell Roberts 0-1.
Ithaca-Joe GILFEDDER 4-5; Andy LONSKY 2-5; Will CARTER 4-2; Eric TOPOROFF 3-3; Ryan CLARKE 2-3; Sean GIL 1-4; M. ABDELNOUR 0-5; Allen FESSETTE 4-0; S. SCHLENKER 1-3; Matt COSTELLO 1-2; Andrew HAIM 1-2; Matt DIBBLE 0-3; Chris COLLIER 0-3; Mike VULCANO 1-1; Pat SCOTT 1-1; Mike CONTI 0-2; Jake SANTORA 0-2; Tom ESCHEN 1-0; James BOYD 0-1; Dan CIMINO 0-1; Mike KELLER 0-1.