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GAME NOTES: Ithaca Looks to Get Back on Track at Alfred Saturday

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FULL GAME NOTES

ITHACA, N.Y. – This Saturday at 1 p.m., the Ithaca College football program will square off with a familiar foe in Alfred University at Yunevich Stadium in Alfred, N.Y. Ithaca is 1-1 on the season after a 13-7 loss to No. 5 Brockport, while Alfred is 1-0, as the Saxons dropped Thiel, 44-16, two weeks ago.

GAME COVERAGE:

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ALL-TIME SERIES: Saturday will mark the 59th meeting between Ithaca and Alfred, a matchup that dates back to 1933. Ithaca leads the all-time series, 38-18-2, but has dropped the last two games against Saxons. The 38 wins against the Saxons are the second-most Ithaca has against one opponent in the program's history.
 
Ithaca won the first-ever contest, 12-7, in 1933. The Bombers also hold the largest margin of victory in the series, having knocked off the Saxons, 52-7, in 1997.
 
LAST TIME OUT: The Bombers fell to No. 5 Brockport, 13-7, last weekend to take their record to 1-1 on the season. Senior captain Pat Minogue forced the third fumble for the Bombers' defense through just two games. Minogue would land on the Liberty League Honor Roll for his performance, as he also booted a 50-yard punt in the contest.
 
Senior linebacker Ryan Bronson added a career-high 14 total tackles in the loss, one more tackle than the Port Crane, N.Y. native had all of last season.
 
Senior quarterback Peter Palczewski stepped in for Wahid Nabi in the third quarter, completing 6-of-12 passes for 77 yards and a 34-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Andrew Vito.
 
DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE: Ithaca continued its supremacy on the defensive side of the ball, holding Brockport to 13 points just one week after the Golden Eagles exploded for 56 points against the Hobart Statesman. The Bombers forced their seventh turnover in two games, and surrendered just the third touchdown of the season, the best in the Liberty League.
 
The Bombers also find themselves atop the Liberty League in total defense after Week Two, having given up just 240.5 yards per game so far this season.
 
Minogue and Bronson both rank in the top-five for tackles in the Liberty League this season, with 24 and 22 total tackles, respectively.
 
BREAKING OUT: Vito added to his season totals against Brockport, snagging eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown from Palczewski. The wide out now has 13 catches on the year to go along with 182 yards and a touchdown. The receiver's yardage is good for third in the Liberty League. Vito has emerged as a reliable No. 1 receiver while junior wide receiver Will Gladney is out.
 
SCOUTING THE SAXONS: Fresh off the success at last year's DIII ECAC Football Fest victory over Stevenson, 29-16, in the James Lynah Bowl, Alfred looks poised for yet another winning season. The Saxons have reached at least eight wins in each of the last three seasons, including a 12-1 record during the 2016 season which ended with a 70-45 loss to the Mount Union Raiders in the DIII Championship Quarterfinals in Alfred.
 
Alfred defeated Thiel College during the opening weekend of the season, 44-16, and racked up 476 yards of total offense. Sophomore running back Nasir Smith had 20 carries for 144 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore defensive back Ryan Elliot added four tackles, a forced fumble and an interception to go along with five pass break-ups.
 
NATIONAL ATTENTION: Although they have played just one game this season, the Saxons are one of the top teams in the "receiving votes" category in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. Alfred has earned 29 points in the most recent poll, which is fourth on the list.
 
UP NEXT: The Bombers take on St. John Fisher in a non-conference game next Saturday, September 22. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at St. John Fisher and will be 21st meeting between the former Empire 8 Conference foes.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
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