ITHACA, N.Y. – The nationally ranked No. 25 Ithaca College football team travels to St. John Fisher College this Saturday, September 22, for a 2 p.m. kickoff at Growney Stadium in Pittsford, N.Y. The Bombers, fresh off being ranked for the first time in three season, will bring a 2-1 record to Fisher tomorrow, while the Cardinals are 0-1 on the year and have been off for the last two weeks.
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ALL-TIME SERIES: Saturday's game against the Cardinals will mark the 21st meeting between Ithaca and St. John Fisher. The former Empire 8 Conference rivals have split the all-time series, 10-10, which includes two shutout wins in for the Bombers in 1999 (44-0) and 2001 (52-0). The first-ever meeting between IC and Fisher took place in 1998 – a 48-10 win for the Bombers.
IC won the first six meetings in the rivalry, but in 2006, Fisher ran off seven consecutive wins up until 2012. Since then, IC has won three of the last five showdowns.
There have been two overtime contests in the series. IC defeated Fisher, 41-35, in 2005, while the Cardinals took a 13-10 decision in 2011.
Ithaca defeated the Cardinals 52-0 in 2001, the largest margin of victory in the history of the series. Fisher's largest margin of victory came by way of a 34-0 shutout in 2015.
LAST TIME OUT: After trailing, 13-0, at halftime, the Bombers exploded in the second half, scoring three touchdowns and shutting out the Alfred Saxons to claim a 21-13 victory on the road. The win pushed Ithaca's record to 2-1 on the year.
Junior running back Isaiah D'Haiti rushed 23 times for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Wahid Nabi completed 20-of-28 passes for 182 yards and added touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Andrew Vito, who finished the game with 74 receiving yards. The sophomores have connected 19 times for 203 yards and a touchdown.
DEFENSE, DEFENSE AND MORE DEFENSE: Through three games this season, the Bomber defensive unit ranks among the nation's best in numerous categories. Ithaca is fifth nationally in fumbles recovered (six) and defensive touchdowns (two). IC is also 28th in total defense as the group allows just 246.7 yards a game. The 13.3 points per contest is good for 39th nationally, while the 151.0 yards allowed through the air is 41st.
NATIONAL NOTORIETY: Ithaca enters Week 4 of the 2018 season ranked No. 25 by D3football.com. The Top 25 honor is the first for the Bombers since 2015, when Ithaca entered Week 4 ranked No. 19. Both the 2015 and 2018 seasons featured Week 3 wins over Alfred.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: After another solid defensive performance, senior linebacker and tri-captain Pat Minogue finds himself in the top five in three different Liberty League categories. Minogue ranks third in the league in both total tackles (33) and tackles for a loss (5.0), and is tied for first in fumble recoveries (two) alongside side Ithaca senior defensive back Tyler Kishbaugh.
A two-way player as Ithaca's punter, Minogue was named the nation's top punter by D3football.com on Monday evening as he found a spot on the Team of the Week. Against Alfred, Minogue averaged 51.0 yards per punt, including a school record-tying boot of 65 yards. He also boomed a 56-yarder and placed three punts inside Alfred's 20-yard line.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: St. John Fisher dropped their first game of the year, falling to No. 15 Washington and Jefferson College, 37-12. Despite the loss, Fisher was able to rack up 355 yards of total offense, and had a 50-percent conversion rate on fourth down (2-of-4).
Junior quarterback Joshua Michels went 15-of-28 for 223 yards and a touchdown, but threw three interceptions, one of which was returned 71 yards for a score.
The opening day game marked the first of three straight ranked games the Cardinals will have to start the season, as they travel to No. 4 Brockport after hosting the No. 25 Bombers this Saturday a 2 p.m.
UP NEXT: The Bombers take on No. 20 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the team's first Liberty League action of the 2018 season. The Engineers got the better of Ithaca last year, defeating the Bombers, 27-14, in Troy, N.Y. The game will mark the fifth meeting between the conference rivals, having split the series so far, 2-2.