Strong Fourth Quarter Propels Ithaca Past Fisher, 35-10

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ITHACA, N.Y. – The Ithaca College football team posted a convincing 35-10 non-conference victory over St. John Fisher College at Butterfield Stadium on Hall of Fame Weekend to improve to 4-3 on the season. Ithaca scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Cardinals, who are now 1-6 on the season.

Freshman Wahid Nabi completed 87.5-percent of his passes on the day (21-of-24) for 216 yards and two touchdowns. The 87.5% completion is the second-best in single-game school history, only trailing 88.9% from Brian Young in 1999. Sophomore Isaiah D'Haiti rushed for 73 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns, while senior Jared Bauer caught three passes for 46 yards and a pair of scores to account for Ithaca's offense on the day.

Fisher received the opening kickoff and burned nearly nine minutes of clock en route to a 1-yard touchdown run from Nick Fischetti with 8:54 remaining in the first quarter. Fisher's drive lasted 17 plays and covered 77 yards.

In the drive, the Cardinals converted a 3rd-and-17 on a 28-yard pass from Joshua Michels to Dylan Harrington. Later on, Fisher moved the chains twice more on two fourth down conversions, including the touchdown plunge.

On the ensuing kickoff, senior Jordan Schemm spotted the Bombers with excellent field position with a 35-yard return up to the 40-yard line.

The Bombers quickly faced a fourth-and-short at their own 48-yard line, but Nabi slid forward for a 2-yard gain to continue the drive. Ithaca faced a third down try on the next set of down and then Nabi found senior Jack Yule for a 9-yard completion. IC continued to move down the field on short yardage play until the Bombers reached the Fisher 5-yard line to end the first quarter.

After flipping sides of the field, D'Haiti scored his first touchdown of the day from four yards out to tie the game at 7-7 on the first play from scrimmage.

Fisher and Ithaca would then trade punts until the 10:43 mark when the Cardinals regained possession at their own 34. Facing 3rd-and-12, Michels connected with Dylan Harrington for a 25-yard gain to move Fisher into Ithaca territory. The drive continued on a 15-yard completion to Will Blake on another third down to the IC 22, but that's where the drive stalled and the Cardinals drilled a 37-yard field goal to retake the lead at 10-7 with 5:58 to play.

After another Bombers punt, Fisher took over near midfield with just under four minutes to play in the half. The Cardinals moved down to the Ithaca 25, but sophomore John Hadac came through with a forced fumble on a hard hit and junior Brian Gill jumped on the loose ball to give Ithaca the ball back with 1:22 remaining.

Nabi would complete three passes on the final drive of the half – two to sophomore Will Gladney for 17 yards and one to freshman Andrew Vito for nine yards – before time ran out.

In the third quarter, Ithaca regained the lead for good at 14-10 on a 1-yard plunge from D'Haiti with 8:49 to go. The short drive, which only covered seven yards, was set up by a 48-yard punt return by senior Jordan Schemm.

For the remainder of the third quarter, neither team could establish a sustained drive and a combined three punts ensued.

On Fisher's final punt of the third stanza, Schemm once again set the Bombers up in great position with a 24-yard return up to the Fisher 48. The Bombers moved down to the 26 after an 11-yard catch from Yule and three straight runs from senior Tristan Brown to end the quarter.

On 2nd-and-6 from the Fisher 21, Nabi fired a pass Bauer, who made a leaping attempt at the pylon to give Ithaca a 21-10 advantage with 14:22 to play in the game.

Less than four minutes later, D'Haiti crossed the goal line once again from three yards out to build the difference up to 28-10. On the drive, D'Haiti burst through the line for 16 yards, and on the following snap, Nabi found Gladney down the middle of the field for a 29-yard gain down to the 3-yard line.

Fisher attempted a late comeback and appeared to score on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Michels to Harrington, but offsetting penalties voided the play and the Cardinals eventually turned the ball over on downs.

The Bombers answered with a 9-play, 59-yard drive that burned off nearly six minutes of clock for the final touchdown of the game. The score came on a 6-yard catch by Bauer with 2:38 remaining. On the previous play, Bauer staked Ithaca with a 1st-and-goal with a 19-yard catch-and-run down to the six.

The Bombers totaled 336 yards of offense in the game – 120 rushing and 216 passing, compared to 248 for Fisher.

Brown rushed for 43 yards on 16 carries, while Gladney hauled in seven grabs for 70 yards. Yule finished the game with 43 receiving yards, and Vito notched 39 yards on five catches.

Defensively, seniors Kenny Bradley and Dan Loizos led the way with 11 and 10 tackles. Gill also tallied nine stops with 1.5 sacks, while junior Pat Minogue notched eight tackles. Hadac and junior Aaron Francis each finished with six tackles.

The Bombers hit the road once again next Saturday, October 28 for a non-conference battle at Utica College for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
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Mount Union at Mary Hardin-Baylor
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Dec. 14: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Mount Union at Mary Hardin-Baylor
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Audio Preview Video Tickets