FULL GAME NOTES
ITHACA, N.Y. – This Saturday, October 13, the Ithaca College football team will travel to Union College for another Liberty League contest beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Frank Bailey Field in Schenectady, N.Y. Ithaca is 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in Liberty League play, while Union owns a 4-1 overall mark and is also 0-1 in the Liberty League.
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ITHACA | UNION | LIBERTY LEAGUE
ALL-TIME SERIES: Saturday will mark the 15th all-time meeting between Ithaca and Union since 1985. Ithaca owns an overall record of 11-3 over the Dutchmen, including victories in each of the last eight meetings.
Last season, the Bombers defeated Union, 20-3, at Butterfield Stadium. The Dutchmen's last victory over IC came back in 2009 by a 24-21 outcome. Prior to that, IC and Union met five times between 1985 and 2005, including four times in the NCAA Tournament.
Ithaca won the first-ever meeting, 13-12, in the NCAA Tournament in '85 and prevailed against in 1986 by a 24-17 score in overtime in postseason play. Another NCAA victory was in store for the Bombers in 1991 by a 35-23 margin in NCAAs, and then Union won back-to-back meetings in 1999 (31-7) and 2005 (55-41).
A PAIR OF ONE-POINT LOSSES: Last weekend was tough for Ithaca and Union, as both squads dropped one-point contests in Liberty League action.
The Bombers fell at home to No. 20 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 10-9. IC pulled to within a point on the final play of the game on a 5-yard pass from senior Peter Palczewski to junior Will Gladney, which was originally intended for sophomore Andrew Vito, but as he was going to the ground, the ball flew out of his possession to a diving Gladney. The ensuing extra point was blocked by RPI, but a penalty was called on the Engineers for rushing the field while the ball was still in play. IC had another attempt and went for a two-point conversion, but came up short.
Union also suffered heartbreak last Saturday as the Dutchmen lost to Hobart, 29-28, in Geneva for its first loss of the season.
After a first quarter field goal by Hobart with 3:31 remaining, the Dutchmen took over the lead for good less than two minutes later. Union would build its lead to 28-19 with 9:47 remaining in the third quarter, but the Statesmen chipped away with a field goal later in the quarter and scored the game-winning touchdown with 8:28 to go in regulation.
FIRST TIME SINCE 1997: For the first time in 21 seasons, Ithaca has allowed 20 points or fewer over its opening five games. The 1997 squad surrendered 20 points or fewer in nine of the 10 games played that season. Prior to '97, a Bomber defensive unit accomplished this feat 10 times dating back to 1975 (1992, '89, '88, '87, '85, '84, '81, '79, '78 and '75). Only once since 1975 has a Bomber team gone all season without allowing more than 20 points scored in a game – 1984.
DEFENSIVE MILESTONE: This year's defense has also been historical stingy in another category – total yards allowed. Through five contests, the Bombers have already held their opposition to under 200 yards of offense twice. St. Vincent only amassed 172 yards in the first game of the season, while RPI was held to 162 last week.
In recent memory, this has occurred twice over the last decade – 2010 and 2014.
GLADNEY CLOSING IN: Gladney entered the 2018 season just 46 receptions and 408 yards shy of setting both school career records. After hauling in four catches for 60 yards in the season opener against St. Vincent, Gladney missed the next two games, but has since returned his previous form with 12 catches for 96 yards against St. John Fisher and eight grabs for 101 yards versus RPI last week.
He is now 22 catches and 151 yards away from the career milestones. Gladney currently has 129 receptions and 1,800 yards to his credit. Dan Ruffage '12 owns both career records of 151 catches and 1,951 yards.
NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS: The Bombers are currently ranked within the top 31 nationally in seven different defensive categories.
IC is 12th in fumble recovered (8), 13th in defensive touchdowns (2), 18th in total defense (251.4 yards per game), 23rd in red zone defense (56.3%), 24th in scoring defense (12.8 points per game), 27th in rush defense (77.0 yards per game) and 31st in first down defense (70%).
SCOUTING THE DUTCHMEN: Union is 4-1 on the season and leads the Liberty League in scoring offense and scoring defense. The Dutchmen are averaging 36.0 points on offense and allowing 12.4 points on defense through five games. Union's offense is also tops in average yardage at 418.6 per contest, while the defense is second behind Ithaca at 255.8.
Will Bellamy leads the league in passing yards with 1,446 and is second in touchdowns thrown with 16. Bellamy's favorite target, Andre Ross Jr., paces the Liberty League with 771 yards receiving and nine touchdowns.
Ross Jr. leads all of Division III in yards per game at 154.2 and is third in total receiving yards.
UP NEXT: The Bombers return home for the next two weeks against Rochester and St. Lawrence. IC hosts Rochester on October 20 at 1 p.m. and then St. Lawrence comes to town on the 27th for Senior Day.
GAME NOTES: Ithaca Continues Liberty League Slate at Union Saturday
FULL GAME NOTES