/seasons/2017/contrib/20170916kmg554

Nabi, Gladney Have Career Days as Ithaca Tops St. Lawrence, 24-13

More news about: Ithaca

CANTON, N.Y. – The Ithaca College football program defeated St. Lawrence University, 24-13, on Saturday at Leckonby Stadium in the Liberty League opener for both teams. The victory is the first of the season for the Bombers, as well as the first victory for head coach Dan Swanstrom on South Hill.

Freshman Wahid Nabi and sophomore Will Gladney put together career afternoons for Ithaca. Nabi threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-27, while Gladney was on the receiving end of two of those scores and 180 yards with seven receptions.

Nabi is the first Ithaca quarterback to throw for more than 350 since Josh Felicetti did so in 2005 with 373 yards.

Ithaca wasted no time getting on the board as Nabi hit Gladney for a 68-yard touchdown pass on a 3rd and 6 just 44 seconds into the game to give IC an early 7-0 lead.

St. Lawrence answered on the ensuing possession that lasted nearly 10 minutes and was capped off by a 7-yard pass from Sean Richardson to John Maye. The point after try was blocked by senior Mike Miller to keep Ithaca ahead, 7-6.

The Bombers once again moved the ball right down the field through the air on a 13-yard reception by Gladney and then freshman Andrew Vito hauled in a 35-yard strike from Nabi to give Ithaca a 14-6 edge with 3:24 remaining. Senior Tristan Brown got the drive started with a 15-yard run on first down, while fellow senior Jordan Schemm set up the possession with a 30-yard kickoff return.

Nabi threw for 120 yards on 4-of-5 attempts in the opening stanza.

St. Lawrence was forced to punt early on in the second quarter and Ithaca took over at its own 23 with 14:47 on the clock. On the first play from scrimmage, Nabi and Gladney hooked up once again for a 41-yard connection to bring the ball down to the St. Lawrence 21-yard line. Unfortunately, Ithaca's drive stalled out at the 18 on a turnover on downs.

After three consecutive punts, Ithaca took over at its own 25-yard line with 6:26 to go in the half. On 1st-and-15, Nabi completed a 23-yard pass to Vito to advance the ball up to the 43. Brown followed up with an 8-yard run, but then Nabi was interception to shut down the drive at midfield.

St. Lawrence was unable to convert on the sudden change and punted after three plays. With 3:38 to go in the half, IC quickly moved up field with a six and five-yard runs by Brown and then a 15-yard scamper from Nabi. The Saints called a timeout with 27 seconds left and the Bombers came out with a 29-yard completion to Gladney. Now at the 20-yard line of the Saints, senior JR Zazzara drew a defensive pass interference call to spot IC at the five. On the next snap, Nabi was picked off in the end zone for a touchback to end the half.

Ithaca outgained St. Lawrence, 285-110, in the half. Nabi accounted for 227 of those yards through the air, while Gladney snagged five balls for 150 yards.

The second half awarded St. Lawrence with the opening possession and the Saints drove down to Ithaca 37 before turning the ball over on downs. Ithaca was unable to covert a first down and punted near midfield with just over 10 minutes left in the quarter.

The Saints ate up more than four minutes of game clock and reached Ithaca territory (43-yard line), but had to punt the ball back to IC with 5:56 remaining.

Ithaca was faced with a 3rd-and-20 and its own 16-yard line after a sack, but Nabi regrouped and completed an 80-yard pass to Zazzara to flip the field down to the SLU 4-yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on the Bombers to move the ball back to the 19 and IC was forced to kick a 34-yard field goal off the foot of junior David Prudhomme to increase its lead to 17-6.

After the kickoff, junior Aaron Francis gave Ithaca the ball right back with an interception on the first play from scrimmage for St. Lawrence. Ithaca ran out the third quarter clock with a pair of six-yard runs from Nabi and sophomore Kendall Anderson.

On first down, Vito gained six yards on a reception and then Brown moved the chains with a nine-yard jaunt. Two plays later, Nabi and Gladney hooked up for another touchdown on a 27-yard catch to give the Bombers a 24-6 advantage with just under 14 minutes left in the game.

St. Lawrence crept back to within a 24-13 difference with a touchdown with 8:28 left in the contest. The scoring play came on a 15-yard pass from Richardson to Travis Marnell.

Over the final eight-plus minutes of play, the new conference foes traded possessions seven times. Senior Kenny Bradley put the game away for Ithaca with an interception with 1:28 left in the game to bring the Bombers' offense back onto the field to run out the clock in victory formation.

Ithaca racked up 449 yards on the afternoon (357 passing, 92 rushing), while St. Lawrence amassed 291 yards (208 passing, 83 rushing). The Bombers averaged 7.88 yards per play and converted 6-of-13 chances on third down. Turnovers and penalty yards were even between the two schools.

Zazzara hauled in four passes for 99 yards, while Vito totaled 63 yards on four grabs. Brown carried the ball 18 times for 58 yards and Nabi added 27 rushing yards.

Defensively, Bradley led the way with 10 tackles (six assisted), while Gill notched nine stops and three for a loss that totaled 19 yards. Senior Dan Loizos tallied seven tackles, and seniors Mike Miller, Brad Helmkamp and junior Pat Minogue each notched five tackles.

Minogue also 36.0 yards per punt in four attempts with a long of 43 yards. Prudhomme booted five kickoffs for an average of 52.8 yards.

Ithaca is off next week, but will return to action on September 30 as the Bombers play host to Hobart College at 1 p.m. at Butterfield Stadium.

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