ECAC CHAMPS! Ithaca Scores 20 Fourth Quarter Points to Down Salisbury, 27-17

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NEWARK, Del. – The Ithaca College football team capped off its 2017 season with a come-from-behind 27-17 victory over Salisbury University in the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl at Delaware Stadium on Saturday evening. Ithaca used a 20-point fourth quarter to secure its fifth-straight victory and finish the year with an 8-3 record.

At the conclusion of the contest, senior Jared Bauer was named the Scotty Whitelaw Bowl Most Valuable Player after making five catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Bauer's touchdown grab came with 4:03 remaining in the fourth quarter to pull the Bombers to within a 17-14 score, and then fellow senior Tristan Brown punched in two touchdowns in a 37-second span to complete the comeback.

On the game-winning drive, Bauer hauled in back-to-back 21- and 34-yard receptions to set up the go ahead score by Brown.

Brown wrapped up his stellar career with 122 yards on 16 carries and the pair of scores. He gave Ithaca a 20-17 lead with a 5-yard scamper with 1:08 to play, and then put the exclamation point on the victory with a 57-yard jaunt with 31 seconds left. Brown finishes his career with 2,565 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns.

Ithaca opened up with the game's first touchdown on a 1-yard run by sophomore Isaiah D'Haiti after the Bombers took over at the 2-yard line off a Salisbury fumble to make the score 7-0 with 6:38 remaining in the first quarter.

On the previous possession, the Sea Gulls started at their own 12. Three plays later, an errant pitch on a triple option run to the right was scooped up by junior Pat Minogue at the 2-yard line to stake Ithaca with a golden opportunity to put points on the board.

Nearly five minutes after Ithaca's score, Salisbury found the end zone with a 37-yard rush by Dandre Dennis to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:21 to play in the period.

After punts from both sides started things off in the second quarter, Ithaca took over in Salisbury territory with 9:30 left in the half. On 3rd-and-16, freshman Wahid Nabi found Bauer for an 18-yard completion to move the sticks, and on the ensuing snap, they hooked up again for a 20-yard connection down to the Salisbury 9-yard line. The Bombers' drive came to a halt as a Nabi pass towards the end zone was tipped and intercepted by the Sea Gulls at the 4-yard line.

The Bombers would take over after another Salisbury punt, but were unable to move the ball after a sack and back-to-back incompletions. Ithaca had to punt the ball away, but the boot only traveled seven yards, which gave Salisbury the ball at the IC 40-yard line.

The Gulls capitalized on the short field and drilled a 42-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.

Out of intermission, Ithaca was pinned deep in its own territory after a muffed kick off. The Bombers picked up two first downs before the drive stalled and they were forced to punt.

Another short punt gave Salisbury possession on Ithaca's side of the field. The Sea Gulls would be faced with a 3rd-and-6, and converted on a 7-yard completion, but 15 yards would be tacked on with a roughing the passer call. Now at the 20, Salisbury broke off 11- and 9-yard runs to increase its lead to 17-7 with 9:12 on the clock in the third quarter.

A bizarre string of calls spotted the ensuing kick-off for Salisbury at the Ithaca 10, which set up an onside kick option. Ithaca recovered at the 2-yard line to set up a grueling attempt to march 98 yards for a potential score.

The Bombers were up to the task, however, as they marched 15 plays down to the Salisbury 1-yard line. On 4th-and-goal at the 1, Ithaca was called for a false start and had to bring the field goal unit onto the field, but would end up missing the 23-yard attempt to keep the score at 17-7 in favor of the Sea Gulls.

Once again, the former Empire 8 Conference rival traded punts to start off the stanza. With 13:00 remaining in the game, Salisbury took over at its own 26 and put together a drive that moved the ball down to the Ithaca 31. The Gulls quickly moved backwards on a holding call and loss of four on a rush to set up a 3rd-and-19. A carry for seven yards brought up a fourth down play and Salisbury would turn the ball over on downs after a 7:11 drive and 5:49 to play in the game.

Riding the momentum of the stop, Brown took a 2nd-and-10 carry for 20 yards up towards midfield. After two incompletions and a 5-yard catch by freshman Andrew Vito brought up at 4th-and-5 at the Salisbury 42, Ithaca pulled out some tricks. Vito took a reverse and found Nabi wide open down the sidelines for a 15-yard completion down to the 27. The ensuing pass from Nabi landed in the hands of Bauer to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 4:03 left, and from there, the comeback was on.

A quick three-and-out from the Gulls resulted in a three-play, 60-yard touchdown drive by Ithaca, which was capped off by the Brown 5-yard run to give the Bombers a three-point advantage at 20-17.

Now facing their first deficit since 7-0, the Sea Gulls needed to go to the air to either tie or win the game, which is now their forte. On the first snap after the kick-off, junior Tyler Kishbaugh intercepted a pass at midfield to seal the game with 55 seconds left.

Brown ended things on his 57-yard score on the final carry of his career.

Ithaca racked up 394 yards in the game and held Salisbury to 264 yards. The Sea Gulls entered the contest averaging 290 yards on the ground. The Bombers also notched 20 first downs and were 3-of-4 on fourth down conversions.

Nabi completed 17 passes in 39 attempts for 214 yards. Vito had eight catches for 47 yards, while senior Ryan Rossi recorded 37 yards on two grabs, one of which was a one-handed snag down the middle of the field for 30 yards.

Defensively, seniors Kenny Bradley and Jordan Schemm concluded their careers with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. Bradley forced a fumble, while Schemm recovered a fumble and had two tackles for loss.

Senior Brad Helmkamp recorded six tackles and a sack for 14 yards, while classmate Dan Loizos added six stops. Minogue, junior Brien Pacholec and sophomore John Hadac each notched five tackles. Pacholec also recorded a sack for 18 yards, while Hadac had 1.5 tackles for loss.

The 8-3 season for Ithaca marks the most victories since the 2013 team went 9-3. It is the 23rd time that an Ithaca football program has won at least eight games since its inaugural season in 1930.

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Dec. 15: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Mount Union at Mary Hardin-Baylor
@ Salem, Va.
Preview Preview Live stats Audio