The Ithaca College football team defeated St. John Fisher College 35–10 Oct. 21 at Butterfield Stadium. The Bombers are now 4–3 this season going into their final three games.
After entering halftime down 10–7, the Bombers responded in the second half by shutting out the Cardinals and scoring 28 unanswered points.
St. John Fisher head coach Paul Vosburgh said his team’s second–half struggles came down to a failure of execution.
“Ithaca was fundamentally better in the second half than we were,” Vosburgh said. “They blocked and tackled better, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Vosburgh said the game changed in the second quarter when sophomore running back Ryan Ingerson fumbled in Ithaca territory and the Bombers recovered, preventing the Cardinals from scoring on that drive.
The Bombers’ second half dominance ignited from a punt return by senior cornerback Jordan Schemm who put the Bombers seven yards away from the end zone with a 48-yard return. Schemm said his success in the return game was due to the bounces the kicks took.
“When you get those rugby-style kicks and they take the right bounce, you can be set up really well on the return,” Schemm said. “When we played St. Lawrence, I saw the same kicks, and they took bad bounces, but today the bounces lined me up well with my blockers, and I had good holes to run through.”
Four plays later, sophomore running back Isaiah D’Haiti scored from one yard out for the second of his three touchdowns on the day.
The Bombers did the most damage in the fourth quarter as they found the end zone two plays into the quarter when freshman quarterback Wahid Nabi connected with senior wide receiver Jared Bauer for a 21–yard touchdown.
Nabi finished the game with 21 completions on 24 pass attempts for 216 yards and two touchdowns while D’Haiti finished with 17 rushing attempts for 73 yards and three touchdowns.
Nabi said the offense’s second half surge was a product of better play.
“We were making too many mistakes in the first half,” Nabi said. “Once we cut those down in the second half, we were able to get it done.”
Between D’Haiti and senior running back Tristan Brown, the Bombers ran the ball 40 times for 120 yards compared to only nine rushes from Brown and eight from D’Haiti in the Bombers’ last game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Head coach Dan Swanstrom said his team’s increased rushing attack was a product of the opposing defense.
“We try to be equally good at passing and rushing the ball and today they gave us some looks where they were taking away certain passing options,” Swanstrom said.
The Bombers will return to action at 1 p.m. Oct. 28 when they travel to Utica, New York, to take on Utica College.