The Ithaca College football team lost to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 27–14 Oct. 14.
The Bombers’ defense shut out the Engineers’ offense in the first half, and led by seven after their only score, which was in the first quarter. On the opening kickoff, Ithaca received and began their drive at the 25-yard line, where freshman quarterback Wahid Nabi led a six–play 75-yard touchdown drive.
Nabi was 4/6 passing on the drive, and on 3rd and 10 he connected with freshman wide receiver Andrew Vito for 26 yards and the touchdown. Vito finished with a game–high seven receptions for 126 yards. Nabi was 23 for 42 passing, threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns, and was intercepted four times.
RPI’s offense managed just 155 total yards of offense in the first half, and one field goal attempt in the first quarter. Senior kicker Christian Kapp however, missed the attempt from 28 yards.
In rushing throughout the first two quarters. The theme over the course of the game was primarily passing for the Ithaca offense, as they attempted 42 passing plays, and only ran 19 times, nine of which actually came from senior running back Tristan Brown.
Thanks to a blocked Bombers’ field goal attempt by RPI’s senior linebacker Oliver Kaija with 6:16 remaining, the game remained scoreless in the third quarter and set up the fourth quarter with the Blue and Gold still up by seven points. RPI tied the game on a lengthy 13–play, 88-yard drive which ended in freshman quarterback George Marinopoulos throwing an eight-yard pass to junior wide receiver Keaton Ackermann in the end-zone.
The Bombers found themselves in a tough position after a fumbled snap on the seven yard line. Rensselaer would return the punt 10 yards to the Ithaca 24–yard line, and four plays later, junior running back Maliek Kelly would rush six yards for the touchdown, and take its first lead of the day.
On the punt, the South Hill squad looked to tie the game with just under four minutes to go, but an untimely interception by Nabi on the second play of the drive gave the ball back to the Engineers on the Ithaca eight–yard line. The following snap resulted in senior running back Mike Tivinis rushing in for the touchdown, and extended their lead to 14 points with 3:39 to go in the game.
The Bombers would march down for a score, cutting the lead to seven in 11 plays over the course of three minutes and three seconds. The Bombers’ onside kick attempt failed, but RPI would go three and out, giving the Blue and Gold one last shot with 12 seconds left on the clock.
After one pass attempt for 10 yards, Nabi made a short pass forward and the laterals began. The ball ended up being fumbled at the one yard line into the end-zone and was recovered by RPI for a score.
The Bombers next game will be against St. John Fisher College at 1 p.m. Oct. 21 at Butterfield Stadium.