The Ithaca College football team dropped its second game of the season by a score of 23–3 to the 25th ranked Hobart College Statesmen on Sept. 17th. This game puts the Bombers at 1–1 on the season, while Hobart remains undefeated at 3–0.
The Bombers could only manage 177 yards of total offense. They held the Statesmen to 324 yards despite Hobart averaging 496 yards per game through their first two contests of the season. The Statesmen totaled a single-game high of six sacks.
Head coach Mike Welch said that the Bombers offense did not perform to their full potential.
“I was disappointed in the execution, particularly on offense,” Welch said. “But our players never quit, we were right in the game until the fourth quarter.”
In the Bombers’ opening drive, freshman wide receiver Will Gladney, who did not play in the first game against Union College, caught a 36-yard slingshot from senior quarterback Wolfgang Shafer. Despite a first-and-goal on the Hobart seven, the Bombers capped the drive with freshman DJ Ellis drilling a 24-yard field goal.
Shafer finished the day completing 14 of 36 pass attempts for 122 yards and an interception.
Hobart responded in a major way with junior quarterback Shane Sweeney finding junior receiver Brandon Shed for a 42-yard completion. Six plays later, Shed hauled in a 15-yard touchdown to put the Statesmen up 7–3.
After stifling the Bombers’ next drive, Hobart continued the streak of explosive offense, going 90 yards in four minutes. They finished this drive with another Sweeney to Shed touchdown, this time from 16 yards out. The extra point attempt bounced off the crossbar and the Statesmen led 13–3.
The Statesmen’s offense turned their first three drives into points, finishing their third drive with a 36-yard field goal from senior Sean Kirshe. This field goal gave the Statesmen a 16–3 lead and was the last score of the first half.
Thirty minutes of scoreless football later, the Statesmen broke the game open. Sweeney hit Hobart junior tight end Zach Withers for a 33-yard gain. This allowed Hobart junior running back Joe Letizia to punch it in from eight yards out, giving Hobart a 23–3 lead with 11 minutes to play in the game.
The 7:00 p.m. start marked the first time since 2002, and second time since 1994, that the Bombers have played an evening game. They are now 6–4 all time in games starting at 7:00.
The Hobart football program has turned heads recently, losing only six games in the last four years. The Bomber football team, however, has managed to pester the Statesmen, and are 3–4 2–2 against them since 2003.
Two years ago, Hobart knocked the Bombers out of the playoffs. Last year, the Bombers bested the Statesmen; however, Statesmen quarterback Sweeney did not play in the 24–6 Ithaca victory due to injury.
Sweeney said that, despite playing in different leagues, high competition exists between the two programs.
“[Ithaca] is right downstate from us,” Sweeney said. “It’s always a good game when we play each other. I’d say it’s a great rivalry.”
The Bombers’ next game is at 1 p.m. Sept. 24 at Alfred University in Alfred, New York.