Story and photo courtesy of Ithaca Athletics
ITHACA, N.Y. - The Ithaca football team concluded its conference season with a 28-7 win over Hartwick at Butterfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Bombers (6-3, 4-3 Empire 8) intercepted six Hartwick (3-6, 0-6 Empire 8) passes, which tied a school single-game record. Cornerback Brian Garvey (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) had three of the interceptions, which tied the individual record for interceptions in a game. Garvey returned one of the interceptions four yards for Ithaca's final touchdown of the game.
Quarterbacks Phil Neumann (Burnt Hills/Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa) and Tom Dempsey (Andover, Mass./Andover) each threw a touchdown pass and Clay Ardoin (Dolgeville/Dolgeville) had a rushing touchdown for the Bombers. Neumann led two Ithaca touchdown drives in the first quarter and was replaced for the final three quarters by Dempsey, who saw his first significant varsity action at quarterback.
Neumann hit Joseph Ingrao (Nesconset/St. Anthony's) on a 9-yard touchdown pass to give the Bombers a 7-0 lead, and Ardoin's 1-yard touchdown run on the next drive put Ithaca ahead 14-0. Neumann was 6-for-9 for 41 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception.
Early in the second quarter, Hartwick converted a fourth-and-6 on a fake punt and later in the drive scored on a 39-yard touchdown reception.
Ithaca added two touchdowns in the second half. The first was a 39-yard touchdown pass from Dempsey to Jared Prugar (York, Maine/York) who was wide open down the right sideline. It was the first touchdown pass of Dempsey's career. Garvey's interception touchdown with 6:48 left in the game was the final scoring play. Dempsey was 5-for-9 passing for 107 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Ithaca defense held Hartwick to one third-down conversion in 13 attempts and forced seven turnovers in the game. Seven Hartwick drives started at or inside of the Hawks' 20 yard line.
In addition to Garvey's interceptions Chris Williams (Johnson City/Binghamton), Josh Duggan (Highland/Highland) and Skylar Griffenberg (Hartsdale/Ardsley) had interceptions. Logan Murphy (Commack/Commack) forced a fumble on a sack, and that was recovered by Joe Ricotta (Perry/Letchworth). Ithaca totaled eight tackles for loss, three of which were recorded by Jake Santora (Westport, Conn./Staples). He was Ithaca's leading tackler with 10 total tackles.
Ardoin carried 17 times for 38 yards and Jarrett Naiden (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) had 16 carries for 31 yards.
The Bombers visit Cortland for the annual Cortaca Jug game on Saturday, Nov. 10. The game starts at noon from Cortland's Stadium Complex and will be shown on Time Warner Cable Sports.