ITHACA, N.Y. – The nationally ranked No. 9/10 Ithaca College football team will host a NCAA Division III Second Round game on Saturday, November 26 at 12 p.m. against Springfield College at Butterfield Stadium. Ithaca sports a perfect 11-0 record, while Springfield brings a 9-2 mark to South Hill this weekend.
WATCH (YOUTUBE) | LISTEN (WICB) | LIVE STATS
GAME NOTES (ITHACA) | GAME NOTES (SPRINGFIELD)
$10 – Adults
$5 – Seniors, Students and Children
FREE – IC Faculty, Staff and Students
ALL-TIME SERIES/SATURDAY’S GAME: Ithaca and Springfield will meet for the 39th all-time contest in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship. IC owns the all-time series, 29-9.
Springfield won the last meeting back in 2011 by a 38-33 score. In that contest, the Pride ran for 435 yards, which is the last time an IC teams has allowed 300 or more yards rushing.
BEEN A LONG TIME, MY FRIEND: The rivalry between Ithaca and Springfield dates back to 1973 and the two teams played each other every year, except 1987, up until 2011. IC and Springfield were both members of the Empire 8 for eight matchups. The Bombers dominated the series early on, winning 18 of the first 20 matchups. From 1994 to 2000, the Pride won four of the next seven games. The Bombers won eight of the past 11 contests.
The Bombers are 17-3 all-time against Springfield at Butterfield Stadium.
NCAA FIRST ROUND RECAP: It was a wild first round in the NCAA Tournament as four hosts schools lost their opening round games, while three other top 20 teams fell.
The Bombers posted one of the most impressive wins of the opening round with a 63-20 victory over UMass Dartmouth. IC forced four turnovers in the first quarter and led, 21-0, within seven minutes of the opening kickoff. The Bomber would score six rushing touchdowns in the game and finished the afternoon with six takeaways.
Jake Williams scored three touchdowns on the day, while Max Perry also accounted for three touchdowns.
Springfield pulled off one of the upsets last Saturday, as the Pride downed No. 22 Endicott, 17-14, to extend their winning streak to eight straight games. The Pride controlled possession for more than 35 minutes and ran for 321 yards.
Arsen Shftefan paced the Pride offense with 156 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries.
STATISTICAL UPDATE: The Bombers and Pride are top 20 nationally in the following categories.
IC: 1st – Fourth Down Conversion (.810), 2nd – Kick Returns (25.7), 3rd – Sacks Allowed (.36), 7th – Interceptions Thrown (4), 8th – Passing Efficiency Defense (87.9), 9th – Turnover Margin (1.45), 9th – Takeaways (27), 9th – Completion Percentage (.701), 10th – Scoring Defense (10.8), 11th – Defensive Touchdowns (4), 13th – Third Down Conversion (.497), 18th – Scoring Offense (40.5), 18th – Tackles for Loss Allowed (4.0), 19th – Fumbles Recovered (11), 19th – Red Zone Offense (.870), 20th – Passes Intercepted (16).
SPRINGFIELD: 1st – Yards Per Completion (22.9), 1st – Time of Possession (35:05), 1st – Tackles for Loss Allowed (2.55), 2nd – Turnovers Lost (7), 2nd – Rushing Offense (354.0), 3rd – Sacks Allowed (.36), 4th – Passing Efficiency (184.13), 3rd – Interceptions Thrown (3), 10th– First Downs (267), 11th – Third Down Conversion (.500), 20th – Fewest Penalties Per Game (4.27)
SCOUTING SPRINGFIELD: The Pride are 9-2 on the season and have won eight straight, which includes a perfect 4-0 record on the road. Springfield reached the NCAA Tournament by winning the NEWMAC with a perfect 6-0 record.
As stated above, the Pride possess the ball more than any team in Division III with an average of 35:05 time of possession each game. That’s mainly because the Pride boasts the nation’s second-best rushing attack with 354 yards per game out of their triple option offensive scheme.
Shtefan leads the way with 818 yards on 134 carries and eight touchdowns. Joseph Cannizzaro has amassed 609 yards on 129 carries and 10 touchdowns. Springfield will be without its second leader rusher in David Wells, who had 650 yards this season in 10 games, but five other players have run for more than 160 yards this season.
Of the 50 touchdowns scored by the Pride this season, 42 have come on the ground.
Defensively, Springfield allows just 15.9 points and 283.5 yards per game. DJ Brown is the top tackles with 57 on the season, while Tyler Pohlman has 50 tackles.
The Pride have intercepted 12 passes and broken up 33 more on the year, led by three interceptions from Joe Maurer and five breakups by Bryan Feliciano.
WHAT’S NEXT?: The winner of this game will move onto the national quarterfinals to take on the winner of No. 1 North Central and No. 19 Carnegie Mellon next Saturday, December 3.