No. 9/10 Football Opens NCAA Play vs.  UMass Dartmouth on Saturday

No. 9/10 Football Opens NCAA Play vs. UMass Dartmouth on Saturday

Rich Barnes


ITHACA, NY – The nationally ranked No. 9/10 Ithaca College football team will host its first NCAA Tournament game since 2013 this Saturday, November 19 at 12 pm against UMass Dartmouth at Butterfield Stadium in the first round of the Division III Championship. Ithaca brings a perfect 10-0 record into Saturday’s matchup against the 9-1 UMass Dartmouth Corsairs.





$10 – Adults
$5 – Seniors, students and children
FREE – Ithaca students, faculty and staff

ALL-TIME SERIES/TODAY’S MATCHUP: Ithaca and UMass Dartmouth will meet for the second all-time meeting this Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship. Ithaca won the only meeting between the two schools back in 2004 in the ECAC Northwest Championship by a 36-19 outcome.

HOW WE GOT HERE: Ithaca and UMass Dartmouth are both conference champions in 2022. The Bombers, who are 10-0 on the season, won their first outright Liberty League title on November 5 and secured their first undefeated regular season since 1986. Ithaca is making its 20th trip to the NCAA Championship, but first since 2014.

The Corsairs, 9-1 champions of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, are making their second appearance in the NCAA tournament. UMass Dartmouth secured its automatic bid with a 46-21 win over Plymouth State last Saturday.

THE 2022 NCAA DIVISION III FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: The football national tournament is a 32-team field broken down into 27 automatic bids and five at-large berths. Schools will play on campus sites until the national championship game, also known as the Stagg Bowl, on Dec. 16 in Annapolis. Md. At Navy Marine Corps Stadium.

WHAT A SATURDAY IN THE BRONX: Last Saturday, Ithaca went head-to-head with then No. 9/11 SUNY Cortland in the 63rd Cortaca Jug Game at Yankee Stadium and came away with a 34-17 victory in front of 40,232 fans. The attendance mark is the second highest in Division III history, trailing only the 2019 Cortaca Jug at MetLife Stadium, which drew 45,161 fans.

IC never trailed in the contest and put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 40-yard touchdown catch by Julien Deumagawhich was featured as the No. 8 play on SportsCenter’s top plays, and a 43-yard run by Jake Williams to turn a 20-17 score into a 34-17 final.

ALL-LIBERTY LEAGUE: The Liberty League released its yearly awards on November 15 and 16 members of the football program, along with the coaching staff were honored. IC placed 10 players on the first team, including the Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Year – AJ Wingfield, Matt DeSimpliciis and Nicholas Bahamonde. Michael Toerper and his staff were selected as Coaching Staff of the Year.

STATISTICAL LEADERS: Heading into Saturday’s showdown, Ithaca and UMass Dartmouth are top 10 nationally in the following statistics categories.

Ithaca: 1st – Kickoff Returns (28.0), 2n/a – Fourth Down Conversion (.789), 3rd – Sack Allowed (.40), 3rd – Thrown interceptions (3), 5th – Passing Efficiency Defense (83.39), 9th – Scoring Defense (9.9), 9th – Completion Percentage (.696), 9th – Defensive Touchdowns (4), 10th – Turnovers Lost (8).

UMass Dartmouth: 2n/a – Total Offense (545.8), 3rd –Third Down Defense (.233), 4th – First Down Offense (266). The Corsairs are also 11th in passing offense (303.9) and 12th in rushing offense (241.9).

SCOUTING UMASS DARTMOUTH: The Corsairs put up a ton of yards and points this season. UMass Dartmouth averages 42.3 points and 545.8 yards per game, while the defense holds opponents to 246.7 yards and 18.8 points.

The offense runs through Dante Aviles-Santos, who has thrown for 2,940 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. Angel Sanchez has been on the receiving end of nine touchdowns and has totaled 1104 yards on 51 receptions.

The Corsairs have a lethal running attack as well with three legitimate backs. Jalyn Aponte has 591 yards and five touchdowns this season, while Richarno Hylton has rushed for 539 yards and eight scores. Luis Gonzales has found the end zone 14 times with 447 yards on the ground.

Defensively, Sam Alicea and Josh Lacerte have combined for 23 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. Javien Delgado leads the Corsairs with 52 total tackles, while JP Mason is close behind with 49.

WHAT’S NEXT?: The winner of this game will advance to the second round to take on the victor of Endicott and Springfield on November 26.

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