Ingrao's 58-yard TD reception leads Ithaca upset vs. No. 8 Salisbury
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Ithaca scored the game-winning touchdown on a 58-yard pass from Phil Neumann to Joseph Ingrao with 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of a 21-14 win against No. 8 Salisbury at Butterfield Stadium Saturday. It was the first Empire 8 loss for the Sea Gulls, who are in their second season as a member of the conference. The Bombers are 5-3 on the season and 3-3 in the Empire 8 while Salisbury fell to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
On a cloudy, damp afternoon, Ithaca limited Salisbury's triple-option running attack throughout the game. Salisbury fumbled the ball four times in the first half, including on the game's opening drive that Ithaca linebacker Zach Matuszak recovered near midfield.
|SALISBURY AT ITHACA|
Ithaca used a big special teams play to help set up the game's opening touchdown in the first quarter. Sam Carney fielded a line drive punt at Ithaca's 38 yard line and had great blocking set up down field for a 60-yard return to set the Bombers up first-and-goal at the 2. After three plays lost three yards, place kicker Garrett Nicholson was run into during a field-goal attempt and the Bombers were awarded an automatic first down.
Bomber quarterback Phil Neumann found fullback Jared Prugar on a three-yard touchdown pass on the next play and Ithaca led 7-0 with 1:07 left in the first quarter.
Ithaca doubled its lead on its second drive of the second half, once again set up by a great punt return from Carney. He brought a punt back 35 yards to set up the Bombers at midfield. An eight-play, 50-yard drive was capped by a 7-yard touchdown run from Clay Ardoin around the left side. That drive included a fourth-and-3 conversion on a pass from Neumann to Ingrao, and completions of 24 yards to Vito Boffoli and 12 yards to Prugar.
Salisbury responded after falling behind 14-0 with a touchdown drive that covered 79 yards in 10 plays and ended with a four-yard run by Joe Benedetti with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Gulls tied the score late in the fourth quarter. Salisbury got the ball back with 4:10 remaining on its own 37. They marched 63 yards in seven plays, sparked by a 28-yard pass over the middle and a 14-yard run by Benedetti to move the ball to the 10. On third-and-goal from the Ithaca 7, Dan Griffin threw a quick slant pass to slot receiver Isaiah Taylor and the extra-point tied the score with 1:41 left.
The Bombers returned the ensuing kickoff to the 19-yard line, and moved the chains with a 12-yard pass from Neumann to Ingrao on third-and-11. After a short pass and timeout, the winning play came on a deep pass over the middle to Ingrao, who outraced Salisbury defenders to the end zone.
Ingrao finished the game with six receptions for 110 yards and the game-winning touchdown. It was the fifth 100-yard receiving game of his career and fourth of the season. Neumann was 20 for 30 for 215 yards with no interceptions and two touchdowns. Ardoin led Ithaca's rushing attack with 64 yards on 26 carries.
The Bomber defensive line and linebackers did a great job of containing and pursuing Salisbury's option attack and it allowed safeties Skylar Griffenberg and Tom Scanlon to make several tackles in run support. Griffenberg, who made his second start of the year, had a career-high 14 stops including 10 solo tackles. Scanlon made nine tackles. Zach Matuszak and Dan Cimino had sacks in the game.