TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In what was labeled the “Game of the Week” in the Liberty League, Saturday’s matchup between the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team and the Ithaca Bombers certainly lived up to the billing. With both sides finishing regulation in a 17-all tie, a game-winning field goal from the Bombers gave Ithaca a 20-17 victory, handing the Engineers their first loss since Oct. 29 last season at Ithaca.
After both sides caused turnovers via an interception on their first drives, the Engineers got the ball with 3:23 to play in the first quarter. Quarterback Jake Kazanowsky marched RPI the full 80 yards for a score, as he found Gil Goldsmith across the middle for a 22-yard connection. The score gave RPI the early 7-0 lead.
Ithaca then rattled off 10 unanswered points, collecting a field goal and touchdown by the 6:11 mark of the second quarter. The touchdown came courtesy of Jalen Leonard-Osborne as he caught a 22-yard pass from Julian Deumaga to make it 10-7 Ithaca.
Things remained scoreless into the half and through the third quarter, as both defenses locked down until the final frame. RPI made the first move, as Kazanowsky found Sean Kelly for a nine-yard score over the middle in the back of the end zone. With the extra point, that put the Engineers in the driver’s seat with a 14-10 lead.
However in the final minute, the Bombers made their way down the field, needing a touchdown to take the lead. They did so, scoring with 51 seconds to play as Deumaga found Leonard-Osborne again for a seven yard score through the air.
The score prompted an RPI drive, needing a field goal to tie. Thanks to some big plays, highlighted by a catch-and-lateral up the right sideline, the Engineers did just that. With Kazanowsky able to work RPI into field goal range, kicker Jared Elstein connected on a 39-yard field goal to tie the game and send things into overtime.
In the overtime period, Ithaca was able to stop the Engineers from scoring – using a highlight sack from Isaiah Couser that brought RPI backwards. Elstein lined up for a 46-yard field goal, only to have it blocked by Ben Stola of Ithaca. Getting the ball back just needing points, Ithaca’s kicker Derek Baldin knocked a 34-yard field goal through the uprights for the win.
Kazanowsky finished 22-for-32 for 250 yards and two scores, while also rushing for 27 yards. RPI’s leading rusher was freshman Kaidan White, who racked up 69 yards on the ground, while Hayden Faraday collected 91 yards receiving. On the defensive side, Anthony D’Agostino put up 18 total tackles, with eight coming in solo fashion.
Windfeld finished 14-for-20 with 101 passing years for the Bombers, while putting up 101 on the ground as well as the team’s leading rusher. Sam Kline led the Bombers with 47 yards receiving. Defensively, Jake Connolly totaled up 11 tackles for Ithaca.
RPI returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 14 as they return to ECAV Stadium to host Buffalo State in their annual homecoming game at 1 p.m.