NEWARK, Del. – The Salisbury University football team made its 14th-consecutive postseason appearance on Saturday, playing in the Scotty Whitelaw Bowl as part of the ECAC D3 Football Fest against Ithaca College, but the Bombers came up with the 27-17 victory at the University of Delaware.
The Bombers (8-3) got on the scoreboard first, midway through the first quarter. Ithaca took over deep in Salisbury territory after recovering a Sea Gull fumble, and got into the end zone two plays later on a 1-yard run by Isaiah D'Haiti.
Salisbury (7-4) answered two drives later, when senior superback Dandre Dennis took a handoff up the middle off the left hash mark and then cut back to the right side of the field and finding pay dirt from 37 yards out. The extra point, from senior Alex Potocko, tied the game at 7-7. Dennis rushed for a team-high 61 yards in the contest.
Ithaca moved the ball into the Salisbury territory on its next two drives, but the Salisbury defense held. First, forcing the Bombers to punt from midfield, before junior Devinne Greene intercepted a pass from Ithaca quarterback Wahid Nabi on a second-and-goal play from the Salisbury 9-yard line.
Salisbury was able to take a 10-7 lead to halftime thanks to a 42-yard field goal from Potocko with less than a minute showing on the clock in the second quarter.
The Sea Gulls pushed their lead to 10 points early in the second half. After the defense held the Bombers to 22 yards out of halftime, resulting in a punt, Salisbury quickly drove 46 yards for the score. Three different ball carriers had a chance on the drive while freshman quarterback Jack Lanham – making his first career start on Saturday – completed one pass on the drive. It was senior Brady Curley who ran the ball in from 9 yards out to cap the drive with his sixth rushing touchdown of the year.
The 17-7 lead held into the fourth quarter, but the Bombers were able to scored 20 points in the final six minutes of the game to pull out the win.
A 27-yard Nabi pass to Jared Bauer, cut the lead to 17-14 with four minutes left in the game. After the Ithaca defense forced a quick punt from the Sea Gulls, the Bomber offense connected on two long passes to get into the red zone and got a 5-yard run by Tristan Brown to take a 20-17 lead. Ithaca got a turnover and one more touchdown to cap the game.
Defensively, senior lineman Brandon Robeson recorded a team-best eight tackles, and broke up one pass. Dakarai Ellis closed out his strong senior year with six tackles – five solo – including a sack and two pass breakups.