ITHACA - The John Alanis Show was featured at Ithaca Friday night, and despite intermittent showers and plush grass, Alanis and his Seneca Indian teammates emerged with a 27-20 win over the Bulldogs.
Alanis scored three touchdowns and ran for a conversion as Seneca knocked off the Bulldogs in the Ridge and Valley Conference opener. The senior running back ran for 271 yards on 34 carries to bring his three-game season total to 837 yards.
Turnovers undermined Ithaca’s bid for victory. “We turned the ball over five times and three were inside their 30.” said Ithaca coach Chad Clary.
For the second straight week, a fumble stopped the Bulldogs’ final drive in the fourth quarter.
Seneca improved to 3-0 for the season and 1-0 in the R&V Conference play. Ithaca suffered its second straight loss. The Bulldogs are now 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.
Alanis scored on runs of 11, 23, and 40 yards. Troy Trautsch tossed a 66-yard scoring pass to 6-6 Ethan Grimsled. Trautsch also kicked an extra point.
Mitchell Ricco ran 55 yards for a touchdown for the Bulldogs. Trever Koch threw a 36-yard scoring pass to Cameron Magee, and Koch also returned an interception 81 yards for a touchdown. Koch also ran for Ithaca’s only successful conversion.
The first quarter was filled with offense. Seneca scored on its first possession when Alanis broke free on a 40-yard jaunt and Trautsch added the conversion.
Ithaca quickly responded as Ricco bolted 55 yards for a touchdown. Koch’s run for the two-point conversion gave Ithaca an 8-7 lead – its only lead of the night.
Seneca soon regained the lead on Alanis’ second TD. He ran 23 yards, but the conversion was denied, so the Indians held a 13-8 lead after one quarter.
The only scoring in the second quarter was Trautsch’s only completion to Grimsled. It enabled Seneca to enjoy a 19-8 halftime lead.
The Indians were threatening again when Koch’s pick-six renewed hope for Ithaca.
But Seneca answered with a drive capped by Alanis’ third touchdown – an 11-yard dash – and a run for the conversion.
Koch’s pass to Magee pulled the Bulldogs within 27-20.
Seneca held a 15-12 edge in first downs. The Indians totaled 263 yards rushing on 46 carries. They were one of seven passing for 66 with one interception. Ithaca ran for 141 yards on 36 attempts, and Koch completed five of 13 passes for 78 yards with two picks. Ricco ran for 152 yards on 29 attempts. The Bulldogs also lost three fumbles while Seneca lost one bobble.
In other Ridge and Valley Conference action, Wauzeka/Steuben outlasted North Crawford, 15-6, and Weston topped Kickapoo/La Farge, 27-14. Potosi defeated DeSoto, 26-6, in non-conference action. Ithaca will go to DeSoto Friday night.
Quarterback Tyler Malin, who threw for nearly 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, leads DeSoto, which is 2-1. The Pirates also have a big line which concerns Clary.