63rd Annual Cortaca Jug: Ithaca Takes the Jug Back With a Win Over SUNY Cortland at Yankee Stadium (Photos Included)

A special thank you goes to Visions Federal Credit Union for partnering with us to provide the greater Cortland County community with additional sports coverage

Cortaca 2022. (Photo Source: Freddy Familia)

The SUNY Cortland Red Dragons lost 17-34 against the Ithaca Bombers at Yankee Stadium on Saturday (November 12th). 

This was SUNY Cortland’s 63rd annual Cortaca Jug game against rival Ithaca College. 

Both teams came into the game with undefeated records of 9-0. Both teams were also crowned champions of their respective divisions. Cortland was crowned Empire 8 Champions, and Ithaca were crowned Liberty League Champions. 

According to Yankee Stadium, there were a total 40,232 people in attendance Saturday afternoon, which was only a bit under 5,000 shy of the NCAA Division III record of 45,161 people recorded at the Cortaca game held at Metlife Stadium in 2019. 

Cortaca Jugs. (Photo Source: Freddy Familia)

It was a difficult first half for the Red Dragons, with them ending the half down 7-17 after missing a big chance in the red zone. Ithaca’s Matt DeSimpliciis intercepted a pass from Cortland sophomore quarterback Zac Boyes in the endzone with 11 seconds left in the half. 

The Red Dragons answered back between the middle of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, as they scored 10 points during that time while holding Ithaca to 3 points to close the gap and make it 17-20 with about 13 minutes left in the game. 

As the Red Dragons made it a three-point game, Cortland fans electrified the stadium to make it hard for Ithaca to make the plays they needed.

However, the Bombers’ offense were able to keep their cool, and advanced the ball down the field. This allowed A.J. Wingfield to throw a deep ball down the post to senior wide receiver Julien Deumaga for a 40 yard touchdown to make it 17-27.  

Cortaca 2022. (Photo Source: Freddy Familia)

“They (SUNY Cortland) did a great job fighting,” said Ithaca Head Coach Michael Toerper. “I think just holding us off from the endzone after that big return in the second half was a huge momentum swing from them. They were able to get down the field and converted some third downs. As for us, we talked about it at halftime that it was going to end up being a fourth quarter battle. So we just needed to keep throwing body blows, not worry about what the scoreboard said, and try to make the next play.”

Despite Cortland’s best efforts, as well as a couple of third and fourth down scrambles from Zac Boyes, the Red Dragons were not able to get back on the board again. 

Ithaca ended Cortland’s hopes after a huge 43 yard run to the end zone by Jake Williams to make it 17-34. 

“We just couldn’t adjust today,” said SUNY Cortland Head Coach Curt Fitzpatrick. “I think we just didn’t have our fast-ball today. So hats off to Ithaca, because they had a lot to do with that. They definitely had some good pressure. One thing led to another, and we just didn’t make enough plays. They’re a good defense, and we’re a good offense too; but I think we just left a lot on the table.”  

Here is a score breakdown of Saturday’s game: 

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Cortland 7 0 7 3 17
Ithaca 10 7 3 14 34


SUNY Cortland was led by Zac Boyes (117 throwing yards, 107 rushing yards, 1 touchdown throw & 2 interceptions made), Jaden Alfanostjohn (75 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards & 1 rushing touchdown), JJ Laap (22 receiving yards & 1 receiving touchdown), Mike Baloga (1 field goal made & 2 extra point kicks made), JC Mertz (1 forced fumble, 4 tackles & 2 assists), and Joe Ruggieri (4 tackles & 4 assists). 

Ithaca was led by A.J. Wingfield (209 throwing yards, 6 rushing yards & 3 touchdown throws), Jake Williams (69 rushing yards, 63 receiving yards, 1 rushing touchdown & 1 receiving touchdown), Michael Anderson (43 receiving yards & 1 touchdown), Julien Deumaga (40 receiving yards & 1 touchdown), Nicho Bahamonde (2 field goals made & 4 extra point kicks made), Matt DeSimpliciis (1 interception, 4 tackles & 6 assists), Kevin Schoch (1 interception, 6 tackles & 6 assists), and Michael Roumes (1 forced fumble, 2 tackles & 5 assists).

Cortland will now look forward to playing in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament against Randolph-Macon on Saturday (November 19th) in Virginia at 12pm; while Ithaca also plays the first round of the tournament at Butterfield Stadium against UMass Dartmouth at 12pm on Saturday (November 19th).

Here are some photos of Saturday’s Cortaca game at Yankee Stadium (Photos provided by Freddy Familia):

A special thank you goes to Visions Federal Credit Union for partnering with us to provide the greater Cortland County community with additional sports coverage