Football finishes second in Centennial with 35-32 over Dickinson
CARLISLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College football team finished
the regular season on a high note as the Bears (6-4, 6-2
Centennial) defeated Dickinson (8-2, 6-2 Centennial) 35-32 at
Biddle Field on Saturday to finish in second place in the
The Bears needed to win, and have Johns Hopkins lose to McDaniel to get the CC title, but the Blue Jays defeated the Green Terror 38-14 to win the automatic qualifier.
Still, the Bears find themselves in position for a possible ECAC bowl bid which will be announced on Monday morning.
Ursinus held a 35-17 lead only to see the Red Devils charge back to within three. The Red Devils mounted one final drive in the fourth quarter, but, senior wide out Pat O’Connor fumbled at the Ursinus 23-yard line with just over 1:30 left. The fumble was recovered by sophomore defensive back Joe Henry (Medford, N.J./Shawnee). That allowed the Bears to run out the clock.
“I’m happy for our kids and our program,” said head coach Peter Gallagher, who moved to within one win of tying the all-time wins mark at Ursinus. “I’m proud of the resiliency of our players. We needed a big play in the fourth quarter to win the game, and we got it.”
“Our coaches have done a great job all season with our players, and their hard work with our players helped them win a game of this caliber.”
The Bears posted six wins in the Centennial for the first time under Gallagher, and the first time since 1999.
Senior quarterback Justin Decristofaro (Jenkintown, Pa./Father Judge) threw for 205 yards and three scores, as he became the first quarterback to cross the 2,000 yard mark at Ursinus since Frank Vecchio did it in 1999. Decristofaro, who was 16-for-30, became the fourth quarterback in school history to go over 2,000 yards.
Freshman running back Teddy Conrad (Doylestown, Pa./C.B. West) had 113 yards on 27 carries with two scores.
Senior wide receiver Shea Wisler (Green Lane, Pa./Upper Perkiomen) had a team-high five catches for 66 yards and a score. Sophomore wide out Nick Giarratano (Wapwallopen, Pa./Crestwood) and sophomore wide receiver Al Desiderio (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) each had a touchdown catch in the win.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Greg Martell (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy) had eight stops, while sophomore defensive back Joe Kost (Freeland, Pa./Hazleton Area) had three interceptions.
For Dickinson, senior quarterback Ian Mitchell threw for 214 yards and ran for an additional 103. Senior wide out Pat O’Connor caught 11 passes for 161 yards.
Ursinus scored on its first drive to go up 7-0 as Decristofaro threw a 38-yard scoring pass to Desiderio with 12:33 left. Following a 3-and-out by Dickinson, Ursinus scored on its next possession to go up 14-0 as Conrad ran for a 2-yard score with 7:36 left.
Dickinson answered back with a field goal on its next drive to cut the Ursinus lead to 14-3, as junior placekicker Gordon Craig made a 24-yard field goal with 2:12 left.
Ursinus forced a turnover on the next Dickinson drive, as freshman cornerback Chris Rountree (Lawnside, N.J./Haddon Heights) intercepted Mitchell at the Ursinus 40 and returned it back to the Dickinson 8-yard line.
At the start of the second quarter, Ursinus capitalized when Decristofaro threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Giarratano for a 21-3 lead with 14:14 left in the first half.
Senior running back Tim Wells scored for Dickinson on the next drive, as he completed a 10-play, 71-yard drive with a 3-yard run with 10:46 left, cutting the Ursinus lead to 21-10.
Dickinson forced a turnover on Ursinus’ next drive, as Decristofaro was intercepted by senior free safety Michael Maxwell at the Dickinson 48. He returned it to the Ursinus 39-yard line. Mitchell would eventually score on a 6-yard run to cut the Ursinus lead to 21-17.
Ursinus put together a 12-play, 64-yard scoring drive in six minutes to take a 28-17 lead when Conrad rushed for a 4-yard score.
After Dickinson’s next drive stalled at the Bears’44, Ursinus added one more score as Decristofaro threw a 13-yard pass to Wisler for a 35-17 lead with seven seconds left.
Dickinson threw the ball down field on the last play of the half, only to have the ball intercepted by Kost.
In the second half, Ursinus got another interception from Kost as he picked off Mitchell’s first pass of the second half. However, sophomore place kicker Keith Baker (Huntington Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) pissed a 30-yard field goal with 12:14 left.
Neither team would score in the third quarter, however, Dickinson did get down to the Ursinus 27-yard line with 3:08 left, but, fumbled the ball. Dickinson turned the ball over six times on the day, to Ursinus’ two.
Ursinus had a chance to put the game away in the fourth, but, sophomore running back Travis Evans (Dallas, Pa./Northwest Area) fumbled at the Dickinson 12-yard line giving the Red Devils the ball. However, the Red Devils turned the ball over at the Ursinus 3-yard line as Kost picked off his third pass of the day.
Dickinson scored on its next drive, as Wells ran in from 2-yard out for a 35-24 Ursinus lead with 7:05 left. Following a botched punt, Dickinson took the ball over at the Ursinus 1, but, took three plays to get in as junior running back Tim Smith scored with 4:12 left to cut the Ursinus lead to 35-32.
Dickinson got the ball back one last time, but, O’Connor fumbled at the Ursinus 23 to end the game.
Ursinus was 9-for-18 on third downs, and 4-for-6 in the red zone in the win.