Bears rally falls short 27-20 at LVC
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - The Ursinus College football team rallied
from a large deficit in the fourth quarter, but, came up just short
as the Bears (0-2) lost to Lebanon Valley (2-0) 27-20 Saturday
afternoon on a rain-soaked Arnold Field.
The Bears trailed 20-0 heading into the fourth quarter, and got to within 21-13 with 6:53 left. After LVC put seven on the board via a long run, the Bears responded back with a score with 2:18 left. The onside kick failed and LVC ran out the clock.
"We hibernated in the first half," said Ursinus head coach Peter Gallagher afterwards. "We came out in the second half and had life. We made a game out of it."
"We just have to find out who we are and what we are made of."
The first half was dismal for the Bears, who had just 50 yards of total offense compared to 249 for the Flying Dutchmen. Ursinus did finish with 285 yards in the game, but, had minus-19 yards rushing due to eight sacks by the Flying Dutchmen defense. Zach Bleiler had 3.5 sacks for LVC.
For Ursinus, senior quarterback Justin Decristofaro (Jenkintown, Pa./Father Judge) threw for a career-high 304 yards on 21-for-41 for two touchdowns. Freshman wide out Nick Giarratano (Wapwallopen, Pa./Crestwood), sophomore wide receiver Kahlil Pittman (Willow Grove, Pa./Abington) and sophomore wide receiver Al Desiderio (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic)each had a touchdown catch. Desiderio finished the day with five catches for 140 yards, while Giarratano had seven catches for 90 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Greg Martell (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy) had 11 tackles, with sophomore defensive back Andrew Regan (Glenside, Pa./Roman Catholic) grabbing ten stops, including three tackles for a loss. Freshman defensive back Chris Rountree (Lawnside, N.J./Haddon Heights) had two interceptions, with junior defensive tackle Dave Queroli (Narberth, Pa./Harriton) also getting a pick.
Neither team got on the board in the first quarter. LVC had a chance to score with 3:14 left by junior kicker Brittany Ryan missed a 23-yard field goal. The Flying Dutchmen did score in the second quarter as junior quarterback Caleb Fick threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Joe Brennan for a 7-0 lead. Ursinus would not get into the red zone in the second.
LVC went up 14-0 as Fick threw a 28-yard pass to Brennan with five minutes left until halftime.
In the second half, Ursinus got down to the LVC 34 on its first possession, but, a sack on third-and-10 forced the Bears to punt. From there, Rountree intercepted the ball on the LVC 41, giving the Bears a first-and-10 at the LVC 40. However, the Bears did not convert on fourth down at the LVC 26.
LVC would go up 21-0 when sophomore Ben Guiles ran for a 14-yard score. The key play was an interception by senior cornerback Matt Lillis at midfield which gave the Flying Dutchmen good field position.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Ursinus scored its first touchdown of 2009 when Decristofaro threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Giarratano on fourth down for a 21-6 deficit. On LVC's next possession, Rountree intercepted his second pass of the day to put the Bears at the LVC 30 yard line. However, Ursinus was hit with a personal foul penalty which put them back to the LVC 48.
Ursinus scored on its next offensive possession as Pittman caught a five-yard TD pass from Decristofaro pass with 6:53 left. That score was set up when LVC's snap on the punt was low, allowing junior linebacker Joe Galie (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) to tackle punter sophomore punter Colt Zarilla.
Ursinus got the ball back quickly when Queroli intercepted Fick on 3-and-11 from the LVC 29, however, Decristofaro threw an interception in the end zone on second-and-10 from the Dutchmen 21 with 5:34 left.
Two plays later, Guiles ran 77-yards for the score and a 27-13 Dutchmen lead. The Bears would score one last time when Ursinus put together a two-play, 99-yard drive as Desiderio scored on a 79-yard touchdown pass with 2:18 left.
Ursinus will open Centennial play next Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Bears make the long trip to Juniata College.