Ragland Rolls Again as Football Stays Perfect

Ragland Rolls Again as Football Stays Perfect

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Samuel Ragland was not satisfied with being named Centennial Conference player of the week, and neither was the Ursinus College football team after a 2-0 start. They both got more on Saturday.

Ragland rushed for a career-high 170 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears (3-0, 2-0) continued their perfect start with a 35-14 victory at Juniata, using another well-rounded effort to roll to another lopsided result.

Opening 3-0 for the second year in a row, Ursinus has outscored its opponents by a whopping 111-34 count.

After equaling the program record with four touchdowns in last week's blowout of Gettysburg, Ragland was at it again in Huntingdon. The sophomore back scored three times in the first half and nearly doubled his previous personal benchmark for yards, carrying 26 times for an average of 6.5 yards. His trio of scores gives him 15 for his career, already good for a tie for seventh in school history.

Ragland's 10-yard scamper gave the Bears seven points on their opening drive, a 6-play, 81-yard march that included a 40-yard strike from junior Thomas Garlick to senior Jacob Clifford.

The Eagles (0-3, 0-2) were on the verge of an answer on their next drive, but senior Marcus Weathers pounced on a fumble in the red zone to short-circuit a promising opportunity.

The next drive was rife with big plays for Ursinus. Garlick hit freshman Ryan Loughlin on 3rd-and-13 from his own 20, and Ragland picked up 12 on a third-down tote inside Juniata territory. It all came down to 4th-and-goal from the 1, and Ragland got the call with a second TD to make it 14-0 late in the first quarter.

The Eagles responded with a long touchdown pass to slice the deficit in half, and had several chances to equalize. But the Ursinus defense rose up again, as senior Matt Hartigan recovered a fumble on the Juniata 45. Garlick found senior Thomas Cardozo for 14 yards on a 3rd-and-13 from the Eagles' 28, and two plays later Ragland found pay dirt again from 12 yards out for a 21-7 advantage with 7:41 left in the second quarter.

Junior Mitchell Bradford poked the ball out of a Juniata receiver's hands after a long catch on the ensuing possession, and reigning CC defensive player of the week Jacob McCain grabbed the loose ball. The rest of the half wound down with no further scoring.

The score remained 21-7 until Garlick's 9-yard keeper with 9:08 to play. After a Juniata three-and-out, Garlick hooked up with Clifford for a 32-yard strike to make it a 35-7 rout. The Eagles scored on their next drive to round out the final score.

Garlick finished 17 of 24 for 237 yards and three interceptions for the Bears, who racked up 479 yards of offense and were 5 for 9 on third down. The rushing touchdown was the 10th of his career.

Clifford's two catches went for 72 yards and his third career TD, while Loughlin had five grabs for 70 yards.

Senior Kirk Cherneskie was 5 for 5 on extra points.

McCain came back with another huge effort for the Bears, posting 14 tackles to lead all players. Weathers tallied a sack and a pass breakup, and senior Nick Vandevere had two sacks. The Bears' defense limited Juniata to 275 yards and a 2-of-11 effort on third down.

The Bears are back in action next Saturday, when they welcome Moravian to Patterson Field for a Homecoming showdown.