Bears Hold on to Top Devils 35-32
|(Carlisle, Pa.) - The Dickinson College football team dug an early hole and despite a valiant effort, came up short in the season finale against Ursinus. The Bears survived a 35-32 shootout as the Devils held Ursinus scoreless in the second half, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter.|
Ursinus started strong, going 71 yards on the opening drive and scoring on a 38 yard pass from Justin Decristofaro (Jenkintown, Pa./Father Judge) to Al Desiderio (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic).
The Bears forced the Devils to punt and Desiderio returned the ball 40 yards to the Dickinson 31 yard line. They would score seven plays later on a two yard run to take a 14-0 lead.
Junior Gordon Craig (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) put the Devils in the board with a 24 yard field-goal to close out the first quarter.
Nick Giarratano (Wapwallopen, Pa./Crestwood) caught a six yard pass to make the score 21-3 before Ian Mitchell (Newtown Square, Pa./Malvern Prep) and Tim Wells (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) sandwiched a pair of scores around a Mike Maxwell (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) interception. That would make the score 21-17 with eight minutes to play in the half.
Teddy Conrad (Doylestown, Pa./C.B. West) scored his second touchdown of the day on a four yard run with 2:00 on the clock. The Bears held on a 4th-and-1, and tacked on a 13 yard scoring pass to Shea Wisler (Green Lane, Pa./Upper Perkiomen) to stretch the Ursinus lead to 35-17 at halftime.
The Red Devil defense closed the door on the Bears' scoring efforts as the teams played scoreless through the third quarter.
The teams traded turnovers to start the final period before Mitchell drove the Devils 46 yards and Wells capped the drive with a two yard score. That cut the deficit to 35-24 with 7:05 remaining in the game.
Adam Farrell (Parkton, Md./Hereford) sacked Decristofaro for a six yard loss, forcing the Bears to punt from their own 26 yard line. The snap went over the kicker's head and the ball rolled toward the end zone. Derek Giannetti tried to kick the ball out of the end zone for a procedure penalty and a safety. The ball, however, was on the one yard line when it was kicked, giving the Devils possession on the half yard line.
Junior Tim Smith (Hanover, Pa./Southwestern) dove in the the Devils' third attempt, then hit classmate Joe Sandoe (Myerstown, Pa./Elco) on a halfback pass for the two-point conversion to pull Dickinson within a field-goal.
The defense held once more and senior Craig Helfer (West Caldwell, N.J./Newark Academy) got a hand on the punt, giving the Devils the ball on their own 38 yard line.
Mitchell connected with Pat O'Connor (Exton, Pa./Downingtown East) on three passes to move the Devils to the Ursinus 35 yard line. A controversial fumble at the end of the play gave the Bears the ball back with just 1:25 left on the clock. They would take two knees to run out the clock secure the win.
Conrad finished with a game-high 113 yards and two touchdowns while Decristofaro threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Kost (Freeland, Pa./Hazelton Area) intercepted three passes and had three breakups to lead the Bear defense.
Mitchell rushed for 103 yards on the day. He broke the Centennial Conference record for single season rushing yard by a quarterback with 927 on the year. He also threw for 215 yards to go over the 5,000 yard mark for his career (5,090). He holds conference records for career rushing by a quarterback as well with 2,470 and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 28.
O'Connor returned to form, making 11 catches for 161 yards on the day. Wells and Smith each rushed for 48 yards while Wells added two touchdowns.
Maxwell had a huge afternoon with a game-high 14 tackles, including seven solo stops and a 13-yard interception return. Scott Sullivan (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) tallied 11 tackles and broke up two passes. Andrew Fink (Schuyllkill Haven, Pa./Schuylkill Haven) added 10 stops, including eight solos and three pass break-ups.
The Red Devils finish 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the Centennial Conference. They will await a possible NCAA at-large bid to be announced on Sunday afternoon.