SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Ursinus College football team finally got its offense going after halftime, but it was too little and too late in a 21-14 Centennial Conference setback at Susquehanna.
Sophomore quarterback Thomas Garlick threw for 180 yards and a score and added a 12-yard touchdown run that cut the River Hawks' lead to 21-14 with 4:22 remaining, but the home side converted a 4th-and-1 in its own territory to run out the clock and end the Bears' comeback hopes.
With the result, Ursinus (5-2, 4-2) fell into a three-way tie for third place with Susquehanna (5-2, 4-2) and Muhlenberg, but both of those teams own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Cameron Ott rushed for 175 yards and a pair of scores for Susquehanna, including an 11-yard run w ith 5:47 left in the first quarter.
That served as the only scoring in the first half, as the Bears' potent attack was held below 100 total yards at the break.
The River Hawks extended their lead to 14-0 with a 7-play, 89-yard drive on the first possession of the third quarter. Nick Crusco's 50-yard pass to Mikah Christian set the home side up at the Ursinus 4, and two plays later Ott bulled his way in from a yard out.
Its back against the wall, Ursinus responded in kind with a 9-play, 70-yard march. Garlick's 16-yard pass to senior Alex Drum on 3rd-and-9 kept the drive alive, and the sophomore capped it with a 24-yard touchdown strike to freshman Samuel Ragland, who weaved his way through traffic to cut the margin to 14-7 midway through the period.
With the River Hawks just outside the red zone on their next trip, Ursinus had an interception called back because of pass interference, and Crusco's 1-yard sneak made it 21-7 at the 5:13 mark of the third.
A missed field goal by Susquehanna, one of two on the day, gave Ursinus new life midway through the fourth. Garlick completed seven straight passes – three to junior tight end Thomas Cardozo, two to Ragland, and one apiece to seniors Shawn Hackett and Carmen Fortino – before dashing in himself from 12 yards out to make it 21-14 with 4:22 remaining.
The Bears had their chance on the next possession, forcing a 4th-and-1 at the River Hawks' 35. But Susquehanna rolled the dice on a fake punt, and Ott made the gamble pay off with a first-down run. Crusco later picked up a 3rd-and-1 to end it.
Ott averaged 6.5 yards a pop on 27 carries as the River Hawks piled up 209 of their 372 total yards on the ground. Crusco was 12-of-21 for 163 yards through the air.
Garlick spread his 20 completions – in 30 attempts – among seven receivers. Ragland had five catches for 66 yards and his first career receiving touchdown, while Drum (40 yards) and Cardozo (36) each hauled in four.
Senior Cody Richmond was a star on the defensive side, racking up 12 tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Sophomores Matthew Trainor and Noah Thomas also had a sack, while seniors Heath Hidlay and Alexander Skyrm split one.
Ursinus was limited to season lows in total yards (272) and rushing yards (92). The CC's top rushing attack and least penalized team was neither on Saturday, as 10 flags were called against the Bears for 114 yards; Susquehanna was flagged eight times for 121 yards.
After two tight road losses, the football team returns to Patterson Field to host McDaniel on Saturday, October 28.