COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College football team put a sensational stamp on a challenging season, riding two touchdowns by Corey Kelly and a dominant defensive effort to rout Dickinson, 37-14, on Senior Day.
The Bears (2-8, 2-7) packed a season's worth of highlights into a single victory and received huge contributions from their senior class in its final collegiate contest. Some of the main points:
- Senior Michael Narvid (2) and junior Heath Hidlay (2.5) combined to split half of Ursinus' nine sacks, which broke the school record. The Bears held Dickinson (1-9, 1-8) to just 174 yards of offense and less than 3.5 yards per play, conceding just 104 total yards after the Red Devils went on a 70-yard scoring drive on their first possession.
- Kelly scored on runs of 21 and 1 yards, moving him into fourth in program history with 19 career rushing touchdowns.
- Junior Brandon Dowd blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety, and classmate Jonathan Gerhartz returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the house. Gerhartz' second return score of the season gave the Bears nine points in a span of 15 seconds, and he is believed to be the first player in program history with multiple kickoff return touchdowns in a single season. Only three players in CC history have at least three such scores in their careers.
- Junior Carmen Fortino caught a game-high 10 passes for 87 yards, giving him 71 receptions for the season. That's tied for the second-highest single-season total in school history, and Fortino also went over 1,000 career receiving yards. He is the 10th player in program history to reach that milestone.
- Sophomore Thomas Cardozo hauled in his first career receiving touchdown.
Ursinus got off to a fast start, marching 75 yards in 11 plays to pay dirt. A personal foul on a third-down run extended the drive, and Kelly scampered nearly untouched to the end zone on a 4th-and-1 from the Dickinson 21 to open the scoring.
Dickinson came right back with a 28-yard touchdown connection from Billy Burger to Jake Walbert, but that was as good as it got for the Red Devils. The Bears ran off the next 30 points, starting with Garlick's 4-yard keeper that made it 14-7 early in the second quarter. Ursinus got a big score just before the half, as Garlick found Cardozo in the back corner of the end zone with 8.3 seconds showing on the clock to send the home side into the locker room with a 21-7 advantage.
The second half started with a bang, as freshman Jack Spingler picked up his team-leading third interception in Red Devil territory and returned it to the 18. A pass from Garlick to Gerhartz got Ursinus down to the 1, and Kelly punched it in from there for his second score.
The Bears thrilled the home crowd late in the third quarter, when Dowd got a hand on a Dickinson punt for their first safety of the year. Gerhartz drifted back to collect the free kick at his own 20 and weaved through the Red Devil coverage team, outrunning everyone and beating the kicker to the right sideline for his second return touchdown.
Gerhartz' incredible run-back made it 37-7, and Dickinson closed the scoring with a 28-yard strike from Burger to James Ward with exactly two minutes remaining.
Burger and Jordan Hollander were under siege from the Bears' defensive front all day. In addition to Hidlay and Narvid, who each had two, Ursinus got sacks from seniors Tim Rafter and Peter Carpenter, freshman Noah Thomas, senior Nicholas Pinho, and junior James Gilette. Carpenter and Pinho registered the first sacks of their career.
Ursinus held Dickinson to a measly 52 yards on 30 carries and limited Burger and Hollander to just 8-of-20 passing with an interception. Garlick finished 20-of-28 for 190 yards and a touchdown, adding 48 yards and a score on the ground.
Freshman Stacey Gardner racked up 74 yards on 13 carries, with Kelly collecting 35 yards on 12 totes. Gerhartz had four receptions for 59 yards in addition to his long touchdown return.
Ursinus stretched its winning streak in the series to eight games.