COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – For the first time in nearly a decade, the Ursinus College football team is postseason bound.
The 126th edition of the program will get one more opportunity to play together when the Bears head to Misericordia on Saturday for one of the three games that make up the Centennial/MAC Bowl Series. Ursinus earned the second seed to book its first appearance in the annual showcase event.
Now in its fourth year, the Bowl Series pits the top three teams from each conference that do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Susquehanna grabbed the CC's top seed and will host MAC counterpart Stevenson, while the third and final contest sees Franklin & Marshall taking on Lycoming in Lancaster.
Playing in their first postseason game since a loss to Kean in the ECAC Southeast Bowl in 2009, the Bears (7-3, 6-3) secured one of the CC's three bids with a three-game winning streak to end the regular season, which included victories over fellow Bowl Series contenders F&M and Dickinson. Ursinus finished in style with a 31-0 shutout of the Red Devils on Senior Day.
Misericordia (8-2) is also playing in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series for the first time following a remarkable turnaround from a 1-9 campaign in 2017. Junior quarterback Brady Williams is enjoying a sensational season, throwing for 1,986 yards and 18 touchdowns to just two interceptions while rushing for 545 yards and 13 touchdowns. Senior Sam Gillison (45 receptions, 909 yards, 9 TD's) and junior Isaiah Williams (53-760-7) have been Williams' top targets.
Sophomore David Cromwell has rushed for 600 yards and five touchdowns on an average of 5.9 yards per carry.
Junior quarterback Thomas Garlick – already the all-time Ursinus leader in passing yards, completions, and attempts – has thrown for 2,407 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He needs 30 completions and 303 yards to break the single-season record in those categories.
Sophomore running back Samuel Ragland leads the CC with 1,461 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns while ranking second in rushing yards (751) and seventh in receiving yards (550). Freshman Ryan Loughlin is sixth in the conference with 634 receiving yards and has caught four touchdowns, while senior Tom Cardozo has been one of the league's most productive tight ends with 471 yards and three touchdowns.
Junior Jacob McCain has put together one of the most prolific defensive seasons in program history. His 108 tackles are tied for the most in a single year since 1995, and stand good for second in the CC. Junior Marcus Weathers (5 sacks) and seniors Charles Anderson (4.5) and Matt Hartigan (4) have combined for 13.5 sacks, and junior Mitchell Bradford tops the CC with five interceptions.
Ticket prices for both Centennial-MAC Bowl Series games will be $5 for adults, $2 for students (elementary through college) and free for Special Olympics athletes and children under six. The two conferences will support the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) partnership with Special Olympics by donating 25 percent of ticket revenue generated during the Bowl Series to the organization. Giving back to local and regional communities not only adds to the comprehensive learning component of Division III but also provides a venue for passion and service.
ABOUT THE CENTENNIAL-MAC BOWL SERIES
The Centennial Conference and the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) announced on Nov. 5, 2015, their partnership to hold two postseason football games between member institutions known as the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series. In the spring of 2018, the two conferences voted and approved an additional bowl game to increase the series to three games beginning in the fall of 2018. The Centennial-MAC Bowl Series will now be the top three teams from each conference that are not selected to the NCAA Division III Championship.
The format of the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series has changed with the additional game. The top seeds, second seeds, and third seeds will face each other unless the teams have already played that season. In that case, commissioners from each conference will determine new pairings. The Centennial Conference will host the top-seed and third-seed games, and the MAC will host the second-seed game in even years, and vice versa in odd years.