COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Ursinus College held the ball for close to 44 minutes and ran 89 offensive plays as the Bears (4-0, 3-0 Centennial) defeated Susquehanna 24-7 on Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference football action.
Senior quarterback Justin Decristofaro (Jenkintown, Pa./Father Judge) threw for 207 yards and two scores as the Bears moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2006. He was 17-for-30 with scoring passes of 20 and 3-yards in the win.
Freshman running back Bryan Ellis (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh School) ran for 109 yards and a touchdown of his own, as the Bears had 380 yards in total offense.
Junior running back Kahlil Pittman (Willow Grove, Pa./Abington) caught a team-high four passes for 24 yards and a score. Junior wide receiver Nick Giarratano (Wapwallopen, Pa./Crestwood) and junior wide out Storm Miller (Jamison, Pa./Central Bucks South) each had three catches. Giarratano had a team-best 46 yards, while Miller had 36 yards.
Freshman kicker Michael Bennett (Maple Glen, Pa./La Salle College HS) had a field goal from 36 yards out and went a perfect 3-for-3 on PATs.
Defensively, junior linebacker Greg Martell (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy) had a team-best eight tackles (seven solo) with senior linebacker Joe Galie (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) netting five stops and an interception.
Susquehanna was led by junior quarterback Rich Palazzi who had 179 yards on 17-for-29 passing. Junior wide receiver Mike Ritter caught eight passes for 59 yards and the lone Crusader score in the fourth quarter.
The lone score in the first half came with 25 seconds left as Decristofaro threw a 20-yard scoring strike to Giarratano. The play was set up off of Galie's interception at the Ursinus 33-yard line, followed by a Susquehanna personal foul penalty.
Susquehanna fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half as junior linebacker Chris Salaga (Bordentown, N.J./Florence Township) forced the fumble and recovered it at the Susquehanna 24 yard line. Eight plays later, Bennett nailed a 36-yard field goal for a 10-0 Ursinus lead with 10:52 left in the third.
Ursinus then went on a 17-play, 76-yard drive that took over nine-and-a-half minutes, ending with a three-yard TD rush from Ellis to make the score 17-0 in favor of Ursinus with 14:56 left in the game.
The Bears next score came off of a fumble as sophomore cornerback Chris Rountree (Lawnside, N.J./Haddon Heights) stripped Ritter and the ball was recovered by senior defensive lineman Wills Wendell (Villanova, Pa./Radnor) at the Susquehanna 38-yard line. Eight plays later, Decristofaro found Pittman from three-yards out for a 24-0 score with 7:17 left in the game.
Susquehanna scored with 4:34 left on a 4-yard pass from Palazzi to Ritter to make the score 24-7.
Ursinus held Susquehanna to just one first down in the first three quarters. The Bears have allowed just two touchdowns in the last three games.