Freshman cornerback Marcus Allen batted away a pass on the last play of the game to give the Muhlenberg football team a thrilling 24-17 Family Weekend win against Ursinus at chilly Scotty Wood Stadium.
The win was the fourth straight for the Mules (7-2, 6-2) and moves them to within a game of Johns Hopkins, a 14-12 upset loser to Franklin & Marshall, for first place in the Centennial Conference with a week to go in the regular season.
Muhlenberg came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to force overtime, the second time on a 37-yard field goal by Connor Winter with 57 seconds remaining.
Ursinus (5-4, 4-4) won the overtime coin toss and elected to play defense first. The Mules needed seven plays, all runs, to get into the end zone and take a 24-17 lead. Quarterback Joe Carlucci, who came on in the fourth quarter in relief of injured starter Dan Deighan, had five of the carries, including the touchdown on a 1-yard run off right tackle.
The Bears got a first down on their possession when quarterback Chris Curran sneaked for 2 yards on a fourth-and-1. Two incomplete passes and a 2-yard run brought up fourth-and-8, and Curran's pass for Darius Jones on the left sideline was tipped away by Allen at the 5-yard line.
The overtime win was the first for the Mules since a 33-27 victory against Gettysburg in 2010.
Terrence Dandridge, whose 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter tied the game at 14, rushed for a game-high 89 yards on 23 carries. Deighan was 14-of-25 for 185 yards, going over 5,000 passing yards for his career, and also rushed for 58 yards to move into the top five in CC history in rushing yards by a quarterback.
Curran was 16-of-35 for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Ursinus.
Muhlenberg started on a roll, driving 60 yards in only four plays on its first possession to take an early 7-0 lead. Deighan covered the final 35 yards with a pass to an outstretched John Merklinger.
On their next drive, the Mules drove to the Ursinus 2, but on third down Deighan fumbled the snap. The ball rolled into the end zone, where Max DeNardo recovered it, changing the momentum of the game.
The Mules managed only 15 yards of offense in the second quarter, and the Bears tied the score on Curran's 66-yard pass to Jerry Rahill with 4:37 to play before halftime.
Muhlenberg had a chance to take a lead when it lined up for a 22-yard field goal early in the third quarter but elected to run a fake, and Carlucci's pass into the end zone was high.
Curran connected with Jones for a 39-yard scoring strike with 2:57 left in the third, giving Ursinus its first lead.
After Dandridge's tying score, the Bears drove 65 yards in 10 plays to take a 17-14 lead on a 20-yard field goal by Eric Boyer with 6:46 left. The key play came on the first play of the drive, when Curran escaped two sacks and found tight end Joe Hoy for a 43-yard gain.
The Mules' next drive was halted by Dandridge's fumble near midfield, but the defense forced a punt. Muhlenberg took over at its 28 with 3:49 to play, and on the second play Deighan's knee appeared to buckle as he ran for a 6-yard gain. Carlucci relieved and completed his first three passes to help get the Mules in position for Winter's game-tying field goal.