Crusaders Blanked by Bears

Crusaders Blanked by Bears

Box Score

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Offensive struggles and costly mistakes on both sides of the ball added up to a 36-0 loss for the Susquehanna football team in a Friday night matchup at Ursinus.

SU (3-4, 2-4) managed only 286 yards of offense all night in what marked the team’s first Friday night game since the 1983 season. The Bears (5-2, 4-2), meanwhile, had 402 offensive yards and the Crusaders were shut out for the first time since Oct. 5, 2010.

Connor McGrath (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional/Assumption) carried the ball 17 times for 55 yards while freshman Tim Wade (Doylestown, Pa./La Salle College HS) had 52 yards on seven carries. On the receiving end, Mike Ritter (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) led the team with 55 yards on four receptions.

Sophomore quarterback Taylor Kolmer (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville) threw for 178 yards and finished 19-for-28 but was sacked twice and threw one pick. Cam Olson (Durham, Maine/Chevrus) entered the game late in the fourth quarter and tossed a pick on the final offensive play of the night for SU.

Defensively, Adrian Bernard (East Stroudsburg, Pa./Pius X) led the team with seven tackles and Jack McCarty (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) recorded five tackles, including one for a loss.

On the first drive of the game, Susquehanna got lucky when the Bears’ Darius Jones dropped an easy touchdown pass from Chris Curran on a third-down play that forced Ursinus to punt on its first possession. SU caught another break when a 28-yard field goal attempt by the Bears sailed wide right to keep it scoreless with 6:41 left in the first quarter.

That luck ran out as time expired in the opening quarter when Ursinus found the end zone and took a 6-0 edge after a failed PAT with 3.2 ticks left on the clock. Less than 10 minutes later, a touchdown and a successful PAT put the Crusaders in a 13-0 hole.

Despite having just three first downs after more than 25 minutes of action, SU was down by only two scores (13-0) and easily still in the game. However, with 1:41 left in the half, Ursinus’s Jones found his way into the end zone on a 93-yard reception that sent Susquehanna into halftime in a 20-0 hole. Jones’s 93-yard reception was a Bears school record.

The Crusader offense picked up only four first downs in the first half and finished with just 84 total offensive yards while the Bears had already racked up 296 of offense over that span. SU was also tagged with six penalties for 50 yards.

The second half did not start out any better for the Crusaders as they opted to go for it on fourth-and-one and fumbled the ball, allowing Ursinus to take over at the SU 14. That eventually led to another Bears touchdown at the 11:09 mark and a 27-0 score.

SU’s first real drive of the game came on the next play when the team took over at its own two-yard line. The team drove the ball down the field and the Bears were flagged for pass interference that placed the ball on the Ursinus 10. Unfortunately, Kolmer fumbled the exchange at center and Ursinus recovered, ending the Susquehanna scoring threat.

A second Kolmer fumble during the exchange on the team’s next offensive possession handed the ball back to the Bears in prime field position at the SU 10. That fumble ultimately resulted in yet another Ursinus touchdown and essentially sealed the game by making it 33-0 by the time the third quarter came to a close.

The Bears tacked on a fourth-quarter field goal and, combined with a costly Kolmer interception deep in Ursinus territory, ended any threat of a SU comeback.

The Crusaders return home for the first time in nearly a month when they host Franklin & Marshall on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.