BETHLEHEM, Pa. – For the first time this season, Ursinus found themselves on the losing side of the score as the 24th-ranked Bears dropped a 24-17 decision to surging Moravian (5-4, 5-3 Centennial) Saturday afternoon at Calvo Field.
The Bears saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end, heading to a first-place showdown with Muhlenberg next weekend in Allentown. If the Bears beat Muhlenberg, Ursinus will represent the Centennial in the NCAA tournament.
Moravian was led by sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson, who threw for 251 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Shawn Sylvainus had five catches for 85 yards and a 54-yard scoring reception in the first quarter.
Ursinus got 274 yards out of senior quarterback Justin Decristofaro (Jenkintown, Pa./Father Judge) who was 27-for-42 with a touchdown toss. The Bears were held to just 27 yards on the ground, with freshman running back Bryan Ellis (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh School) being held to just 24 yards on ten carries.
Junior linebacker Greg Martell (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy) had a team and game best 17 tackles for Ursinus, which ranks as sixth best in school history in a contest.
After seeing their first drive stall at the Moravian 45, the Greyhounds took a 7-0 lead with 7:59 left as Johnson found Sylvainus for a 54-yard score. The Bears would tie the score at 7-all in the second quarter as Decristofaro capped a eight-play, 67-yard drive with a three-yard scoring toss to freshman wide receiver Jerry Rahill (Glenside, Pa./Roman Catholic) with 13:08 left. The key play on that drive was a 43-yard pass from Decristofaro to senior wide receiver Tony Santino (Delanco, N.J./Holy Cross) on second down from the Moravian 47.
Both teams would trade drives, before Moravian got the ball at their own 46 and went 54 yards in eight plays with Johnson rushing for a 4-yard score and a 14-7 lead with just 42 ticks left. Ursinus quickly got downfield and got a 42-yard field goal from freshman kicker Michael Bennett (Maple Glen, Pa./La Salle College High School) from the left hash with the win at the gun for a 14-10 halftime deficit.
Ursinus took its first and only lead of the game on its first offensive possession of the half as Decristofaro ran from two-yards out for a score with 9:51 left and a 17-14 lead. Moravian tied the score with 1:25 left as junior kicker Ian Heck kicked a 40-yard field goal, making the score 17-all.
Moravian took the lead for good on a ten-play, 78 yard drive that took up 5:07, ending with a three-yard run from sophomore running back Rocco Del Priore with 8:12 left and a 24-17 lead.
Ursinus would have three more cracks at the end zone, but, could not get any further than the Moravian 49 yard line. The Bears finished with 301 yards of offense, but, Moravian had 335.