Alpha and Omega

Nick O'Melia  2011 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Nick O'Melia 2011 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

Valori throws for 245 in see-saw affair

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Ursinus found the end zone for fifth time with just 19.4 seconds left to break a 28-all deadlock and defeat McDaniel 35-28 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action on Saturday.

Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) made three catches for 107 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green Terror (1-3, 1-2 CC), who got another 200-yard passing day from freshman quarterback Nick Valori (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.), who finished 11-for-19 for 245 yards and two touchdown passes.

Bryan Ellis led the Bears (2-2, 2-1 CC) in the running game, rushing for 180 yards on 26 carries. Chris Curran added 45 rushing yards on seven carries with two touchdowns in addition to his 166 yards passing.

Trailing 28-20 with 5:12 to play, Valori hit Tom Orrok (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) for a pair of short gains around a Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) five-yard rush.

A 37-yard pass play to O'Melia set up McDaniel with a first-and-goal at the 10-yard line. On the next play, Rollins reached the ball over the goal line to draw the visitors within two with 3:34 on the clock.

Valori then found O'Melia streaking along the back of the end zone for the two-point conversation and a 28-all tie.

Ursinus methodically moved the ball down the field, reaching the McDaniel 20 with just over 45 seconds to play. A pair of Curran runs up the middle moved the ball to the one-yard line. With 19.4 seconds left, Curran went over his guard and fell into the end zone for the go-ahead score.

Teddy Conrad capped a 6-play, 66-yard drive with a three-yard plunge up the middle for a 7-0 lead with 12:08 to play in the first.

A 30-yard pass play to Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) keyed a 7-play, 54-yard march that Rollins capped with a two-yard carried. The ensuing PAT was blocked to kept it a 7-6 game with 17.5 seconds in remaining in the first quarter.

The Bears put together a 54-yard drive over seven plays and 6:14 to push the lead to 14-7 with 4:08 to play in the second quarter.

Conversely, the Green Terror needed just one play for Valori to hit O'Melia for a 65-yard catch-and-run to make it a 14-13 game just 15 seconds.

A 13-yard tuck-and-run by Chris Curran stretched the advantage to 21-13 with 16.8 seconds remaining on the first-half clock.

Valori hooked up with Matt Emerson (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown), eluding the pass rush for a 35-yard score to cap an 8-play, 85-yard drive and make it a 21-20 game with 4;32 on the third-quarter clock.

After the Green Terror had a 78-yard punt return for touchdown negated by penalty with 11:00 to play and were forced to punt, Ellis capped the ensuing Ursinus possession with a 58-yard run to stretch the lead to 28-20 with 5:17 to play.

Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) and Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) led the McDaniel defense with nine tackles apiece.

The Green Terror returns to action at home against Gettysburg on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.