Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Sunday, November 23, 2003
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take two
more from the weekend


After a tough, season-ending 24-20 loss at Christopher Newport on Saturday, the Muhlenberg football team was in no mood to celebrate.

“It was a success when we got here, but we wanted to make some more noise,” senior free safety Thanasis Petrakis said after the Mules were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

But it won’t be long before the team, especially the 17 seniors who
Tony Briscella
Briscella led the Mules in tackling five of the last six games. He finished the season with 86 stops.
make up the winningest class in school history with a four-year record of 33-11, will be able to look back and celebrate the successes of the season.

The Mules did, after all, win their third straight Centennial Conference co-championship, becoming the first team to win the league after losing its conference opener. Muhlenberg lost its first two games, its top two quarterbacks and its star running back early in the season, but never lost sight of its goals.

“We always had confidence in ourselves, even though other people didn’t after our start,” said Petrakis. “We knew we could make it back [to NCAAs].”

And the final game, albeit a loss, was yet another courageous effort by the Mules. After a long trip to Newport News, Va., where the Captains had won their last seven and 10 of their last 11 home games, Muhlenberg played well and nearly knocked off a team that was ranked as high as 20th in the nation this week.

Several seniors went out with impressive performances. Tony Briscella led the Mules with 10 tackles, and Dan Miller had five. Petrakis stripped the ball from a CNU player, and Joe Getz intercepted the 12th pass of his career.

Chris Radomski and Frank Santini helped open holes for Matt Bernardo to run for over 100 yards for his sixth straight game. Kodi Shay caught six passes for 108 yards to reach milestones of 100 career receptions and more than 1000 receiving yards this season. Rob Sherman caught a career-high five passes for 46 yards.

For the coaching staff, it’s already time to start thinking about next year. Head Coach Mike Donnelly has a plan to replace the seniors who have meant so much to the program the last four years.

“We’re going to change their names and bring them back for the next four,” he said.

The only other CC team still playing this week was co-champion Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays rolled over King's, 41-13, in the ECAC South Atlantic Championship. It was the second straight ECAC title for Hopkins.

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Last updated November 23, 2003