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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, November 10, 2007

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Cross country, Men’s soccer

football finishes perfect regular season

Football celebration
The Mules celebrate their 10-0 regular season.
It was a perfect way to end a perfect regular season.

Combining all the elements that have led to a championship – a stingy defense, an efficient offense, a dominant fourth quarter and even a fake punt – the Muhlenberg football team closed out its regular season with a convincing 35-7 win against Moravian in front of a large overflow crowd at Scotty Wood Stadium.

The victory gave the Mules an undefeated regular season for the first time in their 106 years of football. Muhlenberg (10-0, 8-0), the first team to go through a Centennial Conference season undefeated since
Brandon Doyle
Junior Brandon Doyle picked off a pass, broke up three others, and returned two kickoffs for 64 yards.
Western Maryland in 2000, tied a school record with its 10th win of the season and extended its school-record winning streak to 11. The Mules, who clinched the CC title last week, will find out their destination in the NCAA Division III Championships on Sunday.

Junior quarterback Eric Santagato completed 15 of 19 passes for a career-high 297 yards and two touchdowns to earn the Bianco Award as Muhlenberg’s MVP of the Moravian game for the third year in a row. He was responsible for the Mules’ first three touchdowns, passing for two and running for one, and junior running back John DeLuca scored two fourth-quarter rushing TDs to put the game away.

Muhlenberg outgained Moravian, 529-193, in defeating its local rival for the eighth time in 10 years.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Mules broke through on the first play of the second quarter when Santagato found senior tight end Matt Johnson in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown. The TD pass capped a 13-play, 93-yard drive that included a 22-yard completion from Santagato to Johnson on third-and-9 from
Phil Cresta
Cresta had 104 receiving yards in the first half alone.
the 8 and a 2-yard scramble by Santagato on fourth-and-2.

The Greyhounds (6-4, 4-4) went three-and-out on their next possession, and on the first play following the punt Santagato hit wide-open sophomore Phil Cresta for a 59-yard gain to the Moravian 3. Three plays later, Santagato snaked in from 2 yards out, extending the lead to 14-0.

Late in the half, the Greyhounds drove to the Muhlenberg 1-yard line, but on fourth down junior William Moates and senior Dustin Good teamed up to stuff the Moravian quarterback for no gain on a quarterback sneak.

The Mules extended their lead to 21-0 on the first drive of the second half, moving 53 yards in seven plays, the last a 4-yard pass from Santagato to Cresta. The key play was a 32-yard run on a fake punt by junior Erik Snyder.

Moravian drove inside the 5 again on its next series, but a fourth-down pass fell incomplete. The Greyhounds scored their lone TD five plays after a Mule fumble.

Bottled up by the Greyhound defense for most of the game, DeLuca finished with 133 yards rushing (65 in the fourth quarter) on 28 carries for his seventh 100-yard game. Cresta caught five passes for 133 yards, with Johnson adding five receptions for 83 yards to break three records for tight ends: the school marks for catches in a season (42) and touchdowns in a season (6) and the CC record for yards in a season (662).

The Mule defense held the Moravian QB, who came in leading the CC in passing efficiency, to just seven completions in 24 attempts for 95 yards with two interceptions. Good made a team-high eight tackles, three for loss, and senior Chris Musselman recorded a sack, moving to within a half-sack of tying the school record, and broke up two passes
Click here for box score.

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