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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, October 2, 2010

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Soccer, volleyball, field hockey

football picks off defending champs

(edited Oct. 4 to reflect changes to the stats)

For the third straight week, it was the same story for the Muhlenberg football team: lots of points early, lots of tense moments late, and lots of relieved smiles after the game while celebrating a win.

They haven’t been making it easy, but the Mules
Steve Nissley
Junior Steve Nissley recovered this fumble in the fourth quarter after Hopkins tried to throw a lateral back to its quarterback out of the Wildcat formation.
have been getting the job done. After building a 30-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, Muhlenberg held off a late rally to defeat defending Centennial Conference champion Johns Hopkins, 30-27, for its third straight win.

The Mules (3-1, 3-0) matched their victory total from all last season and remained in a tie for
Mark Accomando
Accomando's interception return for a touchdown was Muhlenberg's first since 2008.
first place in the CC with Ursinus. Their three wins have been by a total of 16 points, one in overtime and the other two coming down to the fourth quarter.

“This feel so unreal right now,” said senior Mark Accomando, who made one of the biggest defensive plays of the game. “This is where it all starts. Johns Hopkins won the conference last year so everyone knows the championship comes through Hopkins. They are the team to beat right now, so to come in here and get it done feels amazing.”

Senior Michael Katz’ third field goal of the game, a 37-yarder with 11:17 to play, gave Muhlenberg a 17-point lead. But the Blue Jays (2-2, 2-1) came back with a pair of scores to close within three with 4:12 showing.

After the second of those scores, the Mules went three-and-out, and a
Terrence Dandridge
Dandridge is averaging more than 6 yards a carry the last two weeks.
short punt gave Hopkins possession at midfield. The Blue Jays advanced to the 27 before junior Kevin Ryan picked off his second pass of the game with 2:06 left.

“I just saw the quarterback rolling out and our D-line got great pressure on him,” said Ryan. “He threw it right to [Chris] Hartzell and the ball just bounced right in my hands. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

Muhlenberg still had to get one first down to run out the clock, and did just that when sophomore Dan Deighan completed a 5-yard pass to a prone Bobby Bushong on third-and-4.

Sophomore Terrence Dandridge recorded his second straight 100-yard game, rushing for 117 on 20 carries, including a 40-yard run on the Mules’ first play from scrimmage. Deighan threw TD passes of 9 yards to sophomore John Gruver and 22 yards to sophomore Isaiah Vaughn, the latter a leaping catch on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Gruver’s TD gave the Mules the lead for good, 10-7 early in the second quarter, after Hopkins had scored a cheap touchdown off a botched punt. Muhlenberg’s next score came a little more than two minutes later when Accomando intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards for a score, getting past the chasing Hopkins quarterback with a spin move – not bad for a player who said he had never touched the ball before in an organized game.

“I play a lot of Madden,” he explained with a laugh.

The two picks by Ryan and one by Accomando were among four interceptions by the Mules – their most since a 2008 game against Johns Hopkins on the same field. Junior Chase Nadell had an interception and also returned five kickoffs for 165 yards, and Hartzell broke up three passes to go along with eight tackles and a blocked punt.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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