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Saturday, October 9, 2010 - page 2

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football chases away juniata

It started out like you might it expect it would the week after a up-and-coming young team beats the defending conference champion on the road and returns home to face a winless team that it has enjoyed great success against.

The Muhlenberg football team's first possession against Juniata
Chase Nadell
If not for the penalty, Nadell would have been the first Mule in 26 years to return a kickoff and interception for touchdowns in the same game.
ended with a dropped pass on fourth down, and the Eagles, who had been outscored 144-16 in their first four games, responded by driving 56 yards in 10 plays to take a 3-0 lead with 5:26 left in the first quarter.

It looked like the Mules might be in trouble. Just 15 seconds later, they seemed fine.

Junior Chase Nadell's second career kickoff return for a touchdown sparked Muhlenberg to its fourth straight win, 38-3 over visiting Juniata.

With the win, the Mules (4-1, 4-0) exceeded their victory total from last year and remained one of two undefeated teams in the Centennial Conference.

Nadell, who entered the game fourth in Division III in kickoff returns, took the kickoff
Patrick McDonough
McDonough tied for the team lead with 6 tackles. Like the offense, the defense rested most of its regulars in the second half.
after the field goal at the 20, faked a handoff and raced 80 yards for the score to put Muhlenberg ahead for good. Nadell's first touchdown, last year against Union, also gave the Mules a lead they would not give up.

Juniata's next drive ended when its quarterback fumbled after getting sacked by senior Patrick McDonough and junior Matthew Siedt. The ball was recovered by senior Mark Accomando at the Eagle 35, and Muhlenberg needed only three plays to reach the end zone, on a 9-yard run around the left side by sophomore quarterback Dan Deighan.

The next scoring drive was even shorter. Nadell picked off a pass two plays after the touchdown and returned it for a touchdown, but the Mules were called for an illegal block on the return and had to take the ball at the Juniata 40. Sophomore Terrence Dandridge ran for a touchdown on the very next play, giving Muhlenberg a 21-3 lead with 1:24 left in the first quarter.

The Mules last scored 21 first-quarter points against Dickinson in 2008, but in that game they were shut out in the second and third. Not so this time. They added 10 points in the second quarter, with senior Jon Liberty catching his first career touchdown pass, an 11-yard toss from Deighan, late in the half. Freshman Kevin Van Laar scored his first career TD on a 15-yard run in the third quarter to close out the scoring.

The Eagles (0-5, 0-5), who have not scored an offensive touchdown against Muhlenberg since joining the Centennial Conference three years ago, had a first-and-goal at the 3 late in the third quarter, but an interception by junior Steve Nissley in the end zone stopped the scoring attempt.

Dandridge sat out the entire second half but still recorded his third straight 100-yard game, finishing with 104 yards on only nine carries.

The defense forced six turnovers, with sophomore Matt Johnson and freshman Darnell Davis recording interceptions.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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