Football Goes Overtime to Win Home Finale

Saturday, November 3, 2012
 

Wrestling

Scotty Wood Stadium was such a good place for the members of the Muhlenberg football senior class, they thought they’d spend a little more time on their home turf.

John Merklinger
Merklinger's touchdown was his second of the season and the 10th of his career.
The Mules came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to tie, then scored a touchdown in overtime and came up with a final stop for a thrilling 24-17 win in their last home game of the season.

The win was the fourth straight for the Mules (7-2, 6-2) and moves them to within a game of Johns Hopkins, a 14-12 loser to Franklin & Marshall, for first place in the Centennial Conference with a week to go in the regular season.

Muhlenberg trailed 14-7 and 17-14 in the fourth quarter but forced overtime on a 37-yard field goal by sophomore Connor Winter with 57 seconds remaining.

Ursinus (5-4, 4-4) won the overtime coin toss and elected to play defense first. The Mules needed seven plays, all runs, to get into the end zone and take a 24-17 lead. Junior quarterback Joe Carlucci, who came on in the fourth quarter in relief of injured starter Dan Deighan, had five of the carries, including the touchdown on a 1-yard run off right tackle.

Tyler George
Sophomore Tyler George caught a career-high six passes for 86 yards.
The Bears got a first down on their possession on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak. Two incomplete passes and a 2-yard run brought up fourth-and-8, and a pass on the left sideline was tipped away by freshman Marcus Allen at the 5-yard line to end the game.

“I wasn’t nervous,” said Allen of his first career overtime game. “I was excited because it’s really fun going into overtime and testing your mettle against another team. I knew in the end we would get it.”

The overtime win was the first for the Mules since a 33-27 home victory against Gettysburg in 2010 and gave the senior class a final home record of 13-6.

Andrew Onimus
Junior Andrew Onimus, whose last-second blocked field preserved last year’s 24-21 win at Ursinus, broke up this pass near the end zone on the Bears’ first play of overtime.
Senior Terrence Dandridge, whose 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter tied the game at 14, rushed for a game-high 89 yards on 23 carries. Deighan was 14-of-25 for 185 yards, going over 5,000 passing yards for his career, and also rushed for 58 yards to move into the top five in CC history in rushing yards by a quarterback.

Junior Kory Crichton made a game-high 12 tackles for a defense that allowed only 63 rushing yards on 38 carries. Sophomore Jeremey Thomas recorded seven tackles, and sophomore Ian Gimbar had two sacks, bringing his team-leading season total to nine.

Muhlenberg started on a roll, driving 60 yards in only four plays on its first possession to take an early 7-0 lead. Deighan covered the final 35 yards with a pass to outstretched senior John Merklinger.

On their next drive, the Mules drove to the Ursinus 2, but a fumbled snap rolled into the end zone and Ursinus recovered it, changing the momentum of the game.

The Bears tied the score on a 66-yard pass play with 4:37 left in the second quarter and took its first lead on another long pass late in the third.

After Dandridge’s tying score, the Bears drove 65 yards in 10 plays to take a 17-14 lead on a 20-yard field goal with 6:46 left. The Mules’ next drive was halted by a fumble near midfield, but the defense forced a punt.

Muhlenberg took over at its 28 with 3:49 to play, and on the second play Deighan came up injured as he ran for a 6-yard gain. Carlucci relieved and completed his first three passes to help get the Mules in position for Winter’s game-tying field goal.
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