Football Rolls to Biggest Opener in 89 Years

Saturday, September 7, 2013
 

Men’s soccer Women’s soccer, volleyball

The Muhlenberg football team’s first game of the year featured several contributions from players who waited their turn to play. Although it may have seemed like a long time to them, none of them waited 89 years.

Cody Geyer
Yet another upperclassmen to step up was junior receiver Cody Geyer, who accounted for 122 all-purpose yards for the Mules, including a 53-yard kickoff return following the Apprentice touchdown and this 38-yard reception to the 1. He also threw a 40-yard pass.
The Mules scored touchdowns on eight of nine possessions in a span from the first through third quarters and went on to defeat The Apprentice School, 59-6.

The 59 points were the most scored by the Mules in their first game of the season since a 67-0 shutout of East Stroudsburg in 1924.

Senior Joe Carlucci, making his first Opening Day start for Muhlenberg, accounted for four touchdowns, passing for two and running for two. After throwing incompletions on his first two attempts, he finished 11-of-15 for 167 yards.

Greg DeLade
Muhlenberg recovered three fumbles, one of which set up the seventh touchdown after junior Greg DeLade forced the ball loose with this sack.
The Mules outgained the Builders, 542-213, with 289 of their yards coming on the ground. Senior Kevin Van Laar, a backup to one of the program’s all-time rushing leaders the last three years, rushed for a career-high 72 yards, while junior Thomas DiCarlo added 61 in his first career action at running back and backup quarterback Nick Palladino, a freshman, rushed for 55 and a touchdown while passing for 46 yards and a score.

Other upperclassmen who got their first extended varsity action included junior tight end David Hausladen (2 receptions for 24 yards), senior linebacker Tom Holland (career-high 5 tackles), junior linebacker Gene Blanco (4 tackles, one for loss in first career start), junior rover Chris Flynn (2 tackles, pass breakup in first career start) and junior safety Tyler Cerbo (2 pass breakups in first career start).

The Mules punted on their first two possessions before taking over at the Apprentice 44 on their third. Van Laar caught a 5-yard pass on third-and-4 for a first down, then carried the ball the remaining 33 yards on six consecutive plays.

Carlucci’s 48-yard pass to senior Joe Hogh set up the second score, with the same two players hooking up on a 5-yard TD pass with 24.6 seconds left in the first quarter.

A 3-yard pass from Carlucci to junior Michael Long and scoring runs of 1 yard by Palladino and 25 yards by Carlucci accounted for the three Muhlenberg second-quarter touchdowns. The Mules went into the locker room up 35-6 – the first time they scored 35 points in the first half since a 2002 game against Franklin & Marshall.

Short TD runs by Van Laar and Carlucci extended the lead in the third quarter. Palladino threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Mike Harris with 2:40 left in the quarter, and a 27-yard field goal by sophomore Casey Fosbenner five seconds into the fourth ended the scoring.

Junior Jeremey Thomas had a pair of tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery for a defense that allowed only 83 yards and five first downs in the first half.
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Click here for complete stats.