Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Sunday, November 14, 2004
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The Muhlenberg football team will travel to Rochester to take on St. John Fisher in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday, Nov. 20.

The Mules (8-2), co-champions of the Centennial Conference, will take on Stagg Bowl logo the Cardinals (9-1), who tied Ithaca for first place in the Empire 8, in one of 12 first-round games in the 32-team field. The winner of Saturday’s game advances to take on the winner of the Shenandoah-at-Delaware Valley contest.

The game will match one of the top defenses in Division III against one of the top offenses. Muhlenberg entered Saturday’s regular-season finale against Moravian ranked first in the country in total defense (167.1 yards per game) and rushing defense (53.6 yards per game), tied for second in scoring defense (8.2 points per game) and third in pass efficiency defense (70.4 rating points).

St. John Fisher, on the other hand, was 12th in scoring offense (40.4 points per game), 18th in total offense (448.0 yards per game) and 30th in rushing offense (232.0 yards per game) prior to its 30-20 win against Alfred. The Cardinals also have the No. 3 rusher in Division III in sophomore Mark Robinson, who has carried for 1,712 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Muhlenberg, which lost its two games by a total of six points, is making its third straight appearance in the NCAA playoffs. The Mules are 1-2, defeating Mass.-Dartmouth in the first round of the 2002 tournament. They lost their first-round game at Christopher Newport last year.

Fisher, ranked 12th in both the American Football Coaches Association and polls, suffered only a five-point loss to Norwich. The Cardinals played four other games that were decided by a touchdown or less, including a 28-21 season-opening win against King’s. St. John Fisher is an up-and-coming program that had won only 11 games in seven seasons before going 6-4 in 2002. The Cardinals were 8-3 last year and won the ECAC Northwest championship in their first postseason game ever.

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Last updated November 14, 2004