Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004
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Ryan Peer was without peer in 2004, according to the Centennial Conference football coaches.

The Mules’ senior outside linebacker was named CC defensive player of the year and led a
Ryan Peer
Peer also was named special teams player of the week by the CC for his performance in the Moravian game.
contingent of 13 Muhlenberg players on the All-CC team.

Peer leads the nation’s top-ranked defensive unit with 66 tackles, four forced fumbles and three blocked kicks. He also is second on the Mules with 8½ sacks and 16½ tackles for loss.
Defense Takes Over Passing Lead

Although the Mules slipped to second place in Division III in rushing defense after allowing 94 yards to Moravian, they took over the lead in pass efficiency defense for the first time this season. Muhlenberg also slightly widened its edge over Mt. Union in total defense.

St. John Fisher, the Mules’ NCAA Tournament opponent on Saturday, is 12th in scoring offense (40.4 points per game), 19th in total offense (448.0 yards per game) and 33rd in rushing offense (232.0 yards per game).

Division III Leaders
Total Defense
1. MUHLENBERG, 167.1 yards per game
2. Mt. Union, 182.5 yards per game
3. Trinity (Conn.), 198.6 yards per game
4. St. John’s, 214.1 yards per game
5. Concordia-Moorhead, 218.9 yards per game

Pass Efficiency Defense
1. MUHLENBERG, 70.4 points
2. Worcester State, 74.7 points
3. St. Thomas, 76.0 points
4. Trinity (Conn.), 76.0 points
5. Fitchburg State, 78.5 points

Rushing Defense
1. Mt. Union, 44.8 yards per game
2. MUHLENBERG, 53.6 yards per game
3. Mount St. Joseph, 54.2 yards per game
4. Curry, 62.2 yards per game
5. Rockford, 67.3 yards per game

Scoring Defense
1. Trinity (Conn.), 6.5 points per game
2. Mt. Union, 7.8 points per game
3. Curry, 8.1 points per game
4. Colby, 8.1 points per game
5. MUHLENBERG, 8.2 points per game

Eleven of his tackles for loss came in six CC games.

Peer is the first Muhlenberg player in the 22-year history of the CC to be selected as defensive player of the year. The Mules had three offensive players of the year between 2000 and 2003.

Not surprisingly, six of Muhlenberg’s eight first-team selections were from the defense, two each from the line, the linebacking corps and the secondary.

Senior nose guard Michael Della Pella was a unanimous choice, landing on the first team for the second year in a row. He has 6½ tackles for loss among his 29 stops in addition to an interception and a fumble recovery. Also repeating on the first team, despite missing two league games with injury, was junior defensive end Dan McCall, who is fourth on the team in both sacks (4½) and tackles for loss (eight).

Joining Peer (a unanimous pick) on the first team was fellow senior outside linebacker Dan
Michael Della Pella
Della Pella has been a handful for offensive linemen throughout his career.
, who moved up after making the second team in 2003. Walker has 51 total tackles and leads the team in sacks (9½) and tackles for loss (18).

Junior cornerbacks Justin Adair and Mike McCurley also earned first-team nods. Adair leads the CC with 13 pass breakups and is second on the Mules with 31 solo tackles. McCurley, who also made the second team as a kick returner, has 44 tackles, including four for loss, and nine pass breakups.

Both of Muhlenberg’s first-team offensive players are linemen. Senior tackle Frank Santini was a unanimous selection for the second year in a row, and junior guard Mike Leanch improved from his 2003 honorable mention.

In addition to McCurley, sophomore tight end Stephen Montalto (15 receptions for 219 yards and two touchdowns), junior center Carl Slabicki and junior defensive end Tom Wargacki (9½ tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries) earned second-team honors.

Junior safety Phil Gasker (53 tackles, three interceptions) and sophomore punter Ryan Sassaman (36.1 average) received honorable mention.

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Last updated November 16, 2004