Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
Mule Sports
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Saturday, November 6, 2004
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LATE PUNT RETURN SENDS FOOTBALL
TEAM TO HEARTBREAKING LOSS
Sophomore Chris Martin returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown with 1:50 remaining in the game to give the McDaniel football team a stunning 7-6 win over Muhlenberg and deprive the Mules their first outright Centennial
Dustin Martin
Sophomore inside linebacker Dustin Martin had 1½ of the Mules’ three sacks.
Conference championship.

The Mules (7-2, 4-2), who would have earned the title and a bid to the NCAA Tournament with a win in this game, can still tie for their fourth straight CC championship, but only if McDaniel loses at Johns Hopkins next week.

The Muhlenberg defense put on a dominant performance against a Green Terror rushing attack that came in 18th in Division III, averaging 262.0
Ryan Peer
Baer came in averaging nearly 170 yards of total offense but finished with just 32.
yards per game. The Mules held McDaniel to 80 yards on 43 rushes and limited quarterback Brad Baer to three completions in 18 attempts for 25 yards.

The 105 yards were the fewest allowed by Muhlenberg all season.

The Mules took a 3-0 lead on freshman Jordon Grube’s 21-yard field goal with 2:29 left in the first half, and got what appeared to be insurance points when Grube booted a 37-yarder with 4:08 to play in the game.

A third-down sack on Baer forced the Green Terror to punt from its own 10-yard line on the next possession, but the Mules fumbled away the punt. The defense held, however, and Muhlenberg took possession at its own 32 with 3:02 to play.

After three plays failed to net a first down, punter Ryan Sassaman kicked a 40-yard high spiral that Martin took at his own 24. He broke up the middle, then found a seam to the right and carried the ball down the sideline for the first punt return for a touchdown against the Mules since 1997.

Muhlenberg got the ball at the 35 after the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, and two straight completions from senior Nick Rosetti to sophomore Chris Giannini advanced the ball to the McDaniel 26. Two incompletions and a sack moved it back to the 35, and a 52-yard field goal attempt with 52 seconds left fell far short.

Giannini finished with a career-high eight catches for 96 yards. Junior Phil Gasker led the defense with 10 tackles, while senior Dan Walker made three tackles for loss and junior Justin Adair broke up three passes, two in the end zone.

The loss was just the latest in a series of heartbreaking losses the Mules have suffered to McDaniel. In 1999, the Green Terror scored two touchdowns in the final 3:12 to steal a 21-14 victory, and in 2001 it won on a 22-yard touchdown pass in overtime on the last play of the game.

Muhlenberg has not defeated McDaniel since 1993 and has not won in Westminster since 1988.

The Mule defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown in the last 26 quarters.

Click here for box score.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated November 6, 2004