Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, November 12, 2005
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The wrestling team’s season-opening tournament at King’s was expected to run late Saturday night. Results will be posted on Sunday’s Mule Sports Daily.

Football Ends with Home Loss
Fourth-Quarter Rally Falls Short

The Muhlenberg football team ended a frustrating season with a frustrating 24-19 home loss to Moravian.

The Mules finished the season 3-7 – their first non-winning record since 1997. All seven of their losses were by 10 points or fewer.

This game seemed headed for a wider margin when the Greyhounds (6-4) scored two
Eric Santagato
Santagato won the Bianco Award as Muhlenberg’s MVP of the Moravian game. He completed eight of 14 passes for 137 yards and also rushed eight times for a team-leading 49 yards.
third-quarter touchdowns to extend their lead to 24-7. But Muhlenberg got a spark from freshman quarterback Eric Santagato to make the game interesting at the end.

Taking over under center with 1:42 left in the third, Santagato led the Mules on a seven-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with their first offensive touchdown in 14 quarters. On the first five plays of the drive, Santagato rushed twice for 23 yards and completed two passes to senior Kyle Douglass for 36 yards. A 17-yard run by Douglass on a reverse set up Santagato’s 4-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Muhlenberg’s next possession ended when a completed pass on a fake punt was short of the first down, but the defense held and forced a punt. Starting from his own 20 again, Santagato needed only three plays to reach the end zone, scrambling for nine yards, hitting senior Chris Poehls for a 26-yard gain after another scramble, then throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Douglass. It was the seventh TD catch of the season for Douglass, who finished with five catches for 90 yards.

The Mules forced a three-and-out on the next Greyhound possession, but a fumbled punt gave Moravian the chance to run more time off the clock. Muhlenberg got the ball back at its own 21 with 2:22 remaining and could not get a first down.

Muhlenberg’s first touchdown of the game came when senior Phillip Gasker returned a kickoff 94 yards following a Moravian field goal. It was the fourth time in seven years that the Mules brought back a kick against the Greyhounds, and the second straight year that Gasker did it.

Douglass and Gasker were two of the 19 Muhlenberg seniors playing for the final time. Among the others, Alexander Miller made a career-high 13 tackles, Mark Bennett recorded 10 stops, Tom Wargacki had three tackles for loss, Justin Adair picked off a pass, and James Crowley forced a fumble.

Click here for box score.

Senior Karen Mount of the Muhlenberg women’s cross country team qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships by finishing fourth out of 293 runners at the NCAA Mideast Regional, hosted by Dickinson College.

Mount ran the 6-kilometer course in 22:21.4 to become the first Muhlenberg female ever to qualify for nationals in cross country. The NCAA meet is slated for next Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

Led by Mount, the Mule women finished 11th out of 42 teams. They finished one place
Karen Mount
Mount has finished in the top 10 in all seven of her races this year.
and nine points ahead of Franklin & Marshall, reversing the order of finish from the Centennial Conference Championships. The men tied their second-best finish ever by coming in eighth.

Both Muhlenberg teams easily defeated Moravian, giving their school two Matte Award points. Combined with the football result, the Matte standings are tied 4-4 heading into the winter season.

Mount, who earned all-region honors for the third time in four years, eclipsed the previous best finish by a Mule at the regional meet – seventh place by Amanda Wachter in 1992.

“I was pretty surprised,” she admitted. “I knew I definitely had a shot at qualifying, but I had no idea I would be so close to the top runners.”

Mount executed her plan for the meet perfectly. “I wanted to not go out too crazy, but I wanted to be pretty established by the first mile and stick on to the big pack,” she explained. “I was near the back of the top pack and that’s where I like to run, from behind.”

Mount was in fifth place before overtaking a returning All-American from Grove City in the final 100 meters.

“I hope that I can pave the way for many more female athletes to qualify,” said Mount of her historic accomplishment. “And I hope I showed [the younger team members] that if you work hard you can achieve your goals. They have just as much a chance to qualify in the future as I did.”

After Mount, Muhlenberg did not have another runner cross the finish line for more than two minutes. The men’s team was a different story, as the gap between the Mules’ first and fifth runners, 43 seconds, was the lowest in the 40-team field.

Junior Lex Mercado led Muhlenberg in 47th place, five ahead of classmate Tim Seeley. The Mules also finished eighth in 2001; their best showing was fourth in 2002.

Click here for box score.
Click here for complete women’s results.
Click here for complete men’s results.

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Last updated November 12, 2005