Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, November 11, 2006
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FOOTBALL FINISHES WITH WIN AT MORAVIAN

It’s often said that if you beat your rival in your last game, it doesn’t matter what you do the rest of the season.

That certainly wasn’t true of the Moravian-Muhlenberg football game
Chris Poehls
Senior Chris Poehls caught five passes for the second week in a row and finished second on the team with 29 receptions.
the last six years, when one of the two teams was going on to postseason play, but it may have applied this season, with both teams needing a win to finish at .500.

The Mules made sure their lasting memories of the 2006 campaign would be good ones with a 24-10 win over their Lehigh Valley rivals.

“It’s an amazing feeling to go out with a win,” said senior tight end Derek DiMattina, who had an eventful day around the goal line. “All the seniors really got emotional for this game.”

Sophomore Eric Santagato threw for 171 yards and rushed for two second-half touchdowns that broke a 10-all tie, earning the Bianco Award as Muhlenberg’s MVP for the second year in a row.

The Mules had a 184-70 advantage in total yards and allowed only two first downs in the first half, but went into the locker room tied 3-3 after
Jim McElvaney
Jim McElvaney was one of four senior starters on an offensive line that did not allow any sacks against Moravian. The Mules finished the season averaging 20.5 points per game, nearly a seven-point improvement from last year.
losing two fumbles and missing a short field goal. Muhlenberg put together an impressive six-minute drive near the end of the half that ended when DiMattina, stretching for the end zone, was ruled to have fumbled, although television replays suggested that the ball popped loose when he touched it to the ground inches short of the goal line.

The defense finally gave the Mules their first touchdown when sophomore Brandon Doyle picked off a pass in the flat and raced 51 yards untouched into the end zone on the first drive of the third quarter. It was the second touchdown of the season for Doyle, who also scored on a kickoff return in the season opener.

Moravian tied the score on a long pass play midway through the third quarter. The go-ahead touchdown was set up when DiMattina – both hands firmly around the ball – took a third-down pass 28 yards to the Greyhound 1-yard line. Santagato sneaked in on the next play.

A 50-yard run by sophomore John DeLuca set up the clinching touchdown, scored by Santagato on a 4-yard run with 37 ticks left. The two touchdowns gave Santagato nine for the season, breaking the school record for quarterbacks. He also became the third Mule sophomore to pass for 1,500 yards in a season.

Although the day belonged to the seniors, several other young players made their marks, pointing to a bright future. Sophomore Matt Rathbun tied a school record with his fourth fumble recovery of the season, sophomore Nick Colson blocked a punt, and freshman Cameron Ahouse picked off two passes (one to end a Moravian fourth-quarter drive near the end zone) for the second time this season. He finished the year with five picks, tying the school record for freshmen set in 1967.

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Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated November 11, 2006