Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, September 9, 2006
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2 Soccer, Volleyball


Senior Ryan Sassaman threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to junior Matt Johnson on a fake punt with 9:12 remaining to give the
Matt Johnson
Johnson heads for the end zone as the William Paterson sideline watches in disbelief.
Muhlenberg football team a thrilling 24-17 win against William Paterson.

With the score tied at 17 and the Mules (2-0) facing fourth-and-7 and their own 49, Sassaman lined up in punt formation and hit a wide-open Johnson down the middle of the field around the Pioneer 35-yard line. Johnson took it the rest of the way to give Muhlenberg the lead.

It was the second time in the last seven games that the Mules won on a fourth-quarter fake punt. Last year against Ursinus, Sassaman tossed a 74-yard scoring strike with 3:54 left.

After the touchdown, the Pioneers (0-2) had two good shots to tie the game. They had a first-and-goal at the Muhlenberg 9 with less than three minutes to play and made it as far as the 4-yard line, but on fourth down senior Chris Musselman sacked the Paterson quarterback.

The Mules took over with 1:53 on the clock but failed to get a first down. A partially blocked punt gave the Pioneers the ball on the Muhlenberg 35 with 30 seconds left. On their final snap, from the 31 with just one second left, the receiver caught the ball in the end zone along the right sideline but could not keep a foot inbounds, and Muhlenberg had the win.

Muhlenberg dominated the first half, outgaining Paterson, 173-34, and
Joel Haddock
Junior Joel Haddock (33) and sophomore Brandon Doyle (2) put pressure on William Paterson quarterback Sean Ryan.
opening up a 10-0 lead on a 15-yard run by senior Jerome Beverly and a 32-yard field goal by junior Jordon Grube.

The game turned on back-to-back Mule fumbles midway through the third quarter, leading to a touchdown and field goal that tied the game at 10-10.

The Mules scored on the next possession, going back in front on an 11-yard touchdown run by sophomore John DeLuca, but Paterson tied the score again with 11:22 left in the fourth.

Muhlenberg finished with an almost two-to-one advantage in total yards, 373-187. Senior Chris Poehls hauled in four passes for 87 yards, and senior Keith Shalvoy ran 51 yards on yet another fake punt.

The defense held WPU to 32 yards on 32 rushing attempts. Musselman had two of the Mules’ seven sacks.

Click here for box score.

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Last updated September 9, 2006