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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, September 29, 2007

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Soccer Volleyball, Tennis

football outlasts hopkins in rare shootout

This wasn’t your older brother’s Muhlenberg-Johns Hopkins football game.

The two teams, who had combined to score just four touchdowns in their last three meetings, all decided by three points, erupted for seven TDs, including plays of 86, 59, 57 and 44 yards. The Mules had the last of the long
Dan Aitkens
Aitkens has three interceptions in the last two weeks. Muhlenberg picked off the Hopkins quarterback four times in the game.
plays and won, 28-21, to improve to 4-0 for just the fourth time in school history. Muhlenberg joins Dickinson as the only undefeated teams remaining in the Centennial Conference.

Johns Hopkins had taken its first lead of the game, 21-20, on a 57-yard run with 1:25 left in the third quarter. Junior Brandon Doyle returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield, and two plays later junior John DeLuca ran left, found the corner and outraced the Hopkins secondary to the end zone. Junior Eric Santagato hit classmate Erik Snyder in the end zone for a two-point conversion to give the Mules a seven-point lead.

DeLuca, who entered the game as the second-leading rusher in the Centennial Conference, finished with a career-high 131 rushing yards on 28 carries.

After the go-ahead TD, the Blue Jays drove into Muhlenberg territory on two of their next three possessions. The first ended with a punt, and the second when sophomore Dan Aitkens intercepted a tipped pass at the Mule 40 with 4:38 to play.

Hopkins’ defense forced a punt after one first down, but the returner muffed the kick, and Aitkens fell on top of it at the Blue Jay 18 with 1:32 left. Muhlenberg took three snaps and ran out the clock.

The Mules took an early lead with 8:50 left in the first quarter when Santagato and Snyder hooked up for an 86-yard touchdown pass, the fourth longest in school history. Junior Matt Rathbun intercepted a pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter to put Muhlenberg up by seven. The Mules extended their lead to two touchdowns on a trick play, as DeLuca took a pitch and passed back to Santagato for a 4-yard touchdown with 8:49 left in the third.

Santagato finished 10-of-15 for 188 yards and added the touchdown reception. Rathbun recorded a career-high 12 tackles to go along with his touchdown, and Aitkens had 10 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Click here for box score.

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