football sweeps cc top honors
After winning the Centennial Conference championship, the Muhlenberg football team swept the league’s major postseason awards. Senior running back John DeLuca was named offensive player of the year, senior linebacker Matt Rathbun was named defensive player of the year, and Mike Donnelly was selected coach of the year.
DeLuca is the fourth Muhlenberg player to earn Centennial offensive player of the year honors and first since Kodi Shay in 2003. Rathbun is the third Mule to win the top defensive award, joining Ryan Peer (2004) and Dan McCall (2005).
Since the league began recognizing separate offensive and defensive players of the year in 1993, Muhlenberg is the fifth team to win both, joining McDaniel (1999, 2000, 2001) and Dickinson (2006). This is the first year the CC has picked a coach of the year.
DeLuca leads the conference in rushing (1,604 yards), is tied for first in touchdowns (16) and ranks second in all-purpose yards (1,843). He rushed for at least 100 yards in every game of the regular season.
Rathbun leads the CC in tackles for loss (16½) and is the top tackler on the Mules with 77 stops through 10 games. He also intercepted four passes in the regular season, setting a school record for yards on interception returns (164), and added three sacks and a forced fumble.
Besides DeLuca and Rathbun, five other Mules made the All-CC first team, most notably senior center Mike Nolan, who became the 34th player in the 26-year history of the Conference to earn first-team All-Centennial honors three times. DeLuca, Rathbun, Nolan and senior nose tackle William Moates were four of the six unanimous first-team selections.
Senior quarterback Eric Santagato, junior wide receiver Phil Cresta and junior cornerback Cameron Ahouse also received first-team honors. Santagato is the CC leader in pass efficiency, completion percentage and touchdowns; Cresta is second in receptions and first in receiving touchdowns; and Ahouse is tied for second with four interceptions.
Muhlenberg’s seven first-team picks raised its all-time total to a league record of 112. Dickinson is second with 105, followed by Franklin & Marshall (97), Johns Hopkins (88), McDaniel (78), Gettysburg (68), Ursinus (64) and Conference newcomers Moravian (7) and Juniata (0).
Making the second team were senior tackle Mike Gawel, sophomore guard Mark Bigelli, sophomore kicker Michael Katz, junior defensive end Frank Emmett,
sophomore linebacker Scott Gavin, senior cornerback Brandon Doyle and senior safety David Mazzola, who also earned honorable mention as a punter.
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