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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, September 20, 2008

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Football rolls past union for second win

Senior Eric Santagato was responsible for all four touchdowns and the defense set up scores with two early turnovers as the sixth-ranked Muhlenberg football team won its 13th consecutive regular-season game, 31-14 at Union.

Sophomore linebacker Scott Gavin intercepted a
Scott Gavin
Gavin had two tackles for loss to go along with his interception.
pass on the second play of the game, returning it 19 yards to the Union 22. Four plays later, Santagato scored on a 2-yard touchdown run.

On the third play of the Dutchmen’s next drive, junior Jake Floyd forced a fumble with a sack. Muhlenberg recovered and converted six plays later when Santagato hit junior tight end JJ Contessa from a yard out on fourth down. It was Contessa’s first career reception, and it made the score 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

Union (1-1) took advantage of a Mule fumble to cut the deficit in half on a 20-yard touchdown run with 9:07 left in the second.

The score remained 14-7 until late in the third quarter, when Santagato hit junior Phil Cresta with a 30-yard TD pass. Senior John DeLuca had back-to-back runs of 11 and 19 yards on the 6-play, 54-yard drive and finished with 134 on 30 carries for his 12th career 100-yard game.

With 2:16 left in the third, the Dutchmen had a golden opportunity to close to within a touchdown again. A diving interception at the Mule 25 snapped Santagato’s regular-season streak of 144 straight passes without a pick. Union made it to the 18 before senior linebacker Matt Rathbun intercepted a tipped pass and returned the ball 41 yards, setting up a 1-yard run by Santagato with 11:36 left in the fourth to put the game out of reach at 28-7.

A 52-yard run by senior Erik Snyder led to Michael Katz’ 23-yard field goal late in the fourth. Union scored a meaningless touchdown on the final play of the game.

The Muhlenberg defense recorded seven sacks (corrected 9/23) and held Union to 43 rushing yards on 33 carries and 12 completions in 32 attempts. Rathbun recorded a team-high eight tackles, including one of the sacks, and junior Frank Emmett contributed a sack, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.

The offense reached the 30-point mark for their eighth time in the last 10 games.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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