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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, October 31, 2009 - page 2

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heartbreak for football; joy for volleyball

PLAYOFFS: ONE IN, OUT; CROSS COUNTRY RUNS IN CHAMPIONSHIP MEET

The Muhlenberg volleyball team clinched its first Centennial Conference playoff berth since 2001 when McDaniel lost to Haverford in five sets. The Mules, who did their part by defeating Gettysburg on Friday night, will travel to Swarthmore on Wednesday for a first-round match.

The field hockey team did not get the results it needed to make the playoffs. Muhlenberg finished in a four-way tie for the fifth and final playoff spot but lost to the other three teams involved in the tie. Franklin & Marshall wound up getting the fifth seed for the CC playoffs. The Mules ended their season with a record of 9-8.

The Muhlenberg cross country teams competed at the Centennial Conference Championships at Gettysburg.

The men were fifth out of nine and the women were seventh out of 10, but that tells only part of the story. Both teams competed extremely well in the face of adversity that included injuries, flu, sickness and a wet, sloppy Gettysburg course.

Junior Bobby Torphy was the top men’s finisher, coming in 27th, three spots ahead of sophomore William Lowrey. Junior Kate Mahoney had the best place overall for the Mules, finishing 20th.

With only one male senior and no women seniors, Muhlenberg’s cross country future looks very bright.
Click here for complete results.

The Muhlenberg football team was one quarter away from what would have been a satisfying win in a rough season, but instead was left with another disappointing loss.

Centennial Conference co-leader Dickinson scored 17 fourth-quarter points to overcome a 16-0 deficit and defeat the Mules on Gordon Craig’s 41-yard field goal with 7 seconds left.

Muhlenberg (2-6, 1-5) built its lead with solid play in all facets of
JJ Contessa
Contessa, the Mules’ long snapper, has recovered two fumbled punts this season and three in his career.
the game. Sophomore J.T. Merklinger rushed for 42 yards on a game-opening 12-play, 52-yard drive that ended with the first of junior Michael Katz’ three field goals.

Freshman Dan Deighan, making his second career start, scrambled 22 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 10-0.

Two special teams plays – a fumbled punt recovered by senior J.J. Contessa and a 43-yard punt return by sophomore Steve Nissley - set up two field goals in the third quarter.

Then there was the defense, which held a Red Devil offense that came in averaging 32.7 points per game to zero points and 164 total yards through three quarters.

Dickinson (7-1, 5-1) finally broke through on its first drive of the fourth quarter and converted a two-point try to cut the margin in half.

Muhlenberg’s defense held after a sack forced a lost fumble near midfield, but the Red Devils got the ball back at the Mule 37 after the exchange of punts. Seven rushing plays produced another touchdown, but Muhlenberg held on to the lead when the pass on the two-point conversion sailed out of the back of the end zone.

The Mules were forced to punt on their next possession after Merklinger’s long kickoff return, and junior Jason LoPipero pinned Dickinson at its own 19 with 1:22 left. A 43-yard pass got the Devils into Muhlenberg territory, and three runs put the ball into Craig’s range. The clock ran out on the final kickoff.

Merklinger finished with 101 yards on 28 carries for his first 100-yard game as a Mule.

Junior Patrick McDonough led the defense with 11 tackles. Junior Andy Curley recorded 1 sacks among his nine stops, and sophomore Chase Nadell had a big game in the secondary, intercepting a pass and breaking up two others.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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