heartbreak for football; joy for volleyball
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
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 1½ sacks among his nine stops, and sophomore Chase Nadell had a big game in the secondary, intercepting a pass and breaking up two others.
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