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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - page 3

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football rallies in second half vs. hopkins

The Muhlenberg football team cut a 24-point deficit to one touchdown with a strong second-half performance, but fell to 0-2 in the Centennial Conference with a 40-27 Homecoming loss to CC preseason favorite Johns Hopkins.

A week after scoring only three points in a loss at Gettysburg, the Mules trailed 27-3 after a first half in which they turned the ball over five times.

But behind sophomore
Dan Deighan
Deighan’s 59-yard touchdown came on his first career reception.
quarterback Justin Myers, who came on in relief in the second quarter, Muhlenberg rallied with three second-half touchdowns – one more than the offense had generated in the first three games combined.

The Mules faced a second-and-14 on their first second-half possession when Myers hit senior Phil Cresta with a 30-yard completion along the right sideline. Two plays later, Myers threw a swing pass to freshman Terrence Dandridge, who made several tacklers miss en route to a 40-yard touchdown play.

After the defense forced a punt, Muhlenberg opened the next series with a trick play, as junior running back Joe Montemurro threw a 35-yard completion to Cresta. On fourth-and-8 from the Hopkins 29, Myers hit Cresta in the end zone to make the score 27-17.

Those were the only three catches for Cresta, but the 94 receiving yards moved him over 2,000 for his career.

The Blue Jays (4-1, 3-0) scored a touchdown with 10:44 left in the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 34-17, but Dandridge returned the kickoff 59 yards to set up a 35-yard field goal by junior Michael Katz. Katz and the Mules then executed a successful onside kick, with sophomore Michael Kellum recovering.

On the next play from scrimmage, Myers found freshman Dan Deighan behind the Hopkins secondary for a 59-yard touchdown pass. The 10 points in 14 seconds cut the lead to 34-27.

Hopkins turned to its running game and outstanding back Andrew Kase, who had been held in check by the defense most of the afternoon. He carried seven times for 52 yards on the next drive, including the last 12 for a touchdown with 3:40 left that all but sealed the game. Muhlenberg’s next drive ended with an interception, its sixth turnover of the game.

Dandridge finished with 192 all-purpose yards, including 81 on a pair of kickoff returns. The Mules returned eight kickoffs for 217 yards, just 14 yards shy of the school record. Sophomore J.T. Merklinger, playing his first game for Muhlenberg, had 122 yards on kickoff returns.

Myers completed only five passes, but three of them went for touchdowns. He finished with 158 yards through the air.

Junior Patrick McDonough led the defense with 13 tackles.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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