Football Drops Low-Scoring Game at Windy Gettysburg

Saturday, October 15, 2011 - page 2

Entering its Centennial Conference football showdown with Muhlenberg, it was Gettysburg’s prolific offense that received most of the attention. But the Bullet defense showed it can step up when needed.

After allowing more than 420 yards and 42 points per game entering the contest, Gettysburg limited the Mules to just 220 yards and 10 points to help earn a 14-10 come-from-behind victory on a windy day on The Battlefield.

It was Muhlenberg’s third loss in its last four games

Mike Fiorillo
Senior Mike Fiorillo recorded eight tackles, including one for loss, and forced a fumble.
at Gettysburg and dropped them from a tie for second in the CC.

The Mule defense, for its part, forced five turnovers and held Gettysburg, which entered the game averaging 552 yards (first in Division III) and 48 points (second in Division III) per contest, to just 390 yards and the two scores, both of which were season lows.

For the first 15 minutes of the game, Muhlenberg could do no wrong. On Gettysburg’s second play of the game, senior Chris Hartzell forced a fumble that was recovered by classmate Kenneth Cobb near midfield.

The offense took over and marched down the field behind the passing of junior Dan Deighan. He completed all four of his attempts on the drive for 57 yards, including a perfectly thrown fade over the arms of the defender on third-and-22 to freshman Tyler George for a 24-yard touchdown that gave the Mules a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

The Mules forced a three-and-out on Gettysburg’s next possession and added to

Kenneth Cobb
In addition to his fumble recovery, Cobb added six tackles, including this sack, and two pass breakups.
their lead when senior Gregg Mercogliano booted a career-long 44-yard field goal with a strong left-to-right crosswind to make it 10-0.

When the first quarter finally came to a close, Muhlenberg had run twice as many plays as the Bullets (26 to 13), and held huge advantages in total yards (130 to 38) and time of possession (11:28 to 3:32).

But when the teams traded ends to start the second quarter, Gettysburg got the strong wind at its back. And just two plays later, the Bullets (4-2, 4-1) showed their explosiveness when they connected on a 73-yard touchdown pass to cut their deficit to three.

That play woke up the entire team as the defense yielded just 90 yards of total offense and held the Mules (3-3, 3-2) scoreless the rest of the way.

The Bullets tried to tie the score twice in the second quarter, but Mule freshman Michael Long leaped over the pile to block a pair of field goal attempts, including one with 24 seconds to play in the half, to keep the Mules in front.

However, on the first play after Long’s second block, the Bullets picked off a pass and returned it to the Mule 38-yard line to give themselves another chance to score just before the half. But junior Shane O’Connor stopped a Bullet receiver at the 1-yard line with no time left on the clock to keep the score 10-7.

Gettysburg took the lead on a 19-yard touchdown strike on 3rd-and-13 to make it 14-10 with 6:15 to play in the third quarter.

The Mules moved the ball into Bullet territory on their next drive, but turned it over on downs. Their next two drives ended in a punt and an interception, and Gettysburg ran out the final 3:58 to seal the win.

Senior Patrick McDonough led the defense with 13 tackles, including a half-sack and another one for loss.

Junior Terrence Dandridge rushed for 65 yards to go over 2,000 for his career.
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