Football Beats Dickinson on Frozen Tundra

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cross country Volleyball

Most people wait until December to go walking in a winter wonderland, but in its last game of October, the Muhlenberg football had an opportunity to play in one.

In a scene that looked like it was taken out of a snow globe, Muhlenberg’s offense got a pair of big days on the ground, and the defense turned Dickinson away on four trips inside the 30-yard line for a 12-0 win on a day more suited for penguins and polar bears.

Dan Deighan
Deighan’s 100-yard rushing day made him the first Mule to have a 100-yard game rushing, throwing and receiving in the same season.
Juniors Dan Deighan and Terrence Dandridge became the first pair of Mules to each rush for 100 yards since 2003, and the defense pounced on three of Dickinson’s eight fumbles to earn its eighth shutout in the past five seasons.

“I’d never really played in an organized game like that,” senior Mark Mounayar said. “I’d only ever really played backyard games in the snow. So it was really fun to be out there; I couldn’t believe how much snow there was.”

With the home stands closed because of potential safety hazards and, the crowd reduced on account of the conditions, the atmosphere was eeriely more quiet than normal. But that did not stop the Mules from making some early noise.

Deighan gave Muhlenberg (5-3, 5-2) a quick lead when he broke a tackle on the third play from scrimmage and scampered 52 yards through a couple of inches of snow for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game.

Three drives later, Dickinson (3-5, 3-4) took over at the Mule 26 after an interception. The Red Devils drove to 15, but senior Kenneth Cobb hit Dickinson’s quarterback, who was trying to handle a bobbled snap. The ball came loose and was recovered by senior Andy Curley to keep the Mules in front.

Dickinson got the ball inside the Mule 30 on two of its next three drives, but the first ended with a turnover on downs and the second was stopped when Curley forced a fumble, which was recovered by senior Chris Hartzell at the Mule 5 to stop what would prove to be the Red Devils’ best scoring chance of the day.

After slowing down around halftime, the snow got even harder midway through the third quarter. With the snow piling up, members of the Mule baseball team, armed with shovels, tried their best to keep every fifth yard line clear.

With the lines fading away from view, Muhlenberg forced a punt on Dickinson’s first drive of the second half and took over at its own 25.

Andrew Tullo and Mark Mounayar
Andrew Tullo (left) and Mounayar (right) combined for two of Muhlenberg’s six tackles for loss.
Looking for another TD to stretch their lead, the Mules turned to T.D., Terrence Dandridge. He carried the ball nine times for 75 yards, including a long run of 34 yards, and capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 12-0 with 5:53 to play in the third.

“I had to drain my socks out at halftime; I thought I had frostbite.” Dandridge said. “Then I couldn’t feel my hands, so it was hard to hold onto the ball. But that drive felt good. The offensive line did a great job and gave me a lot of big holes.”

Dickinson got as close as the Muhlenberg 15-yard line midway through the fourth quarter but turned the ball over on downs. The Red Devils would not get any closer as the Mule defense closed out the shutout.

Deighan finished with a team-high 120 yards on 16 carries, while Dandridge added 114 to help the Mules rush for 288 yards, their most since 2008.

Mounayar led the defense with seven tackles, including two for loss, and a fumble recovery. Hartzell and senior Patrick McDonough added seven stops apiece. Senior Mike Fiorillo recorded six tackles, a sack that forced a fumble and a pass breakup to end Dickinson’s final drive.

The two teams combined for 102 rushing attempts and just 87 yards through the air in the snowy conditions.

After shaking hands with the Red Devils, the Mule linemen looked like children at recess, running to east end zone for an impromptu snowball fight. And according to Mounayar, it was the perfect ending to a truly memorable day.

“That was really special to be a part of a game like that,” Mounayar said. “It was really good to get the goose egg to keep them off the board. And now I’m going to go home and try to warm up.”
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