Long, Offense Enjoy Record Day in Win at Juniata

Saturday, October 26, 2013 - page 2

Although one of its touchdowns was a 64-yard pass play, it was “going to Long” rather than “going long” that propelled the Muhlenberg football team to a 27-7 win at Juniata.

Cody Geyer
Geyer has scored three different ways - on a rush, a reception and a punt return - in the last two weeks.
Junior Michael Long set a Centennial Conference record for tight ends by catching 11 passes for 114 yards as the Mules (5-2, 4-2) won their third in a row. Long was the first Muhlenberg tight end to record a 100-yard receiving game since 2007 (corrected 10/27) and the first Mule player to reach double digits in receptions since 2009.

Junior wide receiver Cody Geyer caught six passes for 120 yards and scored two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving), giving Muhlenberg two 100-yard receivers for the first time since 2004.

Quarterbacks Nick Palladino (179) and Joe Carlucci (119) combined to throw for 298 yards, and junior Thomas DiCarlo rushed for a career-high 90 yards on 28 carries. The Mules successfully played keepaway the Juniata quarterback, the three-time CC player of the week, holding possession for almost 40 minutes and running 97 plays, breaking the school record of 96 set in 1970. The offensive line did not allow a sack against a unit that came in ranked in the top 10 in Division III in that category.

“There’s a ton of worthy opponents in this conference. Week in and week out, we feel like we have a battle ahead of us,” said Palladino. “We prepared like hell for this team. They have a really good front on defense, a powerful offense. We feel if we play the way we did today and the last three games, we can really exploit some defenses.”

Muhlenberg had five drives of 10 plays or more, including its first – a 13-play, 57-yard march after the opening kickoff that culminated in a 28-yard field goal by junior Connor Winter.

John Feaster
Freshman John Feaster made five tackles and recorded his team-leading third interception of the season in the fourth quarter.
The Mules punted for the only time on their next possession, but got the ball right back when the Eagles (4-3, 3-3) fumbled on the return. Seven plays later, on the second play of the second quarter, senior Kevin Van Laar ran in from 5 yards out for the first touchdown of the game.

After Muhlenberg missed a field goal, Juniata answered with its lone score of the day. The Eagles had five first downs on their drive but only four on their next six possessions. The Mule defense held Juniata to 25 rushing yards and allowed only one third-down conversion.

Sophomore Matt Pagano led a balanced defensive effort with nine tackles and a pass breakup. Junior Jeremey Thomas recorded three pass breakups while senior Andrew Onimus and junior Tyler Cerbo broke up two apiece as the Mules held the Eagle quarterback, who came in with a .618 completion percentage, to 22 completions in 46 attempts. (corrected 10/31)

Winter booted his second field goal of the game, from 25 yards out, with 2:07 left in the half, and after Muhlenberg forced a punt, Carlucci hit Geyer with a 64-yard scoring strike to make it 20-7 at the half.

Geyer’s 10-yard run was the only touchdown of the second half.
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