September 17, 2011

Muhlenberg comes from behind to stun McDaniel

More news about: Muhlenberg

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Dan Deighan threw two 40-yard touchdown passes as the Muhlenberg football team scored 27 fourth-quarter points to stun McDaniel, 34-26, in front of a Homecoming crowd of 3,217.

The Green Terror (1-2, 1-1 Centennial Conference) led 26-7 five minutes into the second quarter, and the score remained that way with the Mules (2-1, 2-0) facing a third-and-5 at their own 15 to start the fourth.

Two long completions by Deighan, one for 26 yards to Marcus Toomey on a fake punt, set up a 3-yard touchdown run by J.T. Merklinger with 13:03 on the clock.

Two series later, Deighan connected with Zach Klein for a 40-yard touchdown on third-and-17, bringing Muhlenberg to within 26-21.

On the ensuing series, McDaniel faced a fourth-and-1 on its own 41 with less than five minutes remaining. The Green Terror tried a fake punt, but Ian Gimbar stuffed Kevin White for a 1-yard loss.

On the next play, Deighan hit Merklinger streaking down the left sideline for the go-ahead touchdown. Deighan ran in the two-point conversion to make it 29-26 with 4:26 to play.

The Mules later added a safety when a high snap by McDaniel rolled into the end zone and a 27-yard field goal by Gregg Mercogliano.

Needing a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie, the Green Terror advanced to the Muhlenberg 41 on its last possession, but a Hail Mary pass was intercepted in the end zone by Kory Crichton as time expired.

McDaniel built its big lead early on the strength of Joe Rollins' running and a big special teams play. Rollins, who rushed for 311 yards last week, gained 35 yards on the first play from scrimmage, setting up a 1-yard sneak by Nick Valori. Muhlenberg went three and out on its first series, and Micah Brown blocked the punt and recovered the ball in the end zone to make it 13-0 less than five minutes in.

Terrence Dandridge rushed 69 yards for a score to get the Mules on the board on the first play from scrimmage after the blocked punt. McDaniel responded with 1-yard runs by Rollins and Brad Kline.

Deighan finished 18-of-31 for a career-high 282 yards. He was 12-of-17 for 226 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Dandridge rushed for a game-high 132 yards on 17 carries.

Rollins finished with 112 yards on 12 carries before leaving in the second quarter with an injury. Tight end Woody Butler caught six balls for a career-high 130 yards. 

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