/seasons/2012/contrib/201211100c6sc7

Muhlenberg Rolls Past Moravian, Awaits Postseason Bid

More news about: Muhlenberg

Johnathan Charles has come a long way in his junior season with the Muhlenberg football team. After beginning the year on the third string and not seeing any varsity playing time, he worked his way to becoming the starting nose tackle.

Next season, he might push for a starting job at wide receiver.

Charles lived every defensive lineman's dream, intercepting a pass to provide a big momentum shift as the Mules closed out their regular season with an impressive 45-7 win at rival Moravian.

With its fifth straight win, Muhlenberg improve its record to 8-2 – the ninth season of at least eight wins in program history and the first since 2008. The Mules finished in sole possession of second place in the Centennial Conference for the second year in a row and now await word on a postseason bid. If they don't receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, they almost assuredly will be invited to play in an ECAC bowl game.

Charles' first career interception was one of several milestones for Muhlenberg players. Senior Terrence Dandridge rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns to go over 1,000 yards for the season. Sophomore Ian Gimbar recorded four sacks, running his season total to a school-record 13. And junior Joe Carlucci threw for one score and ran for another to earn the win in his first career start.

The 38-point margin of victory was the largest for Muhlenberg in the series, which dates back to 1900.

The Mules scored on their first possession, capping an 11-play, 79-yard drive on a 1-yard run by Carlucci, but had to punt after their second. On the first play after the punt, the Greyhounds (2-8, 2-7) ripped off a 21-yard run, and three plays later a 16-yard completion was good for a first down on third-and-9.

Two plays after that, however, Charles picked off a screen pass at midfield, reaching back with his left hand to snag the ball and quickly securing it with his right hand before setting off in the opposite direction. The 6-foot-3, 258-pounder broke a tackle in rumbling to the 25-yard line before he was stripped of the ball from behind. Fortunately, teammate Matt Johnson recovered the fumble.

"I got a fumble recovery once before, but that was my first time ever actually running with the ball," said Charles, whose brother attends Moravian. "I knew what to do. I saw the end zone and went for it. Maybe I should've held it a little tighter," he added with a smile.

After the interception – the first by a Mule lineman since 2008 – sophomore Connor Winter banged home a 34-yard field goal to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter.

Shortly thereafter, Moravian looked to get on the board with a 22-yard field goal following an interception of its own, but sophomore Michael Long blocked the kick.

From there, it became the Terrence Dandridge show. The senior carried eight times for 59 yards on the ensuing drive, including the last eight for the touchdown, as the offensive line opened up gaping holes in the Greyhound defense.

After a three-and-out, the "out" coming on a third-down sack by junior Christian Smith, Dandridge rushed four more times for 16 yards on the next possession, which ended with Carlucci finding Long with a 6-yard scoring pass just 18 seconds before halftime.

Dandridge finished the first half with 137 yards and added 12 more and two touchdowns in the first 6:02 of the second half as Muhlenberg ran its lead to 38-0. He finished the game with a season total of 1,013 yards (his second 1,000-yard season) and received the Bianco Award as the Mules' game MVP for the second year in a row.

Both third-quarter touchdown drives were set up by long passes to senior Isaiah Vaughn (one on a trick play from sophomore wide receiver Tyler George), who finished with five catches for 109 yards for his fourth 100-yard game of the season.

Gimbar broke the school record of 11 sacks in a season, set by Kenneth Cobb two years ago, early in the third quarter and added one more later on. After a 1-yard run by junior Kevin Van Laar extended the lead to 45-0, senior John Muha kept the shutout bid alive with an interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Moravian finally got on the board in the final two minutes, however, by returning a punt for a touchdown.

The Mules outgained the Greyhounds by nearly a 2-1 margin (460-231) and allowed only 13 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Freshman Matt Pagano led the defense with nine tackles, including 1½ for losses.

"We played really well," said Charles. "We dominated on defense and executed on offense. It was just an all-around great job."

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham