/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."

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Video Box Score
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
St. Thomas at Berry
@ Location TBD
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
@ TBA
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Video Box Score
End of 2nd
10 Salisbury
7 Ithaca
@ Newark, Del.
Video Live stats Box Score
1st - 00:53
0 SUNY-Maritime
0 WPI
Live stats Video
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Alfred
@ University of Delaware
Video Preview Live stats Audio