Muhlenberg shuts down McDaniel

Jake Nichols © 2010 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Jake Nichols © 2010 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

Mules roll up 333 yards in 29-0 blanking of Green Terror

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Terrence Dandridge notched his fourth straight 100-yard rushing day with 140 yards to lead Muhlenberg to a 29-0 Centennial Conference (CC) football victory over McDaniel on Saturday.

Michael Katz converted three field goals of 40-plus yards for the Mules (5-1, 5-0 CC), who won their fifth straight game to remain perfect in the conference and keep pace with Ursinus, which is also 5-0 after a 26-17 win over Johns Hopkins.

The Green Terror (4-2, 3-2 CC) was able to muster a season-low 143 yards of total offense, including abysmal 22 yards on 20 rushes, in its first shutout loss in two seasons. Tom Massucci (Seneca, N.J./Tabernacle) completed 19 of 39 passes for 121 yards.

Muhlenberg was able to move the ball after taking the opening kickoff but its nine-play drive stalled at the McDaniel 23. Katz converted from 40 yards out for a 3-0 lead with 11:23 to play in the first quarter.

The two teams exchanged three-and-out series five times before the Mules took over at their own 47 after a kick-catch interference call.

The nine-play drive once again stalled after just 25 yards, setting up Katz for a 46-yard attempt. He converted to double the advantage at the end of the first quarter.

After five Green Terror offensive plays netted just five yards, Jake Nichols (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) got off his longest punt of the day – a 48-yarder – to drive Muhlenberg back to its own 18.

A pass interference call – one of nine McDaniel penalties on the day – negated an interception and kept the Mule drive alive, eventually leading to a 44-yard Katz field goal with 5:36 to play in the first half.

On the next Muhlenberg possession, Dan Deighan connected with Jon Liberty for a 41-yard gain to key a five-play, 44-yard drive that resulted in the first of two Dandridge touchdown runs and a 16-0 lead with 1:00 on the clock.

A missed Green Terror field goal at the end of the first half kept the shutout in tact at the break.

McDaniel received the second half opening kickoff but fumbled, setting up a first down for Muhlenberg at the Green Terror 27. Three plays later, Dandridge ran around right end for 16 yards and a 22-0 lead just 1:24 into the third quarter.

The Mules took over on downs with 5:37 to play in the contest at the McDaniel 48. After a two-yard loss, Deighan found Bobby Bushong for 50 yards and the score to set the final margin.

Deighan was 9-for-28 for 141 yards in the passing game. Bushong caught three passes for 70 yards while Liberty hauled in four catches for 65 yards.

Nichols averaged 38.9 yards on a career-high 10 punts – the Green Terror's first 10-punt day since Oct. 18, 2008 against the Mules.

Patrick McDonough led the Muhlenberg defense with nine tackles, including a sack while Matthew Siedt had seven stops.

Zach Martin (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) and Diego Weiner (Miami, Fla./Riverside Military Academy [Ga.]) had eight tackles apiece for McDaniel.

Chris Kolb (Keymar, Md./Francis Scott Key) made his conference-leading sixth interception.

The Green Terror returns to action at Ursinus on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.