Late fumbles cost Salisbury in playoff loss to Muhlenberg

Muhlenberg 31 Salisbury 21

November 18, 2007|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Allentown, Pa. -- Muhlenberg converted two late fourth-quarter fumbles by Salisbury into 10 points, leading the Mules to a 31-21 win over the Sea Gulls in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs yesterday.

Salisbury, which never led, rallied from a 21-6 deficit to tie the game at 21 in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Ronnie Curley (Howard) connected with Kevin Tillage on a 77-yard touchdown pass that cut Muhlenberg's lead to 21-19, and Jamar Garner scored on the ensuing two-point conversion.

After a Muhlenberg punt, Curley lost a fumble at the Sea Gulls' 23-yard line. That led to a 38-yard field by Jordan Grube for a 24-21 lead.

On the Sea Gulls' next offensive play, Valdase Morris fumbled and Muhlenberg recovered. Three plays later, Eric Santagato threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Edward DeRisi.

John DeLuca rushed for a game-high 186 yards and three touchdowns for Muhlenberg (11-0).

Salisbury (9-2) was held to a season-low 154 rushing yards.

Muhlenberg next will face Wesley on Saturday in Dover, Del.

Salisbury 6 7 0 8--21

Muhlenberg 14 7 0 10--31

First quarter M--DeLuca 18 run (Grube kick), 10:37 M--DeLuca 29 run (Grube kick), 5:41 S--Morris 54 run (Polizois run failed), 5:25

Second quarter M--DeLuca 1 run (Grube kick), 14:22 S--Garner 1 run (Kincaid kick) 4:54

Fourth quarter S--Tillage 77 pass from Curley (Garner run), 7:33 M--Grube 38 FG, 4:37 M--DeRisi 31 pass from Santagato (Grube kick), 3:38 A--4,312.

S M

First downs 14 18

Rushes-yards 45-154 46-170

Passing 210 195

Comp-Att-Int 8-15-0 16-24-0

Return Yards 224 273

Punts-Avg. 5-38.4 7-36.4

Fumbles-Lost 5-3 0-0

Penalties-Yards 7-40 3-25

Time of Possession 26:50 33:10 Rushing--Salisbury, Morris 7-59, Garner 9-50, Leonard 9-34, Shockley 4-16, Curley 16-(-5). Muhlenbergh, DeLuca 34-186, Snyder 1-1, Team 1-(-2), Santagato 10-(-15).

Passing-- Salisbury, Curley 15-8-0-210. Muhlenberg, Santagato 23-15-0-193, Jeffers 1-1-0-2.

Receiving--Salisbury, Morris 4-84, Tillage 2-82, DeBernardis 1-39, Garner 1-5. Muhlenberg, Cresta 5-73, Johnson 5-47, DeRisi 1-31, Smith 1-26, Caporoso 1-8, Snuder 1-6, DeLuca 1-2, Grube 1-2.

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