WESTMINSTER, Md. – John DeLuca rushed for 242 yards, single-handedly outgaining McDaniel as part of a 488-yard afternoon for fifth-ranked Muhlenberg in a 49-6 Centennial Conference (CC) football victory on Saturday.
The Mules (6-0, 4-0 CC) spotted the Green Terror (2-4, 1-3 CC) a first-quarter touchdown before scoring 49 points in the next two periods for their second straight 43-point over McDaniel, snapping a nine-game losing streak in Westminster and garnering their first victory since 24-14 triumph in 1988.
Muhlenberg held the Green Terror to 180 yards of total offense – 130 of which came in the first half, including 68 on the squad’s scoring drive.
In a repeat of the way the game started two weeks ago, the McDaniel defense held its opponent to a three-and-out on the first possession before T.J. Develin (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) staked McDaniel to an early advantage.
After Zach Swope (Jessup, Md./Hammond), making his first start of the season, completed an 11-yard pass to Matt Bergbauer (Westminster, Md./Westminster), Develin ripped off a 51-yard run up the middle to set up a first-and-goal at the Muhlenberg 6.
The junior running back then capped the drive on the next play before Jay Leonard’s (Westminster, Md./Westminster) extra-point attempt was blocked to keep it a 6-0 game just 3:17 into the contest.
After the two teams traded punts, an Eric Santagato quarterback keeper for 22 yards capped a 14-play, 78-yard drive. Michael Katz’s PAT gave the Mules a 7-6 lead with just 59 seconds elapsed in the second quarter.
Three plays into the Green Terror’s next drive, Cameron Ahouse picked off Swope and returned it 51 yards to make it a 14-6 game just over a minute later.
After a 64-yard David Mazzola punt pinned McDaniel at its own three-yard line, the Muhlenberg defense held the Green Terror to a three-and-out.
With the Mules set up at the McDaniel 33, DeLuca ripped off a 15-yard run before back-to-back two-yard rushes. After a timeout, Santagato found Joe Caporoso in the middle of the end zone to make it a 21-6 game with 5:37 remaining in the half.
After forcing a three-and-out on the Green Terror’s first possession of the second half, Santagato guided his team 43 yards that was capped with DeLuca’s first touchdown.
On the Mules’s very next offensive play, Santagato found Cresta for a 32-yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 35-6.
Muhlenberg made it three touchdowns in three plays when DeLuca broke off a 72-yard touchdown to make it a 42-6 game with 5:24 to play in the third quarter – a quarter in which the Mules racked up 214 yards of total offense.
A 12-yard DeLuca rush with 31.1 seconds remaining in the third quarter capped a 6-play, 67-yard drive that rounded out the scoring.
Develin finished the game with a career-high 118 yards rushing on 12 carries, the fourth consecutive game he has reached a new career best.
Mike Weick (Holland, Md./Penn Charter) and Aaron Slaughter (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) each reached double-digit tackles with 13 and 11, respectively. Paul Smith (Woodlawn, Md./Western Tech) had two interceptions.
McDaniel returns to action at Ursinus on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.