Cox's fumble recovery for touchdown keys 16-9 win for Green Terror at Muhlenberg
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Clinging to a one-point lead late, Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson) recorded a sack, fumble recovery and touchdown to seal the win, lifting McDaniel to a 16-9 Centennial Conference (CC) football victory at Muhlenberg on Saturday.
The Green Terror (4-2, 2-2 CC), who won 13-6 over the Mules (2-4, 1-3 CC) in Allentown on Nov. 5, 2005, notched its first road conference win since that day to snap a 13-game streak.
In a day in which the two teams combined for 435 yards, it was a defensive play that sealed the win for McDaniel.
Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.) accounted for the Green Terror's offensive touchdown, catching a 32-yard pass from Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) in the second quarter.
Justin Myers threw for 176 yards to pace the Mules but the McDaniel defense got to the signal caller eight times during the game. The eight sacks is the most in a game for the squad since a nine-sack performance against Ursinus in 2004.
Nick DeLuca (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) staked the Green Terror to a 3-0 lead in the waning seconds of the first quarter, converting a 21-yard field to cap a 15-play drive.
Two drives later, Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.) capped a seven-play, 59-yard march with a 32-yard reception, falling backwards into the end zone to put the Green Terror on top 10-0 with 6:10 remaining in the second quarter.
Justin Myers found a wide-open Phil Cresta for a 51-yard gain to set the Mules up at the McDaniel 3. Three plays later, J.T. Merklinger found the end zone from the one-yard line but the extra-point attempt bounced off the left upright to keep it a 10-6 game with 8:04 to play in the third quarter.
On Muhlenberg's next drive, the Mules drove inside the 10-yard line before the drive stalled and Michael Katz made it a one-point game, converting from 26 yards with 12:41 to play in the fourth quarter.
A Cresta one-handed grab on second-and-7 from the Mule 19 gained 26 yards, moving the ball to the 45. On third-and-10, however, Cox stripped Myers and rumbled to the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown off the fumble recovery. A missed PAT kept it a 16-9 game with 5:45 showing.
On the ensuing Muhlenberg possession, Chris Kolb (Keymar, Md./Francis Scott Key) picked off Myers and returned the ball 24 yards to give McDaniel the ball back at the Mule 42.
The offense ran 10 plays over the final 4:43 to put a bow on the Green Terror's first back-to-back victory since 2004.
Eric Zwilsky (Knoxville, Md./Brunswick) rushed for a team-best 46 yards on 11 carries while Massucci threw for 165 yards, completing 18 of 31 passes.
In addition to his forced fumble and touchdown, Cox finished with four tackles - all for loss and a pair of sacks. Mike Weick (Holland, Pa./Penn Charter) notched a team-high 10 stops with three sacks.
The McDaniel defense held the Mules to six rushing yards on 14 carries on the first half. Muhlenberg finsihed with 28 yards on the ground, running the ball 35 times.
McDaniel returns to action at home against Ursinus on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.