On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Muhlenberg football team played Franklin and Marshall College (F&M). This rivalry game was anticipated by many, especially ‘Berg’s seniors. The game served as the team’s senior night, where they honored and celebrated their senior class of 2024. The Mules were well prepared knowing this game would be a good battle. The Mules defeated F&M in double-overtime fashion. The mules battled hard throughout the whole game. Tight End James Nye ‘24 brought the energy by completing an 18-yard, one-handed catch, leading the Mules to a 21-7 lead at the end of the first half. The Diplomats took the lead in the second half, scoring three consecutive touchdowns, bringing the game score to 35-28 with the Mules trailing behind. The Mule’s defense forced a punt and turnover with 1:17 remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter. Wide Receiver Christopher Ardito ‘24 caught a 35-yard touchdown (TD) pass with 35 seconds remaining, leading the teams into overtime. “When I caught that ball and saw the end zone all I thought was this is our game now we found a way to score backed up with no timeouts there’s no way we lose now,” said Ardito. The Mules started strong with Ardito receiving another TD, putting the Mules ahead 42-35. The Diplomats took the lead at the start of the second overtime. The Mules dug deep and found a way out, driving the ball into the end zone with a catch from Nye, ending the game and giving Muhlenberg another victory. Ardito completed his second career 100-yard game. “The defense stepped up in the second OT [overtime] and the offensive mindset was the games back in our hands let’s go finish it, and we did just that.”
Captain and Left Tackle Zachary Greenberg ‘24 reflects on the pre-game mentality of the team and on what it takes to dig deep and find a way to victory. “Seeing our team be able to compete at such a high caliber for all 60 minutes is essential for a team to be successful down the stretch. The no-quit mentality we constantly emphasize came into full display when we had to battle back from a touchdown deficit and later drive down the field to tie the game as time expired. Our late coach, Coach Donnelly, as he always preached, ‘Find A Way To Win.’ These ‘Find A Way’ moments can present themself at any point in the game, and finding a way when your back is against the wall separates the good from great football teams.”
The Mules have a strong culture, and it has taken them far. Saturday’s win served as a great example of this. Greenberg continues, “Coming out on top after a double OT win was a direct result of the 60-minute performance from all three phases of our team. Winning this game, especially on Senior Day, is a great way to show our appreciation to the seniors, with one final win on Scotty Wood. It also is a great time to show appreciation for the coaches, who invest so much and dedicate themselves to these seniors over their careers here, not only making them great football players but even better men. As all the seniors and fifth-years can agree, our success over the past four years is due to the highest level of Division III coaching a player can experience. It also is a way to show our appreciation to our parents, family, and support groups, as they have sacrificed so much to allow us to be in the positions we are in today. Celebrating senior day shows how quickly four years go by. The experience at Muhlenberg has been nothing short of amazing, with all the thanks going to the team, coaches, and trainers.”
There was no better way to celebrate the long-time commitment of seniors and fifth-year graduates than with a win, go Mules!