Coming off of their first loss of the season, the Muhlenberg football squad put on a show in front of a packed Scotty Wood Stadium on Saturday Nov. 3 – the Saturday of parents weekend.

The Mules made light work of the Gettysburg Bullets blowing past them 49-0.

Both the offense and defense filled up the stat sheets with plenty positive numbers. One of those players on the offensive side of the ball was James Diggs ‘20 who started the off the scoring with a little help from his offensive line. Less than four minutes into the game Diggs was handed the ball on the opponent 13 yard line where he was met by the Gettysburg defense. Diggs was able to stay on his feet where he was reinforced by members of the Muhlenberg offensive line who literally pushed him the last eight yards into the endzone for the score.

“We were able to go out and establish the run early on in the game which allowed us to make plays in the passing game later on,” said Diggs. “It was a point if emphasis for us to establish the run against a team that was looking to stuff the run game all day.” Diggs ran for an additional touchdown for the Mules second touchdown of the afternoon.

Mike Hnatkowski ‘21 took the reins of passing game from that point which has been one of the top aerial attacks in the Centennial Conference in 2018. Hnatkowski is second in the Centennial in passing yards and touchdowns. He is also within the top 25 among all Division III quarterbacks in the country in passing yards, despite playing in fewer games than some of them.

The next four scores for the Mules came from the left hand of Hnatkowski, connecting with Max Kirin ‘20, Chris Hillburn ‘20, and Ryan Curtiss ‘20 twice for touchdowns.

“Our offensive line and running backs are some of the best in the country,” said Hnatkowski. “They work extremely hard everyday and Saturday it showed.”

Max Kirin furthered the notion of the hard work off the field translating to results on the gridiron.

“The offense was able to play so well because of how hard we worked during the week and in the offseason,” he said. “Our great work ethic in practice was evident in the many broken tackles and extended plays, where all of our guys were playing until the whistle and were giving great effort on every single play.”

The six touchdowns scored by the Mules offense did not leave the defense content and at ease. The Mules final score of the day was by Nate Corvil ‘19 who intercepted a Gettysburg pass and returned it for a pick-six. The defensive score was Corvil’s fifth career defensive touchdown, three of which have come via the interception return. Corvil is now one interception touchdown away from tying the all-time Muhlenberg football record for interceptions returned for a touchdown in a career.

The stands at Scotty Wood Stadium were filled during Family Weekend. Photo Courtesy of Office of Communications.

Frankie Feaster ‘20 also lit up the Gettysburg offense, racking up 1.5 sacks and intercepting a pass. Feaster’s sack total in 2018 is now up to 11.5. If he can eclipse 14.5 on the season he will hold the Mules single season sack record at Muhlenberg. Feasters 11.5 sacks are also the most out of any player in the Centennial Conference, and seventh most out of any Division III player in the nation.

For the Mules to continue the quest to break into the playoffs and shatter records along the way they will end their regular season against cross-valley rival Moravian College. After that matchup, and depending on its result, the Mules will potentially earn a spot in an NCAA regional, hoping to capture an at-large bid.

The matchup will also be apart of the “Matte Cup”, played between the sports teams of Moravian and Muhlenberg each year. The winner of the football game receives the Sedexo Trophy. Although the title game is more of a friendly championship game the Mules are using it to prepare for another playoff game they may battle their way into in a couple of weeks.

“This game is a championship level game for us and we know the guys in Bethlehem will be excited to get at us. Hopefully with a win we can get ourselves a playoff spot but to be honest we are really focused on preparing and playing Mules football against our rival,” said Hnatkowski.

Kirin echoed his starting quarterback’s remarks.

“Being the last game only adds to the implications of this game for both of our teams as we finish our regular seasons. We want to focus on the same things we have focused on giving great effort in practice and pushing each other to work hard so we can see the results.”

The Gettysburg victory set a positive tone moving forward, and sent the players from the class of 2019 off in their last game at Scotty Wood stadium quite nicely. Diggs was proud to have this year’s seniors experience a big win in their last home game.

“It was important that we played our hardest one last time for the seniors specifically. They’ve been in this program for four years and deserved to leave that field Saturday with a memory that would last them a lifetime.”

Additional Reporting by Alex Horowitz. 

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Aside from being a part of the Weekly I also am involved on campus as a tour guide, and I play on the baseball team. Also, I study media & communication with a minor in political science. Post Muhlenberg I would ideally like to enter the sports media industry. Favorite GQ meal: Breakfast Bowl

1 COMMENT

  1. My wife ’67, and I greatly enjoy the game reports in the Weekly. As a former co-captain in ’65, we only see the game scores in the Dallas papers. We hope that the team may progress to a playoff game into our region.
    Keep up the great coverage.
    Go Mules!

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