MUHLENBERG FOOTBALL PLAYING IN NCAA DIII CHAMPIONSHIP

November 16, 2018
By: Erica Rose
It's been quite a year for the Muhlenberg Football team. With just one loss on the season, the 9-1 Mules clinched a share of the Centennial Title last Saturday (along with Johns Hopkins).  It's their 10th crown and first since 2010.  The Mules are ranked 25th in DIII by the AFCA, and will be traveling to Doylestown this weekend as they received an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Championships.  

For the seniors, this will be four years they will never forget.  It starts with the loss of their head coach Mike Donnelly.   Donnelly, who resurrected the football program and became the winningest coach in school history, passed away from cancer just a season ago.  But the seniors have kept his memory and winning ways alive. “The win was the 34th for the 12-member senior class, tying the last two classes for the most wins in a four-year period in program history. They have a record of 34-9, with two nine-win seasons, two eight-win seasons and four postseason bids.” – I got that fun statistic from the Mules website.  The coaching staff is also stepping up to the plate, but I guess it’s no surprise since Nate Milne was on Donnelly’s coaching staff.  “Milne became just the second first-year head coach in CC history to win the championship. He also tied the school record for wins by a first-year coach, set by the legendary Ben Schwartzwalder in 1946. Milne already held the CC record for wins by a first-year head coach.”

So, this Saturday the Mules will take on Del Val at noon, in the first round game.  The first-round bid is the eighth for the Mules since 2002.  Obviously, it will not be a walk in the park for the team: Del Val is also 9-1 and went undefeated in the MAC, winning its second straight conference title.  The two squads also seem to know each other - this will be the second postseason meeting in three years between the two schools. In 2016, Delaware Valley defeated Muhlenberg, 30-27, in the inaugural Centennial-MAC Bowl Series.  

So, if you have nothing to do this weekend; and the weather cooperates come out to see what is sure to be an exciting game!