Crusaders Fall Late at Muhlenberg

Crusaders Fall Late at Muhlenberg

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Susquehanna football team held a 24-20 lead against Muhlenberg heading into the final minutes of the fourth quarter but a late Mules scoring drive gave them a 27-24 come-from-behind win over the Crusaders.

A 39-yard Evan Argiriou field goal with 11:05 to play in the game put the Crusaders up 24-20 but Muhlenberg (3-2, 2-2) countered with an 80-yard drive that resulted in a Nick Palladino 17-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Delaney.

With time still left to mount a comeback of its own, Susquehanna fumbled the ensuing kickoff return. However, Muhlenberg turned the ball over on downs, giving SU one last chance with 3:59 remaining.

Unfortunately, on third-and-six at the Susquehanna 46-yard line, Nick Crusco was intercepted by the Mules' Luke Wiley, essentially sealing the Muhlenberg win.

SU (2-3, 1-3) was limited to 96 yards of rushing but did have 233 yards through the air. Crusco had 20 completions for those 233 yards with two touchdowns while rushing for another. Diamente Holloway finished with 112 yards on five receptions while Patrick Cutillo had eight catches for 39 yards and one touchdown.

Tom McLoughlin, playing in his first game since week one due to injury, accounted for both of the Crusaders' sacks while also finishing with nine tackles, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

Muhlenberg got on the board first when Kyle Wilczynski picked off Crusco and returned the ball 44 yards for the score. Fortunately for SU, the Mules' two-point conversion attempt failed, keeping it a six-point game.

SU responded with a seven-play, 70-yard drive that was punctuated by Crusco's five-yard rushing touchdown. Argiriou connected on the extra point to put the Crusaders up 7-6.

Each team scored one touchdown apiece over the remainder of the half with Cutillos' four-yard touchdown reception from Crusco with just 52 seconds left in the half giving SU the 14-13 halftime advantage.

Muhlenberg briefly took a 20-14 lead early in the third on Max Cepeda's 34-yard rushing touchdown but Taylor Kolmer and the Crusaders responded with a 21-yard pass from Crusco to Kolmer give the lead back to Susquehanna (21-20) with eight minutes left in the third quarter.

Argiriou connected on a 39-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to boost SU's lead to four (24-20) but Muhlenberg had the final say on Delaney's 17-yard touchdown reception that made it 27-24.

The entire Centennial Conference will enjoy a bye week before teams return to action on Oct. 17. Susquehanna will host Moravian in a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Postgame Note: SU head coach Tom Perkovich made his first return to Muhlenberg since joining Susquehanna prior to the start of the 2015 season. Perkovich spent a total of 11 years on the Muhlenberg coaching staff.