SALISBURY, Md. – The sixth-ranked Salisbury University football team's historic 2019 campaign came an end in the NCAA Elite Eight as they dropped a 24-8 decision to the fourth-ranked Muhlenberg Mules on Saturday.
Final Score: No. 4 Muhlenberg 24, No. 6 Salisbury 8
Records: Muhlenberg (13-0) | Salisbury (11-1)
Location: Sea Gull Stadium – Salisbury, Md.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After Salisbury forced a Muhlenberg three-and-out to start the game, Salisbury drove down to the red zone in three plays highlighted by a 22-yard Jack Lanham completion to Chad Gleason, a Lanham 17-yard keeper and a Shamar Gray five-yard rush. Gleason, however, fumbled a toss play at the 13-yard line and Muhlenberg recovered the ball to keep the game scoreless.
- On the ensuing drive, Muhlenberg drove down the field and scored on a 23-yard pass from Mike Hnatkowsky to Max Kirin to give the Mules an early 7-0 lead.
- Muhlenberg scored again on their next drive on a nine-yard touchdown reception by Kirin from Hnatkowsky.
- Salisbury was driving to start the second quarter. Facing a 4th-and-2 on the Muhlenberg 27. Lanham took a shot to the end zone to Octavion Wilson but John Washington broke up the pass at the goal line to keep Salisbury off the board.
- Muhlenberg added points with 6:54 left in the half on a Todd Spirt 34-yard field goal to give the Mules a 17-0 lead.
- Muhlenberg made it a 24-0 game in the third when Hnatkowsky found Mitch Daniel in the middle of the field for a 22-yard touchdown pass.
- Salisbury got some momentum going their way when Hnatkowsky was intercepted by Troy Garrett at the Salisbury 34 in the early moments of the fourth.
- Salisbury got down into Muhlenberg territory but their drive stalled at the Muhlenberg 34-yard line.
- The defense stepped up and forced a three-and-out on Muhlenberg's next possession. Gleason took a punt back 44 yards to the Muhlenberg territory.
- After a Michael Fowler 14-yard run and a Damien King 11-yard run put Salisbury with a goal-to-go, Lanham took it himself and powered across the goal line to put points on the board. Lanham also converted the two-point try to cut the Muhlenberg lead to 24-8.
- Bert Schrecongost's onside kick was recovered by Muhlenberg.
- Salisbury got the ball back with four minutes left in the game but Muhlenberg's Joseph O'Hagan intercepted the fourth-down play to seal the win.
- Muhlenberg collected 370 yards of offense,
- Salisbury was held to 176 yards of total offense.
- Michael Fowler had 51 yards on six carries.
- Jack Lanham totaled 70 yards of offense for Salisbury.
- Patrick Bernardo tallied a game-high 12 tackles.
- Harold Kwigova notched eight tackles and a tackle for loss.
- Sean Carroll and Andrew Raines each registered seven tackles. Raines added a tackle for loss.
- Matthew McFarland, Robert Jadick and Austin Farinholt each made five stops with a half tackle for loss.
- Troy Garrett recorded his first collegiate interception.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Salisbury was making its first NCAA Quarterfinal appearance since 2011.
- Patrick Bernardo moved to fifth all-time in career tackles in Salisbury history with 283 tackles.
- The champions of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, Salisbury finish the 2019 season with an 11-1 record and perfect 7-0 league record.
- Salisbury qualified for their 11th NCAA Tournament in program history.