Technically, Anthony Schwab is a backup. But once the senior signal-caller gets into the game, no one would notice the difference.
A 2012 graduate of Pittston Area, Schwab is a quarterback on the Muhlenberg College football team. Recently, he planted his name in the record books during a game against McDaniel College.
Teaming up with starting quarterback Nick Palladino, Schwab entered the game in the second half and tossed a pair of scoring strikes. The duo combined to set a school record by throwing six touchdown passes as Muhlenberg rolled up 607 yards of total offense in a 55-0 homecoming win over McDaniel on Saturday, Sept. 19.
The old record of five touchdown passes in a game was achieved six times, most recently in 2000. Schwab played the entire second half and finished the game 7-for-11 with 62 yards and the two touchdowns.
“It was awesome (to set the record),” Schwab said. “I just think that’s a testament to our offensive line and the rest of the team. The expectation level doesn’t go when we bring in our backups.”
Schwab was named captain for the final games of the Muhlenberg season.
Schwab has appeared in three career games against the Green Terror. To date, against McDaniel, he is a combined 12-for-17 with 142 yards and four touchdowns.
“I think that’s really the game we light our hair on fire (when we play McDaniel), whether it’s home or away,” Schwab said. “I’m happy our coaches trust in me to keep the level of play there. The game plan never changes.”
Palladino is turning in one of the more impressive seasons for the Mules. Thus far in 2015, the junior has thrown for more than 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns. Together, Palladino and Schwab make a great duo.
“Running the unit with Nick has been nothing but a great time for me,” Schwab said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a stronger arm in Division 3. We push each other a lot in practice and try to compete against each other.”
Muhlenberg head coach Mike Donnelly has been on the sidelines for the Mules for 19 seasons – he has 41 total years of coaching experience. According to Donnelly, the backup quarterback position is one of the hardest to play.
Donnelly said Schwab could easily play other positions for the Mules, but that’s too risky. Not only is Schwab the backup QB, he’s also the holder for PATs and field goals.
“He’s the definition of a student-athlete,” Donnelly said. “He’s one of the hardest workers we have in terms of mental and physical preparation.”
Currently, Schwab also sees time as a running quarterback in the regular offense, as well as the protector on punts.
“Kids look at him and see that he never does anything but go full speed,” Donnelly said. “He’s a great role model. His attitude is No. 1.”
Muhlenberg currently sits at 2-2 in the Centennial Conference, 3-2 overall. The Mules will be off until Oct. 17 when they travel to unbeaten Gettysburg.
In his senior year at Pittston Area, Schwab appeared in all 10 games and averaged 109 yards passing per. He threw 10 touchdowns and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark.
Schwab will finish his degree in neuroscience this spring. After that he plans to attend medical school in the Philadelphia area.
Schwab’s brother, Michael, a 2014 graduate of Pittston Area, is a member of the Lehigh University baseball team. Muhlenberg and Lehigh are just 10 miles apart and the siblings see each other often. Because the offseasons of baseball and football are opposite, the two enjoy watching each other play their respective sports.
The boys are sons of Tony and Jolyne Schwab, Jenkins Township.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick