Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletics
- Junior Hewitt Tomlin threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to classmate Sam Wernick on Johns Hopkins’ first possession of the second half to jump-start a game-ending 17-0 run that lifted the Blue Jays to a 24-9 win over Franklin & Marshall at Sponaugle-Williamson Field Saturday afternoon. The win is the third straight for Johns Hopkins, which improves to 6-3 overall and 6-2 in the Centennial Conference. The Diplomats slip to 6-3 overall and 5-3 in the Centennial.
Coupled with Muhlenberg’s 27-20 win over Ursinus today, Johns Hopkins can now grab a share of the Centennial Conference title with a win next week against McDaniel and a Muhlenberg loss to Moravian.
Franklin & Marshall erased an early 7-0 deficit with nine straight points to take a 9-7 halftime lead- a lead that would last less than a minute when the second half began.
After taking the opening kickoff of the second half, the Blue Jays needed just three plays and 58 seconds to take the lead for good as Tomlin escaped the pocket and found Wernick streaking behind the defense on the far sideline and hit him in stride for the go-ahead touchdown. The touchdown pass was Tomlin’s school-record 19th of the season.
After forcing a Diplomat punt on F&M’s ensuing possession, the Blue Jays went 81 yards in seven plays to push the lead out to 21-9. Tomlin converted a pair of third-down plays on the drive and hit Wernick with a 52-yard pass on third-and-seven from the JHU 41 to set the Blue Jays up deep in F&M territory. Wernick made a spectacular catch on the play down the middle as he pinned the ball to the back of an F&M linebacker and grabbed it with one hand in full stride before being caught from behind inside the Diplomat 10-yard line.
Junior Tyler Porco took it from there as he needed just two carries to punch it into the end zone and give the Blue Jays the 12-point lead.
Hopkins made it three scores in three second-half possessions just over six minutes later when senior Alex Lachman polished off a 10-play, 41-yard drive with a 36-yard field goal to make it 24-9. The field goal was the school and Centennial Conference-record 44th of Lachman’s career. He had been tied with Ben Scott ’06 for at the top of both lists.
Neither team scored over the final 16 minutes to account for the 24- 9 final score. The Blue Jays controlled the ball for more than 10 minutes in the fourth quarter as they rode the running of Porco and Nick Fazio to nurse a 13-play, 63-yard drive that ate 8:40 off the clock in the final period to seal the win.
A Kale Sweeney one-yard run gave the Blue Jays an early 7-0 lead as his scoring run was the 12th and final play in a 12-play, 77-yard first-quarter drive. F&M answered with a 43-yard touchdown pass from John Harrison to Michael Deutch on their next possession to pull within 7-6 and got a 25-yard field goal from Chris DeStefano with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter to take a 9-7 halftime lead.
The 9-7 lead lasted all of 58 seconds in the third quarter before Tomlin’s scoring strike to Wernick opened the 17-0 run for the Blue Jays.
Tomlin was 20-of-29 for 313 yards with the one touchdown, while senior Tucker Michels had a team-high nine receptions for 125 yards. Wernick added four receptions for 124 yards and tied the Johns Hopkins single-season record for receiving yards (1,027) with his effort today.
Harrison was 23-of-38 for 214 yards with the one touchdown, but the Diplomats were outgained 425-284 and had less than 26 minutes in time of possession in falling to Johns Hopkins for the 13th time in the last 14 meetings.
Johns Hopkins will host McDaniel next Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams. McDaniel slipped past Gettysburg, 36-30, in triple overtime earlier today.