Story and photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletics
BALTIMORE, Md. - The 16th-ranked Johns Hopkins football team took all the drama out of Saturday's regular-season finale against rival McDaniel with touchdowns on four straight possessions in the first 20 minutes of the game and the Blue Jays never looked back in a 49-7 win at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The victory, the 12th straight for Hopkins against the Green Terror, secures the outright Centennial Conference Championship for the Blue Jays, who also earn the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament with the win.
The bracket for the 2012 NCAA Tournament will be announced on ncaa.com on Sunday, November 11 at 6 pm. Johns Hopkins (9-1, 8-1 Centennial) will be making its fourth all-time appearance in the NCAAs, including its third in the last four years.
Senior Jonathan Rigaud sandwiched touchdown runs of two and seven yards around a six-yard scoring run by freshman Brandon Cherryin the first quarter to stake the Blue Jays to a quick 21-0 lead. The Blue Jays' first three scoring drives covered 64, 54 and 44 yards and none took longer than 3:08 as Hopkins rolled up 157 yards and 11 first downs in the first quarter alone.
McDaniel (0-10, 0-9 CC) worked its way into Hopkins territory early in the second quarter, only to have freshman quarterback Ryan Yamada throw the first of his two interceptions as he was hit while throwing. Junior John Arena came up with the interception on the deflected pass and the Blue Jays needed just four plays to go 68 yards to push the lead to 28-0 early in the second quarter. Cherry did most of the damage on the drive as he had two rushes for 15 yards and made a nice leaping grab of a Robbie Mateypass at the goal line for a 24-yard touchdown reception.
Any hopes of a McDaniel comeback were dashed on the opening drive of the second half as Matey directed an efficient six-play, 73-yard drive that he capped with an 11-yard touchdown run of his own to make it 35-0 just over two minutes into the third quarter. Rigaud rushed for 31 yards on the drive and Matey had a 31-yard completion to tight end Brendan Hartmanas well.
Junior Joe Rollins, who accounted for 251 all-purpose yards in the game for the Terror, finally got McDaniel on the board as he polished off an impressive nine-play, 62-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run on the drive following Matey's score. Rollins rushed for 40 yards on five carries on the 62-yard drive.
Johns Hopkins stayed heavy on the rushing game over the final 20 minutes of the game and got a pair of one-yard touchdown runs - one from senior Scott Barletta and another from sophomore Jason Blades- to account for the 49-7 final score.
Johns Hopkins topped the 500-yard mark in total offense for the fifth time this season on the strength of 309 yards rushing and 215 passing. Matey was 15-of-21 for 188 yards with the one touchdown pass to Cherry and the rushing touchdown to his credit. Rigaud was one of four Johns Hopkins players to rush for more than 50 yards as he had 89 yards on 18 carries with the two scores. Cherry had 51 yards rushing and the one TD and two catches for 39 yards and the touchdown reception.
Senior Taylor Maciow paced the Blue Jays defensively with eight tackles and two pass breakups, while junior Andy Laychur and sophomore Michael Longoboth had seven tackles and one sack to their credit. The Blue Jays had four sacks and two interceptions on the day and held the Green Terror to a 2-for-16 showing on third-down attempts.
Rollins rushed for 143 yards and the one score and Yamada was 12-of-28 for 169 yards with the two interceptions. JT Kotowski had a team-high three receptions for 39 yards as Yamada spread the ball around to eight different pass-catchers on the day. Mike Cousar led the way defensively for McDaniel with a career-high 16 tackles.