BALTIMORE, MD -- One week after opening the season with a 45-14 win at Merchant Marine that included six touchdown passes from senior quarterback Hewitt Tomlin, the Johns Hopkins football team went to the ground to fuel a 56-7 win over visiting Susquehanna as the Blue Jays rushed for 269 yards and six scores in knocking off the Crusaders at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The win is the seventh straight for Johns Hopkins dating back to last season and the Blue Jays improve to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Centennial Conference, while Susquehanna slips to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Centennial.
In addition to the 269 yards rushing, the Blue Jays also totaled 290 passing yards and held a 559-179 advantage in total offense. This is the first time in school history that Johns Hopkins has produced more than 250 yards rushing and passing in the same game.
Junior running back Jonathan Rigaud led the way for the Blue Jays as he rushed seven times for 150 yard and three touchdowns, while senior Nick Fazioadded 11 carries for 66 yards and three scores of his own.
After Fazio extended a 7-0 Johns Hopkins lead to 21-0 with back-to-back touchdown runs of two yards and one yard, Rigaud got into the act with a five-yard run late in the second quarter than pushed the lead to 28-0. Fazio capped a three-touchdown first-half performance with a four-yard scoring run with 42 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Hopkins needed less than three minutes for all four of its first-half scoring drives, including two drives that lasted less than 40 seconds, but those quick-strike efforts were just a warm-up for the show Riguad put on in the first seven minutes of the second half.
On the first play of the third quarter, Rigaud went 68 yards for a touchdown that pushed the lead to 42-0. Just over six minutes later, after a Susquehanna drive was stopped inside the Blue Jay 20-yard line, Rigaud was at it again as he capped a quick four-play, 86-yard drive with a 69-yard scoring run that made it 49-0. He is the first Johns Hopkins player to have two 60-yard rushing touchdowns in the same game.
Hopkins bookended its 56-point effort with a pair of interception returns for touchdowns. Senior Ryan Piatek opened the scoring with a 34-yard interception return for a score with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter, while freshman Patrick Eichneradded a 68-yard interception return for a score late in third quarter to give the Blue Jays a 56-0 lead. Eichner's return is the fourth-longest INT return in school history.
Susquehanna avoided the shutout when Will Dyson return an interception 47 yards for a score with just under 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Crusaders got inside the Blue Jay 40-yard line just once on 15 possessions and held a 10-minute time of advantage in possession, but couldn't slow the Blue Jays' up-temp attack in falling to JHU for the second consecutive season.
Rigaud's 150 yards are a career-high and his 21.4 yards per carry is the highest ever in a game by a Johns Hopkins running back with six or more carries. Tomlin was 18-of-28 for 233 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Junior Scott Cremenshad six catches for 92 yards, while sophomore Dan Wodicka added three catches for 82 yards.
Susquehanna quarterback Rich Palazzi, who threw for 421 yards in last week's 33-30 overtime win against Wilkes, was 7-of-17 for 67 yards with one interception and was sacked twice before being relieved midway through the fourth quarter. Palazzi, Matt Lottes and Mark Rosenbaum combined to throw for 113 yards, but the trio also threw three interceptions and were sacked three times.
Piatek led a Johns Hopkins defense that allowed just the 179 yards as he totaled four tackles and had two interceptions, including the one he returned for a touchdown that jump-started the Blue Jays late in the first quarter.
Hopkins, which improved to a Centennial-best 19-10 in league openers since the formation of the Centennial Conference in 1983, will return to action next Saturday (September 17) when the Blue Jays travel to Moravian.
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