BALTIMORE, MD - Visiting St. John Fisher ate more than 14 minutes off the clock in the first quarter and never let host Johns Hopkins get comfortable as the Cardinals topped the Blue Jays, 23-12, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The win propels Fisher (9-2) into the second round and a trip to Delaware Valley, a 62-10 winner over Norwich on Saturday. Johns Hopkins ends the season at 10-1 and had its school-record 15-game wining streak snapped.
The Cardinals led just 13-12 after Johns Hopkins' Scott Barletta capped a 12-play, 87-yard drive with a one-yard run midway through the third quarter. As they had done early the game, the Cardinals answered with a long drive that Cody Miller polished off with a two-yard scoring run of his own. The eight-play, 75-yard drive took just less than three minutes and was highlighted by a 42-yard pass form Ahmed Hassanien to Ryan Francis that set the Cardinals up at the Blue Jay 22- yard line. Miller went over five plays later to make it an eight-point game.
Hopkins had a chance to pull even early in the fourth quarter, but a 10-play, 58-yard drive came up empty when senior quarterback Hewitt Tomlin missed senior running back Nick Fazioon a swing pass from the Fisher 11 on a fourth-and-six play that turned the ball over on downs.
St. John Fisher moved the ball out to midfield on its ensuing possession before punting the Blue Jays deep in their own territory. Faced with a fourth-and-two from their own 34, the Blue Jays failed to convert and the Cardinals moved in for what proved to be the decisive score as Chad Monheim converted his third field goal of the game, this one from 23 yards out, to make it 23-12.
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