September 14, 2013

Smothering Defense, Balanced Offense Carry Johns Hopkins Past Susquehanna, 24-7

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BALTIMORE, MD - Host Johns Hopkins used a smothering defensive effort and a balanced offensive attack to fuel a 24-7 victory over Susquehanna at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The win is Hopkins' 13th straight in the month of September and 14th straight in the regular season at home and improves the Blue Jays' record to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Centennial Conference. Susquehanna slips to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the Centennial.

In a game where the Blue Jays outgained the Crusaders 485-122, they couldn't quite pull away until late in the game. A 14-7 lead in the middle of the second quarter remained intact until early in the fourth, when senior quarterback Robbie Mateyfinally gave the Blue Jays some breathing room when he scampered into the end zone from 13 yards out to cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive that made it 21-7 less than two minutes into the final period.

The Crusaders netted a total of eight yards on their ensuing two possessions and JHU extended to a three-score lead with a methodical 13-play, 66-yard drive that ate nearly six minutes off the clock and was polished off with a 21-yard field goal by freshman Nick Campbellto give the Blue Jays a 24-7 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the game.

Johns Hopkins used a pair of long first-half scoring drives to take the 14-7 lead in the first 23 minutes of the game - a lead they held until Matey's score in the fourth. After the teams traded punts over the first seven minutes of the first quarter, the Blue Jays needed just 50 seconds and four plays to go 82 yards and grab a quick 7-0 lead. A 36-yard touchdown pass from Matey to sophomore Brandon Cherrycapped the drive.

Susquehanna answered late in the period when the Crusaders forced a turnover and drove 62 yards in seven plays and knotted the game at 7-7 when quarterback Taylor Kolmer scored on a keeper up the middle. Kolmer set up the touchdown a play earlier when he connected with Devon Pascoe on a 31-yard pass down the middle to give the Crusaders a first-and-goal at the JHU one-yard line.

The Blue Jays grabbed the lead for good midway through the second quarter when they moved 79 yards in 10 plays with Matey keeping the drive alive with a perfect 36-yard pass to sophomore Ryan Finkelon third-and 19 from the JHU 39. Matey ended the drive with the first of his two touchdown runs on the day - this one from six yards out - to give JHU the 14-7 lead.

From that point the difference in the game was the Blue Jay defense, which allowed a total of 51 yards on Susquehanna's final eight possessions of the game (covering the final 37:21). Johns Hopkins allowed just 32 rushing yards on 41 attempts, came up with nine sacks and limited the Crusaders to just a 3-of-16 showing on third-down attempts. The nine sacks are the most by Johns Hopkins since October 18, 2008, when the Blue Jays also totaled nine in a 14-0 win at Ursinus.

Senior Andy Laychur notched a game and career-high 2.5 of Johns Hopkins' nine sacks, while junior Matthew Conneryadded two sacks and three tackles for losses among his career-high 10 tackles on the day.

Senior JD Abbottrushed for a career-high 125 yards on 20 carries and Cherry added 76 yards rushing (on just seven carries) and the 36-yard touchdown reception to pace the Blue Jay offense. Matey was 20-of-29 for 242 yards with one touchdown passing and the two rushing scores. He was intercepted twice on the day.

Kolmer was 10-of-19 for 90 yards and Tim Wade rushed for 56 yards on 19 carries, but the nine sacks (which accounted for 58 yards in losses) and the inability to convert on third down was more than the Crusaders could overcome.

Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday when the Blue Jays travel to Moravian. The Greyhounds slipped to 0-2 overall and 0-1 earlier today with a 21-14 loss at McDaniel.

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