Sept. 28, 2013
BALTIMORE, MD - The 13th-ranked Johns Hopkins football team outscored visiting Muhlenberg 31-0 over the final 31 minutes of the game as the Blue Jays defeated the Mules, 45-13, at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. JHU led just 14-13 before a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter sparked the game-ending run for the Blue Jays, who have now won 15 consecutive games in the month of September.
After stopping the Blue Jays on downs deep in their own end, the Mules (2-2, 1-2 Centennial) went 77 yards on four plays and capped the drive with a 17-yard scoring pass from freshman Nick Palladino to Mike Harris with 2:38 remaining in the second quarter to pull the Mules within a point at 14-13.
The Blue Jays (4-0, 3-0) responded with a nine-play, 60-yard drive of their own that senior quarterback Robbie Matey capped with a 23-yard scoring pass to classmate Bob D'Orazio, whose acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone gave JHU a 21-13 lead at intermission. D'Orazio's touchdown reception came one play after sophomore Brandon Cherryconverted a third-and-18 with a 21-yard reception that saw him elude two Muhlenberg defenders who appeared to have him pinned to the sideline.
The momentum from that late second-quarter score carried into the third quarter as the Blue Jay defense forced punts on each of Muhlenberg's first three possessions of the third quarter and recovered a fumble on the fourth. Conversely, the Johns Hopkins offense got a field goal and three touchdowns on its first five possessions of the second half to take control.
A career-best 36-yard field goal by freshman Nick Campbellcapped JHU's first possession of the second half, while Cherry scored the first of his two second-half touchdowns with a three-yard run that polished off Hopkins' second drive of the half and extended the lead to 31-13.
The Blue Jays held the ball for nearly 18 minutes in the second half and that time of possession advantage eventually took its toll on the Muhlenberg defense, which forced a punt on JHU's drive after Cherry's first touchdown, but then surrendered consecutive touchdowns in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter.
JD Abbott'sthird touchdown of the game - a one-yard blast up the middle - extended the lead to 38-13 just 2:21 into the fourth quarter and Cherry iced the game six minutes later when he went over from two yards out to finish a six-play, 63-yard drive. All 63 yards on that drive came on the ground with Cherry accounting for 51 of the 63 yards on just five carries.
The teams traded scores in the first 22 minutes of the game as a pair of field goals by Muhlenberg's Connor Winter were matched by short scoring runs by Abbott. The second of Abbott's two touchdown runs was answered by the Palladino-to-Harris touchdown pass, which set the stage for Johns Hopkins' 31-point run to end the game.
The Blue Jays' one-two punch of Abbott and Cherry combined for 170 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 32 carries with Abbott going for 86 and the three scores and Cherry adding 84 and the two touchdowns of his own. Abbott became the 23rd player in school history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards as his 86 today push his career total to 1,053.
Matey was 25-of-30 for 265 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for 27 yards. His 265 yards are the fourth-highest total of his career and pushed him past 4,000 career passing yards (4,023). He is just the sixth player in school history to throw for 4,000 yards.
Palladino was 16-of-31 for 211 yards with one touchdown and also paced the Mules with 35 yards rushing on 14 carries, but 15 other rushing attempts by Muhlenberg running backs netted just 49 yards. Harris had five receptions for 96 yards and the one score, while Cody Geyer had three catches for 70 yards.
The Blue Jay defense, which has held each of its first four opponents to 14 points or less, posted four sacks, held the Mules to just 3-of-14 on third-down attempts and allowed just 95 yards in the second half.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, October 5 when the Blue Jays travel to Juniata.
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13th-Ranked Johns Hopkins Powers Past Muhlenberg, 45-13
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Sept. 28, 2013