Sept. 17, 2016
BALTIMORE, MD -- Host Johns Hopkins outscored visiting Moravian 26-0 in the second and third quarters combined to turn a 6-3 deficit into a 29-6 lead and then held off a Greyhound rally for a 29-21 victory at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays improve to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Centennial Conference with the victory, while the Greyhounds slip to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Centennial.
Johns Hopkins led 13-6 at the half, but got an eight-yard touchdown pass from senior Jonathan Germano to classmate Boone Lewis, Jr. on the opening drive of the second half to push the lead to 19-6 - the extra point was blocked. After the Blue Jays held Moravian on downs and the teams traded punts, Hopkins got a 50-yard field goal from junior Jamie Sullivan to cap a seven-play, 38-yard drive that extended the lead to 22-6.
Sullivan's field goal is the third longest in Johns Hopkins history, surpassed only by a 52-yarder by Ben Scott at Randolph-Macon in 2006 and a 51-yarder by Todd Bencivenni against Swarthmore in 1997.
Moravian answered Sullivan's field goal with a 12-play, 70-yard drive that got the `Hounds to the Blue Jay 13-yard line, but Mike Hayes' pass into the end zone on fourth down was incomplete and the Blue Jays quickly responded.
Working from their own 13, the Blue Jays needed just four plays to cover the 87 yards to the end zone with Germano hitting Brett Caggiano in stride on a seam route from 49 yards out to give the Blue Jays what appeared was a comfortable 29-6 lead entering the fourth quarter.
That lead was sliced to 29-13 just over five minutes into the fourth quarter as Moravian put together a methodical 18-play, 76-yard drive that took 5:37 off the clock. Hayes capped the drive when he scrambled into the end zone on fourth-and-four from the seven-yard line; including Hayes' touchdown run, the Greyhounds converted three, fourth-down plays on the drive.
Still leading by 16, the Blue Jays took over at their own 24 following the Hayes touchdown, but fumbled the ball away on first down to give the `Hounds possession at the 31. Five plays later, Chris Negron powered in from the three and Hayes connected with Aaron Brown on the ensuing two-point attempt to draw Moravian within 29-21.
Neither team held the ball for more than three plays on the next three combined possessions -- the Blue Jays threw an interception and were forced to punt, while Moravian also had to punt -- before Moravian got one final chance to pull even late in the game.
Taking over at the Blue Jay 43, the Hounds managed just one yard on their first three plays before Hayes was intercepted inside the 10 by senior Marcus Spearman. The Blue Jays got the two first downs they needed to run out the final 2:20 to seal their eighth straight win in the series, their 34th straight regular season victory and their 26th consecutive win in the month of September.
While Moravian generated 432 yards on 94 plays, the `Hounds were held 31 points below their season average entering the game and the Blue Jay defense intercepted Hayes four times and sacked him three times. Sophomore Michael Curry had two of the four interceptions, while senior Jack Toner added one to go along with Spearman's late-game pick. Senior Kyle Bonci had two of Hopkins' three sacks in the victory and classmate Garrett Spek totaled a career-high 15 tackles.
Germano was 34-of-53 for 331 yards with two touchdowns against two interceptions and added 32 yards rushing. His 53 attempts tied the Johns Hopkins single-game record and his 34 completions are a career high. Ironically, the only other time a Johns Hopkins quarterback attempted 53 passes in game was also against Moravian in 1980, when current Johns Hopkins head coach Jim Margraff went 30-of-53.
Senior Bradley Munday set a Johns Hopkins record with 16 receptions (100 yards), while Caggiano's 49-yard touchdown reception was one of his career-high-tying five catches for a personal-best 101 yards.
Hayes finished 26-of-55 for 265 yards with one touchdown and the four interceptions. Three different players had five receptions for the `Hounds, who also got a game-high 119 yards rushing and the one score from Negron. Ed Delia posted 14 tackles, including one for a loss, and forced the fumble early in the fourth quarter that set up Moravian's last touchdown.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, September 24 when the Blue Jays travel to Muhlenberg. The Mules improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Centennial with a 42-13 win at McDaniel earlier today.
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