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Susquehanna Holds Off Johns Hopkins, 37-35

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SELINSGROVE, PA – Host Susquehanna used a 16-0 second-half run to turn a 28-21 deficit into a 37-28 lead and held off a late charge by 18th-ranked Johns Hopkins for a 37-35 victory Saturday afternoon at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field.  The Blue Jays slip to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Centennial, while the River Hawks improve to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Centennial.
 
The Blue Jays had their 28-21 lead less than 90 seconds into the third quarter after senior Stuart Walters scampered in from three yards out to cap a quick three-play, 35-yard drive.

The River Hawks were even five minutes later as they answered the Walters touchdown with a 77-yard touchdown drive that Aaron Speight polished off with a one-yard run.  Susquehanna converted a key third-and-nine from their own 48 and also had the drive extended on a roughing the passer call on a third-down play that had come up short early in the drive.
 
A snap out of the end zone on a punt attempt on Hopkins' ensuing possession gave Susquehanna a 30-28 lead midway through the third quarter – as it turned out, those points were the difference at the end.
 
Susquehanna nursed the two-point lead through the final seven minutes of the third quarter, but needed just 28 seconds in the fourth to grab the nine-point lead at 37-28.  A one-yard touchdown run by Torey Brown capped a six-play, 61-yard drive to make it a two-score game.
 
After the teams traded punts, the Blue Jays went 58 yards in 10 plays to pull within two at 37-35 with 7:40 on the clock.  A pair of conversions on third-and-four plays kept the drive alive and junior David Tammaro hit Ryan Hubley with an eight-yard touchdown pass to polish off the scoring drive.
 
The Blue Jay defense forced a Susquehanna punt on its ensuing possession and Hopkins took over at its own 33 with 4:13 remaining.  A six-yard strike to Hubley, a two-yard run by Hogan Irwin and a 12-yard strike from Tammaro to senior Luke McFadden all converted third down plays, but the Blue Jays gained just three yards on third-and four from the River Hawk 20 with 32 seconds remaining and a 34-yard field goal attempt by Mike Eberle sailed wide right to seal the victory for Susquehanna.
 
A back-and-forth first half saw the Blue Jays grab seven point leads at 7-0, 14-7 and 21-14, only to see the River Hawks match them score-for-score to send the game to halftime tied at 21.
 
The Blue Jays needed just 75 seconds to open the scoring as Mike Kalanick recovered a Susquehanna fumble on their first drive of the game and Hopkins needed just three plays to go 48 yards with Irwin going in from three yards out to make it 7-0.
 
The River Hawks struck quickly themselves midway through the quarter.  After forcing a Blue Jay punt, SU took over from its 49-yard line and Michael Ruisch hit Mikah Christian in stride down the sideline to even the game at 7-7 with 8:14 left in the opening period.
 
Hopkins grabbed its 21-14 lead midway through the second quarter as the Blue Jays sandwiched a 37-yard touchdown reception by senior tight end Patrick Maloney and a two-yard scoring run by Irwin around a one-yard scoring run by Ruisch to take the seven-point lead with 7:26 to play in the opening half.
 
The Blue Jays had a golden opportunity to increase the lead late in the half as the Blue Jay defense forced Susquehanna to turn the ball over on downs, but Ricky Reyes intercepted Tammaro on Hopkins' first play after the INT and returned it to the Blue Jay two-yard line.  Brown went in two plays later to account for the 21-21 halftime score.
 
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, September 15 when the Blue Jays travel to Moravian (2 pm).
 
Tammaro was 26-of-41 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.  Hubley was his favorite target as he had nine receptions for 87 yards and the one score, while Walters averaged 10.5 yards on 13 carries and gained 137 yards and the one touchdown on the ground.  Michael Curry and Robert Fletcher led the Blue Jay defense with nine tackles apiece.
 
Ruisch hardly resembled a freshman making his second career start as he was 18-of-32 for 270 with one touchdown.  Mitch Carsley had six receptions for 101 yards and Connor Thompson paced the Susquehanna defense with a game-high 13 tackles.
 
Notes:  McFadden had 84 yards receiving and went over 2,000 for his career (2,061) • The loss is just the third in month of September for Johns Hopkins dating back to 2010 • Hopkins has lost just seven games since the start of the 2013 season; the seven losses have all been by seven points or less and have come by a total of just 29 points.

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Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Recap Photos Box Score