Johns Hopkins Rallies Past Susquehanna, 38-34
BALTIMORE, MD – Sophomore David Tammaro hit senior Brett Caggiano with an eight-yard touchdown pass with 24 seconds remaining to cap a seven-play, 73-yard drive that took just 54 seconds and rallied host Johns Hopkins past visiting Susquehanna, 38-34, at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon.
The victory extends the Blue Jays’ regular season winning streak to 43 games and their September streak to 29. Hopkins is also now 25-10 all-time in Centennial Conference openers and has now won 38 consecutive Centennial Conference games.
In a game the Blue Jays (2-0, 1-0 Centennial) trailed 14-3 and 27-17, they came back and took a 31-27 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Tammaro with 10:51 to play. That lead held for more than nine minutes before the River Hawks (1-1, 0-1 CC) went 89 yards in 3:12 and took a 34-31 lead on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Nick Crusco to Diamente Holloway with 84 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
As it turned out, that was 24 seconds more than the Blue Jays needed as Tammaro moved JHU from its own 27 to the Susquehanna eight in six plays. A 19-yard completion to junior Luke McFadden jump-started the drive, which included three completions to Caggiano and a 12-yard run by Tammaro to set the Blue Jays up with a first-and-goal at the eight. There, Tammaro looked left and hit Caggiano at the one and he muscled his way into the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
The Tammaro-to-Caggiano touchdown gave the Blue Jays their third lead of the day after trailing. A 17-yard touchdown pass from Crusco to Anthony McCoy opened the scoring and Crusco answered a 31-yard field goal by JHU’s Jamie Sullivan with a seven-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to make it 14-3.
The 14-3 deficit was a 17-14 halftime lead for the Blue Jays as Tammaro hit McFadden with touchdown passes that covered six and 34 yards in a seven-minute span in the second quarter to give Hopkins a three-point lead at the half. The second of those scores after a defender tipped the ball up in the air along the sideline, but McFadden grabbed it out of the air and raced untouched into the end zone.
The 17-14 lead was gone just over 10 minutes into the third quarter as a pair of Crusco scoring runs, from two and 14 yards, capped scoring drives that covered 60 and 78 yards and gave the River Hawks a 10-point lead at 27-17 with 4:23 remaining in the period.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued early in the fourth quarter as the Blue Jays needed less than five minutes to turn the 27-17 deficit into a 31-27 lead as Chuck Norgle hit Patrick Maloney in the back of the end zone from five yards out and Tammaro’s two-yard touchdown run came just under four minutes.
Neither team did anything with its ensuing possession after Tammaro’s touchdown run as Susquehanna turned the ball over on downs inside Johns Hopkins territory and the Blue Jays followed that defensive stand with a punt. Sophomore James Closser and senior Chris Stauch made the crucial stop on fourth-and-two from the Blue Jay 39 to end the River Hawks’ drive.
Crusco’s touchdown pass to Holloway from the Blue Jay 44-yard line came one play after Crusco had converted a fourth-and-one from the 50; Holloway shook free in the secondary down the middle of the field and Crusco hit him in stride for the go-ahead touchdown.
All that was left for the Blue Jays was the game-winning 73-yard touchdown drive and a Closser knock-down of Crusco’s desperation heave from the Susquehanna 38 that fell to the ground just inside the Johns Hopkins 30 as time expired.
Tammaro was 34-of-49 for 299 yards and three touchdowns and added a game-high 83 yards rushing and the one score. Caggiano (10-97-1) and McFadden (6-95-2) were Tammaro’s favorite targets as the Blue Jays rolled up 440 yards of total offense.
In a game that featured 72 points and 884 yards of total offense, there were several outstanding performances by the Blue Jay defense. Junior Addison Quinones totaled a career-high 16 tackles, while sophomore Mike Kalanik had a personal-best nine tackles, including 4.5 for losses and 2.5 sacks. In all, the Johns Hopkins defense had eight sacks and 13 tackles for losses; the eight sacks are the most by Johns Hopkins since the Blue Jays had nine in a win against Susquehanna in 2013.
Crusco was fabulous in defeat as he was 22-of-27 for 287 yards with two touchdowns and also rushed for 44 yards and three scores. Cameron Ott rushed for 67 yards and added four receptions for 42 yards, while Tommy Bluj was the River Hawks’ leading receiver with five catches for 75 yards. Cole Dixon paced the Susquehanna defense with 12 tackles, while David Simpson added nine stops, including all three River Hawk sacks in the game.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, September 16 when the Blue Jays host Moravian in another Centennial Conference game. Kickoff against the Greyhounds is set for noon.
Notes: Junior Ian Lodge posted his first career interception for Johns Hopkins, while Closser posted a career-high 10 tackles in his first career start • Today’s win is the 202nd for Johns Hopkins head coach Jim Margraff, who moved into a tie for fifth-place on the Division III victories list among active coaches.
- 30 -