WESTMINSTER, MD - With a share of a ninth consecutive Centennial Conference title and a trip to the NCAA Playoffs on the line, the 20th-ranked Johns Hopkins football turned a 7-7 game into a rout with a 49-point run that bridged the last two minutes of the first quarter and the first two minutes of the third in a 56-21 victory against rival McDaniel Saturday afternoon.
The win improves the Blue Jays' record to 9-1 overall and 8-1 in the Centennial and secures the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Playoffs for Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays will be making their seventh straight trip to the NCAAs and will learn who they will play in the first round when the tournament bracket is announced on Sunday, November 12 at 5:30 pm.
The drama on Saturday lasted for just more than a quarter as the teams traded matching five-yard touchdown runs - the Blue Jays' coming from senior Ryan Cary and McDaniel's from Tyler Cathey - to account for the 7-7 tie, which lasted until 1:55 remained in the opening period.
From there, it was all Johns Hopkins as the Blue Jays got a six-yard touchdown pass from David Tammaro to Brett Caggiano to make it 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and then scored on five straight second-quarter possessions to make it 49-7 at the half.
The 49 points and 447 yards of total offense Johns Hopkins rolled up before intermission were both school records for a half.
Only one of the five second-quarter scoring drives took longer than two minutes with a pair of scoring runs and three touchdown passes accounting for the five scores.
Cary (13 yards) and Hogan Irwin (5) ignited the spree with scoring runs in the first six minutes of the period and Tammaro added touchdown passes to Dane Rogerson (17), Caggiano (20) and Kyle Morris (12) to polish off scoring drives that covered between 44 and 83 yards.
McDaniel, which turned the ball over twice in the first half, coughed it up on its first drive of the second half and the Blue Jays needed just four plays to go 32 yards and the 49-point run ended with a 25-yard touchdown reception by senior David Brookhart from classmate Drew Tomaini.
McDaniel got a punt return for a touchdown midway through the third quarter and another five-yard scoring run from Cathey late in the fourth to close out the scoring.
Tammaro played only the first half and was 20-of-24 for 290 yards with four touchdowns and also rushed for 43 yards to account for 333 yards of total offense. Junior Luke McFadden had four receptions for 118 yards and Caggiano had five catches for 77 yards and the two scores. Eleven different players contributed to a 215-yard rushing day for Johns Hopkins, which rolled up 354 yards through the air and 569 yards of total offense.
McDaniel ended with 331 yards of total offense, but only 83 of those came in the first half against the Blue Jays' starting defense, which forced two first-half turnovers, had three sacks and surrendered just four first downs in the opening 30 minutes. In all, the Blue Jay defense forced four McDaniel turnovers that led to 21 points.
Notes: The 49 first-half points break the previous school record for points in a half of 44, which came in the first half at Juniata in 2009 The 35 points in the second quarter is also a school record, breaking the previous record of 31 against Juniata (2016) The 447-yard first-half effort marks the third time in school history the Blue Jays have posted 400 or more yards in a half and surpass the previous JHU record of 410 against Ursinus in 2015 The win is the 17th straight for Johns Hopkins against McDaneil Caggiano's five receptions five him 101 in his career - he is the 16th player in school history to reach the 100-reception mark Cary's two TDs give him 30 in his career - he is the seventh player in school history with 30 career touchdowns.
- 30 -