Sept. 16, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins (1-1) opens the Centennial Conference portion of its schedule as the Blue Jays welcome Gettysburg (0-2) to Homewood Field. This week's game features the Centennial Conference's active career rushing leader (JHU's Andrew Kase - 3,128 yards) and active career passing leader (GC's Matt Flynn - 5,969 yards).
Last Week: Johns Hopkins picked up its first win of the 2009 season last Saturday at Homewood Field as the Blue Jays slipped past Randolph-Macon, 35-31. Gettysburg led Hampden-Sydney 35-21 at the half, but fell 46-43 in overtime to fall to 0-2 on the year.
The Coaches: Johns Hopkins is coached by Jim Margraff `82, who is in his 20th season as the head coach at Homewood. Margraff is JHU's all-time leader in games won (120) and coached (196) and enters this week's game with a career record of 120-73-3 (.620). His victory last week against Randolph-Macon gives him exactly twice as many wins as any other coach in school history.
Gettysburg is coached by Barry Streeter, the all-time winningest coach in Gettysburg College and Centennial Conference history. He sports an overall record of 152-149-5 and an 85-84-3 record in league games.
Captain, My Captain: In a vote of the returning players on the 2009 team, seniors Andrew Kase, Tim Miller, Glenn Rocca and Colin Wixted were selected as captains for the season. Kase is in his second season as a captain, while this is the first year as a captain for Miller, Rocca and Wixted.
Topping the Charts: This week's game between Gettysburg and Johns Hopkins features the two winningest coaches in Centennial Conference history (league games). Gettysburg's Barry Streeter sports 85 Centennial wins to his credit (85-84-3), while Johns Hopkins' Jim Margraff carries a 78-49-2 Centennial record into tonight's game.
Centennial Openers: Last season's 49-37 win over Gettysburg gave Johns Hopkins an all-time record of 16-10 (.615) in Centennial lid-lifters. Johns Hopkins has been one of the most successul teams in the Centennial Conference in league openers as the Blue Jays have won 15 of their last 18 Centennial openers and are 15-4 under head coach Jim Margraff in CC openers. Only Franklin & Marshall, which fashions a 17-9 all-time record in Centennial-openers, sports a better record than Johns Hopkins.
Friday Night Lights: Johns Hopkins played its first home Friday night game on September 25, 1982 against Widener and this week's game against Gettysburg will be the 41st the Blue Jays have played at home under the Friday night lights. The Blue Jays sport an all-time record of 26-13-1 (.663) at home on Friday night, including an impressive 22-8-1 (.726) mark under current head coach Jim Margraff. Gettysburg has been Hopkins' most common Friday night opponent as this will be the 10th time the Blue Jays and Bullets have met on Friday night at Homewood Field. The Blue Jays are 6-3 all-time against the Bullets on Friday nights at Homewood, although it was GC that won 41-10 in the team's last meeting here under the lights in 2007.
September Reign: Johns Hopkins is 25-11 in the month of September since the start of the 2000 season and 36-16 since the start of the 1995 season.
Home Openers: Johns Hopkins improved to 14-5-1 in home openers since Jim Margraff took over as the Blue Jays' coach with last week's win over Randolph-Macon. JHU had dropped two straight home-openers prior to a 34-3 win against St. Lawrence last season and the 35-31 win against RMC last Saturday.
Road Warriors: The Blue Jays posted a 4-1 record on the road last season and JHU is 8-3 since the start of the 2007 season on the road. JHU is 30-12 on the road since the start of the 2001 season.
Escape Artists: Johns Hopkins used a one-yard touchdown run by Andrew Kase with 49 seconds remaining to pull out the 35-31 win over Randolph-Macon last week. It's the first time Johns Hopkins has won a game in the final minute since October 6, 2007, when Alex Lachman nailed a 40-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Blue Jays past Dickinson, 20-17.
Streaking: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport a 54-23 (.701) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 60-26 (.698) since the start of the 2001 season and 65-31 (.677) since the beginning of the 2000 season. The 65 wins the Blue Jays have amassed this decade are already the most wins in a decade in school history. The previous record of 55 wins came in the 1990s.
Something Has to Give: Johns Hopkins quarterback Hewitt Tomlin enters this week's game with a streak of 114 consecutive passes attempted without throwing an interception. On the flip side, the Gettysburg defense has been one of the most opportunistic in the Centennial Conference as the Bullets picked off five passes in last week's loss at Hampden-Sydney.
A Rare Sighting: While the game this week is about a lot more than two players, the spotlight will focus heavily on Johns Hopkins running back Andrew Kase and Gettysburg quarterback Matt Flynn. Kase is the Centennial's active career rushing leader (3,128 yards) and Flynn is the CC's active career passing leader (5,969). How rare is a meeting like this? It will have been exactly 10 years to the day since a Centennial Conference running back with more than 3,000 career yards faced a Centennial Conference quarterback with more than 5,000 career years. On September 18, 1999, Gettysburg RB Paul Smith and then Western Maryland QB Ron Sermarini entered their early-season matchup with more than 3,000 rushing yards and 5,000 passing yards, respectively.
Young Guns Guide Defense, Again: Johns Hopkins had five different players record six or more tackles in the season-opener at Delaware Valley and none of the five were seniors. The Blue Jays nearly matched that effort against Randolph-Macon in week two as three players tied for the team-lead with nine tackles and none of the three were seniors as junior Mike Mahon and sophomores Mike Milano and Tyler Brown all posted nine stops against the Yellow Jackets.
It's All Academic: Johns Hopkins had three players named to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team. Current senior Steve Levinson (DL) was named to the first team, while classmates Mike Stoffel (OL) and Anthony Catanzano (OL) garnered second team honors.
Johns Hopkins has earned 29 CoSIDA Academic All-District selections since 2003. JHU's 29 selections in that time are the same number the other CC football-playing schools have combined for (29). Taking it back even farther, Johns Hopkins has earned 55 CoSIDA Academic All-District selections since 1991. During that time the other CC football-playing schools have combined for 59 selections. Johns Hopkins has had at least three players earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors every year since 2001.
Preseason Rankings: On the strength of last season's 8-3 record and trip to the ECAC Southeast Championship game, and armed with a strong nucleus of returning starters, the Blue Jays gained national rankings in a pair of preseason publications. The Blue Jays were ranked 18th by The Sporting News and 24th by Lindy's. Delaware Valley is ranked fifth by The Sporting News and fourth by Lindy's.
Must be the Speech: Johns Hopkins played some of its best football in the third quarter of its games last season as the Blue Jays outscored the opposition 72-24 in the third period. In the last 16 games dating back to the 2007 season, the Blue Jays have outscored the opposition 110-37 in the third quarter.
Working Overtime: The 39-31 triple overtime win at Randolph-Macon early last season was JHU's first overtime game since a 21-14 win at Washington & Lee in the 2002 season-opener (one overtime period). The Blue Jays are 2-2 all-time in overtime and all four extra-session games the Blue Jays have played in their history have been on the road. The triple OT affair with the `Jackets last season also tied the school record for the longest game ever played by JHU. The Blue Jays previously dropped a 13-7 triple overtime decision in a cold, heavy rain at Dickinson on November 1, 1997.
Seven's Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 45-15 when scoring more than seven points and 0-6 when they have been held to seven points or less.
Statistical Youth: The Blue Jays rushed the ball 456 times last season (does not include kneel-downs) and had 178 completed passes. Of the 634 offensive touches, exactly three (a three-yard reception in the season-opener, a 27-yard completion on a fake punt vs. McDaniel and a six-yard reception against Catholic in the ECAC Southeast Champoinship game) were by seniors. In other words, 99.1% of JHUs total offense (4,122 of 4,158 yards) was accumulated by players who are back this season.
More Statistial Youth: Johns Hopkins scored a total of 39 touchdowns last season - 34 on offense and five on defense. Players who scored 35 of the 39 return this season, including individuals who accounted for all 34 on offense.
Putting the Offense in Defense: Joshua Heft's seven-yard fumble return for a touchdown last week against Randolph-Macon was the sixth defensive touchdown Johns Hopkins has scored since the start of the 2008 season. The Blue Jays scored three in last season's opener against St. Lawrence and one each against Randolph-Macon and Catholic a year ago before Heft's return last week.
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