Johns Hopkins-St. John Fisher Football Notes
Nov. 17, 2011
Click here for a video preview of the Johns Hopkins-St. John Fisher game.
The Game: Johns Hopkins (10-0) welcomes St. John Fisher (8-2) to Homewood Field for the first home NCAA Playoff game in Blue Jay history. Game time is set for noon.
How They Got Here: Johns Hopkins earned the Centennial Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs as the Blue Jays posted a perfect 9-0 record in league play to win the league title and claim the bid. St. John Fisher earned one of six at-large bids to the playoffs as the Cardinals were runners-up in the Empire 8.
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins capped the first perfect regular season in school history with a 28-24 win at McDaniel last Saturday. St. John Fisher made its final statement for the at-large bid it would eventually get with a dominating 55-28 win at Hartwick last Saturday.
Series History: This will be the first meeting between Johns Hopkins and St. John Fisher and the teams shared no common opponents this season. In fact, Johns Hopkins has played just three games all-time against teams currently in the Empire 8 (two vs.Salisbury and one vs. Frostburg), but neither of those teams was in the league at the time of those games. The teams last shared a common opponent in 2006, when both teams played Rochester.
NCAA History: This is Johns Hopkins’ third trip to the NCAA Playoffs with all three appearances coming since 2005 under the direction of Jim Margraff, the all-time winningest coach in school history. The Blue Jays are 2-2 all-time in the NCAAs with a run to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2009 highlighting JHU’s NCAA history. Seeded sixth in the South Region in 2009, JHU upset third-seeded Hampden-Sydney and second-seeded Thomas More on the road before falling to top-seeded Wesley in the quarterfinals.
Post-Season Regulars: In addition to this being the third appearnace in the NCAAs for the Blue Jays, this is also the eighth time Johns Hopkins has advanced to the post-season as JHU has also played in five ECAC Bowl Games with each of those coming since 2002. Including the 2-2 record in NCAA action, Johns Hopkins sports a 6-3 all-time post-season record as the Blue Jays are 4-1 all-time in ECAC Bowl Games. Included is a 44-14 win over Lebanon Valley in last season’s ECAC South Atlantic Bowl.
Centennial Conference Champions: Johns Hopkins claimed its seventh Centennial Conference title this season with all seven championships coming since 2002. JHU ranks third in league history with its seven titles. Only Dickinson (9) and Muhlenberg (8) have more titles than the Blue Jays, who are tied for third on the list with McDaniel.
November Reign: Johns Hopkins nine straight games in the month of November dating back to an 18-17 loss to Catholic in the 2008 ECAC Southwest Bowl. Taking it back farther, the Blue Jays are 28-4 in November since 2001 and 40-16-1 in November under head coach Jim Margraff.
The Coaches: Johns Hopkins is coached by Jim Margraff, who is now in his 22nd year as the head coach at JHU and sports a 147-78-3 (.651) record. The 2011 Centennial Conference Coach of the Year, he is the all-time winningest coach in school history and is also the all-time winningest coach in Centennial Conference history. With the recent win against Franklin & Marshall, Margraff became the first coach in Centennial Conference history to win 100 league games.
St. John Fisher is coached by Paul Vosburgh, who is in his 21st season as the head coach at St. John Fisher and sports an overall record of 118-98 with the Cardinals. He ranks as the all-time winningest coach in SJF history and this is the fourth time he has guided the Cardinals to the NCAA Playoffs.
And the Seniors Shall Lead Us: With a 24-man senior class, the Blue Jays are no doubt one of the most experienced teams in the nation. With so many key contributors among the 24, the Blue Jays have utilized game captains throughout the year instead of selecting among the group for season-long captains. By many standards, this is the class by which all future classes will be measured at Johns Hopkins. Consider:
• Johns Hopkins has compiled a record of 36-9 since the current seniors arrived in 2008. This ties the JHU record for most wins by a class as the class of 2005 also won 36 games (36-8).
• The Blue Jays have earned at least a share of three straight Centennial Conference titles.
• Johns Hopkins is making its fourth straight post-season appearance this season (two NCAA, two ECAC). Only JHU’s class of 2005 also qualified for the post-season all four years.
• Success has come at home and on the road for the seniors. The Blue Jays are 17-4 (.810) at Homewood Field and 19-5 (.792) on the road in their career.
These are the Facts: The win against McDaniel improved JHU’s all-time record to 481-473-58 (.504). Johns Hopkins moved its all-time record over .500 for the first time since 1912 with the 41-0 victory at Moravian on September 17.
About the 10-0 Record: Johns Hopkins is 10-0 for the first time in school history. Prior to this season, JHU had never won more than its first seven games of a season (1892, 2003, 2005).
Streaking: Johns Hopkins closed the 2010 season with five straight wins and has run that streak to 15 with 10 wins to open the 2011 season. The 15-game streak is the longest in school history, surpassing 11-game streaks that bridged the 2002-03 and 2004-05 seasons. JHU has outscored the opposition 625-178 during the winning streak. The 15-game winning streak is also the longest in Centennial Conference history. Dickinson previously held the record as the Red Devils won 14 straight games from 1987-88.
More Streaking: JHU’s 15-game winning streak is the second-longest active Division III streak in the nation. Two-time defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater has currently won 40 straight games.
A Final Streak: In addition to boasting the second-longest active Division III winning streak in the nation, the Blue Jays also boast the second-longest active overall winning streak in college football (NCAA). Wisconsin-Whitewater’s 40-game run is the longest, while Johns Hopkins is one of two teams (Colorado State Pueblo - Division II) that has an active 15-game winning streak. Stanford had won 17 straight before falling to Oregon last Saturday (Nov. 12).
Ok, One More: Johns Hopkins’ current 13-game winning streak in Cenntennial Conference games is the longest in school history and is the third-longest in league history.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins was ranked second in the South Region of the two official NCAA Regional Rankings released late in the season (Nov. 2, Nov. 9). Mary Hardin-Baylor was ranked first in both sets of rankings. Poll can be found on page 5.
More Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked 10th in this week’s AFCA Poll and has been ranked in the top 25 in each of the nine weeks since the poll debuted for the 2011 season. The Blue Jays opened at #23 on September 19 before moving up to 20th, 16th, 15th, 14th, 12th, 11th and 10th for the last two weeks.
Johns Hopkins is also ranked 13th in this week’s d3football.com poll. JHU was among the teams listed as receiving votes for the first four weeks of the d3football.com poll before moving into the top 25 on September 25.
The Johns Hopkins Office of Athletic Communications uses the AFCA Poll to reflect JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. The AFCA Poll can be found on page 5.
A Final Poll Position: Johns Hopkins checks in at number four in this week’s Lambert Meadowlands Football Poll. The Blue Jays were ranked eighth in the first Lambert Poll of the season and have steadily jumped to sixth, fifth, fourth, third and now fourth this week. The poll ranks teams in the East in all four Divisions of NCAA Football (FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III) and the team at the top of the poll at the end of the season is awarded the prestigious Lambert Cup. Johns Hopkins’ highest finish in the Lambert Poll came in 2009, when the Blue Jays finished second. The Lambert Cup Poll can be found on page 5.
Offense Rolling: The Blue Jays rank either first or second in the Centennial Conference in every major statistical category. Entering this week’s game vs. St. John Fisher, JHU ranks first in passing offense (319.3), scoring offense (42.6) and total offense (500.3). The Blue Jays also rank second in rushing offense (181.0).
More Offense: In addition to ranking first or second in the Centennial in every major statistical category, the Blue Jays also rank fourth in the nation in total offense (500.3), ninth in scoring offense (42.6) and eighth in passing offense (319.3).
Offense Rolls During Win Streak: Johns Hopkins has been consistent on both sides of the ball during the current 15-game winning streak. The Blue Jays have scored 24 or more points in all 15 games and have rolled up at least 365 yards in each of the wins as well. On the flip side, JHU has held 11 of those 15 opponents to less than 17 points and 285 yards of total offense.
By Air or Ground: Johns Hopkins has scored a school-record 60 touchdowns (previous record of 51 came last season) in 10 games this season and those 60 are pretty well distributed. The Blue Jays have 30 rushing touchdowns, 26 passing touchdows, two via interception return and two on fumble returns.
Rigaud, Fazio Fuel Ground Attack: Junior Jonathan Rigaud and senior Nick Fazio are leading a ground game that is averaging 181.0 yards and three touchdowns per game. Rigaud has rushed for a career-high 768 yards on 123 carries (6.2 yards/rush). He also counts 11 rushing TDs to his credit and became the 22nd player in school history to top 1,000 career rushing yards earlier this season (1,443). Rigaud fueled JHU’s 37-9 win over Ursinus with a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. He matched his career-long with a 69-yard touchdown run and added a 16-yard scoring run as well.
Rigaud became the first player in school history with two 60+ yard rushing touchdowns in a game as he scored on runs of 68 and 69 yards in the third quarter of the game vs. Susquehanna.
Fazio has rushed for 315 yards on 76 carries with seven touchdowns. His 19-yard scoring run against McDaniel gives him 19 in his career, which ties him for eighth on JHU’s career rushing touchdowns list. He rushed for a career-high 66 yards earlier this season against Susquehanna, added 61 in the win against Franklin & Marshall and 39 yards and one TD last week at McDaniel.
Balanced Receiving Tough to Contain: Five players in the Centennial Conference ended the regular season with 49 or more receptions on the year and three of those five wear the Columbia Blue and Black.
While 2010 Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year Sam Wernick will draw most of the attention from defenses throughout the season, the Blue Jay receiving corps is deep and talented and trying to take away Wernick only leaves more space for others to operate.
Wernick has 71 receptions for 644 yards and eight scores to his credit and currently ranks third in school history in receptions (228) and receiving yards (3,023), is tied for second in career 100-yard receiving games (11) and ranks second in JHU history in career TD receptions (30). He also ranks third in school history in career all-purpose yards (4,153). Wernick’s 71 receptions this season are the fourth-highest single-season total in JHU history.
Sophomore Dan Wodicka counts 75 receptions on the year with his going for 1,162 yards and six scores. He leads the league in receiving yards per game (116.2) and receptions per game (7.5). His 1,162 yards rank as the third-highest single-season total in school history and leave him just three shy of Bill Stromberg’s record. Wodicka enjoyed one of the finest games of his career against Dickinson as he tied his career-high with 11 receptions for a personal-best 202 yards and a career-best 246 all-purpose yards. He did himself one better vs. Gettysburg as he tied the Johns Hopkins single-game record for receptions (15) and totaled 217 receiving yards and one touchdown. The 217 receiving yards rank fourth all-time at JHU and he is the first player in school history with consecutive 200-yard receiving games. He closed the regular season with a 13-reception, 159-yard gem at McDaniel.
Rounding out JHU’s three primary receivers is junior Scott Cremens, who counts 49 receptions for 616 yards and a team-high nine TDs to his credit. He had a career-high three TD receptions on six catches for 92 yards at Gettysburg. How deep is JHU’s receiving corps? Cremens’ 49 receptions this season would have led the team 11 times in Jim Margraff’s career as JHU’s head coach, but that total ranks third this season.
In all, 16 different players have at least one reception for the Blue Jays thus far and 11 of those 16 players have at least five receptions to their credit.
Tomlin Continues Assault on JHU, Centennial Record Books: Senior Hewitt Tomlin returned to action vs. Dickinson after missing two games and picked up right where he left off - assaulting the Johns Hopkins and Centennial Conference record books with his performance against the Red Devils. He took that effort up a notch in the 83-21 win at Gettysburg.
One week after throwing for 390 yards vs. Dickinson, Tomlin was 39-of-52 for 501 yards and seven touchdowns against the Bullets. His marks for completions, yards, TD passes and total offense (505) are all school records. His seven TD passes also tied the Centennial Conference reccord. He was selected as the Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season for his efforts.
Tomlin closed the 2011 regular season with a 35-of-47 showing for 484 yards and two TDs against two INTs at McDaniel. The 484 yards rank as the second-highest single-game total in school history. In fact, his 501 yards vs. Gettysburg and 484 yards vs. McDaniel rank as the third and fourth-highest single-game totals by a Division III quarterback this season.
Tomlin is 194-of-282 for 2,459 yards with 23 TDs against just five INTs on the year. He currently leads the Centennial in passing yards per game (307.4), total offense (307.6) and pass efficiency (165.41).
For his career, Tomlin is 820-of-1,323 (.620) for 10,257 yards and 73 TDs. All of those marks are school records, as are his 30 career 200-yard games, 12 career 300-yard games and 10,452 yards of total offense. He is second among all active Division III quarterbacks in passing yards and total offense and 5th in TDs.
Matey Leads JHU Past Muhlenberg, Juniata: With senior Hewitt Tomlin held out against Muhlenberg and Juniata with an injury, the quarterbacking duties fell to sophomore Robbie Matey, who took full advantage of his opportunity.
Matey was 25-of-31 for 251 yards with one touchdown to lead JHU to a crucial 27-17 victory over Muhlenberg on September 24. He followed that with a 17-of-31 showing for 161 yards and two touchdowns at Juniata.
His efforts continued his strong play on the year as he is now 61-of-84 (.726) for 598 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Piatek Tops Career Active Tackle Chart: Senior LB Ryan Piatek returned to his old form in the win vs. Ursinus as he posted a season-high eight tackles to fuel a defense that held the Bears to 132 yards and nine points. Piatek, who missed JHU’s games against Juniata, Dickinson and McDaniel with injuries, is JHU’s career active leader in tackles with 234 after posting seven last week vs. F&M. He was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over Susquehanna as he had a career-high two interceptions, including one in the first quarter that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown to give JHU a 7-0 lead.
Eagleson Among Career Leaders: Senior CB Sam Eagleson’s fourth quarter interception vs. Muhlenberg moved him into sole possession of fourth place on JHU’s career interceptions list with 14. The Johns Hopkins career record for interceptions is held by Brian Hepting (20), while Matt Campbell (16) and Chad Van Den Berg (15) also sit ahead of Eagleson. Eagleson ranks seventh on the team in tackles this season (33) and leads the team in pass breakups (5) and interceptions (3).
Maciow Tops Tackle Chart: Playing on a defense that is loaded with seniors, it is junior Taylor Maciow that sits at the top of the tackle charts for the Blue Jays. Maciow posted a career-high 14 tackles, including 1.5 TFLs and one sack, in the win vs. F&M and added nine at McDaniel. His effort vs. F&M came one week after he posted 10 tackles in the win against Ursinus. He currently has a team and career-high 77 tackles to his credit. He also ranks second in sacks (4.5) and pass breakups (4) and third in tackles for loss (5.5).
Milano Honored: Senior safety Michael Milano was named the Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over Ursinus. Milano posted seven tackles, including a sack, and had two pass breakups to lead a defense that held the Bears to 132 yards and nine points. He came back with eight tackles vs. F&M and nine at McDaniel and now ranks sixth on the team in tackles (40) fourth in tackles for loss (4.0) and tied for second in pass breakups (4).
Sweeney, Schweyer Tied for Second in Tackles: Senior DE Kale Sweeney and junior OLB Adam Schweyer are tied for second on the team in tackles. Among Sweeney’s 57 tackles are team-highs of 10.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. Schweyer’s 57 tackles include 3.0 sacks and 3.5 TFLs and he also has one interception and one fumble recovery to his credit.
Defense Fuels Victories: While the Johns Hopkins offense has grabbed attention with the points and yards it has put up, the Blue Jay defense is also enjoying a solid season as well. Consider:
• JHU finished the regular season leading the Centennial Conference in scoring defense (12.1), total defense (229.1), passing defense (131.9) and rushing defense (97.2).
• In addition to sitting at the top of the Centennial Conference in all categories, JHU also ranks seventh in the nation in passing yards allowed per game (131.9), 10th in pass efficiency defense (90.73 rating), sixth in total defense (229.1) and 10th in scoring defense (12.1).
• The Blue Jays’ first 10 opponents have had 136 combined possessions against JHU - only 12 have resulted in touchdowns. Three of the 15 overall TDs JHU has allowed have been scored by the opposition’s defense/special teams.
• The Blue Jays forced two turnovers vs. USMMA and three vs. Susquehanna, Moravian and Muhlenberg before coming back with two more vs. Juniata and Dickinson and three vs. Gettysburg. Hopkins has forced two or more turnovers in 28 of its last 35 games.
• JHU has forced at least one turnover in 34 of its last 37 games.
• JHU has at least one interception in 28 of the last 36 games.
• JHU is allowing an average of 3.6 yards per play. Muhlenberg ranks second in the CC in yards allowed per play (4.3).
• Hopkins held Susquehanna to 179 yards of total offense and Moravian to just 194. This is the first time since late in the 2009 season that JHU has held consecutive opponents to less than 200 yards of total offense.
Tomlin Is JHU’s Winningest QB: Senior Hewitt Tomlin became JHU’s career leader in wins by a starting quarterback with the 44-10 win against Dickinson on October 8, 2010. Tomlin, who is now 33-8 in 41 career starts at Johns Hopkins, passed JHU Hall of Famer Mark Campbell for most career wins by a JHU starting QB. Campbell played from 1982-85 and was also an All-American pitcher for the Blue Jay baseball team. Below is a list of the winningest quarterbacks in school history:
Tomlin Now Second in Victories Among CC Quarterbacks: In addition to ranking as the winningest quarterback in Johns Hopkins history, Hewitt Tomlin also ranks among the leaders in Centennial Conference history. In fact, with the season-opening win at Merchant Marine, Tomlin moved past Muhlenberg’s Eric Santagato for sole possession of second place on the Centennial Conference’s all-time victories list among quarterbacks.
Offense Rolls in Victory at Gettysburg: The Johns Hopkins offense was nearly unstoppable in the 83-21 victory at Gettysburg on Oct. 22. The Blue Jays set school records for total offense (731), passing yards (545), plays from scrimmage (100), pass attempts (56), completions (43), touchdown passes (7) and first downs (39). The 39 first downs are one shy of the NCAA Division III single-game record.
Where The Points Rank: The 83 points Johns Hopkins scored at Gettysburg are the most ever by a Centennial Conference team (since league was formed in 1983) and the second most in school history. Only an 87-point showing against Loyola in 1924 sits ahead of the 83 points JHU hung on Gettysburg. The 83 points are the second-highest single-game total by a Division III team this season (North Central scored 86 in an 86-14 win over Olivet).
Defense Shines at GC as Well: While the eye-popping numbers Johns Hopkins posted at Gettysburg are sure to jump out at people, the Blue Jay defense was nearly as effective against one of the top offensive units in the nation. The 21 points Gettysburg scored were half of the Bullets’ season average entering the game (42.2), while GC’s 335 yards of total offense were nearly 200 less than the Bullets had been averaging (525.3). Of note, Gettysburg totaled just 77 rushing yards after averaging 253.8 through the first six games.
The Blue Jays also forced three turnovers at Gettysburg to run their season-opening streak of consecutive games forcing two or more turnovers to seven. That streak came to an end against Ursinus (0 forced).
JHU Rolls Up 1,363 Yards vs. Dickinson & Gettysburg: Johns Hopkins rolled up a then season-high 632 yards of total offense against Dickinson (10-14) only to follow that with a school-record 731-yard performance at Gettysburg. Those two totals rank among the top four single-game totals in school history.
In addition, the 443 yards passing by the Blue Jays against the Red Devils ranked third in JHU history for one week until it was bumped to fourth by a school-record 545-yard effort at Gettysburg and then fifth by last week’s 484-yard showing at McDaniel. Three of JHU’s top five all-time passing totals have come in the last five games and four of the top five have come in the last 11 games dating back to last season.
A Program First: Johns Hopkins rushed for 269 yards and passed for 290 yards in the win against Susquehanna (9-10-11). This marked the first time in school history that JHU has rushed and passed for more than 250 yards in a game. JHU has gone over 200 yards passing and rushing 29 times, but the game against Susquehanna was the first time the Blue Jays went for 250-250 in a game.
Another First: One week after generating 290 yards rushing and 269 passing vs. Susquehanna, the Blue Jays got 269 yards passing and 202 rushing at Moravian. This marks the first time in school history JHU has ever had consecutive games with 200 or more rushing and passing yards.
Road Warriors: JHU is 23-6 on the road since the start of the 2007 season and 45-15 on the road since the start of the 2001 season.
Sustained Success: Since the start of the 2002 season the Blue Jays sport an 81-28 (.743) record. Taking it back farther the Blue Jays are 87-31 (.737) since the start of the 2001 season and 92-36 (.719) since the beginning of the 2000 season. The 74 wins the Blue Jays amassed from 2000-09 are the most wins in a decade in school history. Johns Hopkins had never won more than seven games in a season prior to this decade. In the decade completed in 2009, the Blue Jays averaged more than seven wins per season (7.4).
Seven’s Heaven: Since the beginning of the 2003 season the Blue Jays are 72-19 (.791) when scoring more than seven points and 0-7 when they have been held to seven points or less.
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