Johns Hopkins football striking a balance on offense

The No. 14 Johns Hopkins football team’s 4-0 overall start and 3-0 opening in the Centennial Conference this fall has been highlighted by a balance on offense. The unit has gained 200 yards running and passing the ball in each of the team’s first four games, achieving that mark for the first time in school history.

The balance on offense – which will be tested against league rival Juniata (3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference) this Saturday – has pleased coach Jim Margraff.

"I think it says that we've got some skill and we've got some answers on both sides," he said Thursday morning. "Interestingly enough, last year against Juniata, they committed to [stopping] the run strongly. We had to throw because of the numbers they put up there and we threw well. We threw for more than 380 yards.

"But our offense has come out and whatever the defense presents, we'll try to take advantage of. Right now, we have confidence running the ball and throwing the ball. It doesn't really make a difference to us."

With a pair of running backs in senior J.D. Abbott (67 carries for 326 yards and seven touchdowns) and sophomore Brandon Cherry (40-285-3) taking care of the rushing attack and senior quarterback Robbie Matey (91-of-120 for 972 yards and four touchdown) finding senior wide receiver Bob D'Orazio (17 catches for 212 yards and one touchdown) and sophomore wide receiver Ryan Finkel (19-150-1) through the air, the Blue Jays present opponents with some difficult decisions in determining a defensive plan of action.

Margraff said the goal is to field a diversified offense that can have success in all aspects of the game plan.

"We’ve shown we can move the ball on the ground and through the air," he said. "Our running backs have different skill sets and yet we run the same offense with all of them. So I think we do offer some conflicts to most defenses."

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