A sore hamstring continues to cloud Bob D’Orazio’s availability for No. 10 Johns Hopkins’ game this Saturday against Ursinus in a key Centennial Conference football showdown.
The senior wide receiver took himself out after the first offensive series of the Blue Jays’ 42-17 thrashing of Dickinson on Oct. 18 and then sat out the team’s 34-16 defeat of Gettysburg last Saturday. Coach Jim Margraff said he is unsure of D’Orazio’s status for this week's game.
“It’s still up in the air,” Margraff said Wednesday. “He was running around [Tuesday], but he didn’t really do a full practice. But he’s feeling much better. So we’re hopeful that he’ll be ready, but we’re not sure.”
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D’Orazio leads Johns Hopkins (7-0 overall and 6-0 in the league) in both receiving yards (320) and touchdowns (four), but his absence against the Bullets was mitigated by the play of senior Jared Beekman (career-best nine catches for 82 yards) and senior Dan Wodicka (eight receptions for 76 yards en route to becoming Centennial’s career leader in catches with 242).
The presence of Wodicka, Beekman, sophomore Ryan Finkel (team-high 29 catches for 242 yards and one touchdown) and freshman Bradley Munday (17 for 146 yards and one score) give Margraff some flexibility.
“Optimistic, but at the same point, we’ve got a lot of good receivers that have been productive,” Margraff said. “So it’s not something that we’re going to rush, by any means.”
While D’Orazio was sidelined, senior running back J.D. Abbott ended a two-game absence by playing in the win against Gettysburg.
Abbott, who was shelved by an undisclosed injury, carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards and one touchdown in a limited role behind sophomore Brandon Cherry (25 rushes for 176 yards and one score) and freshman Stuart Walters (14 for 130 and one touchdown).
“It was good,” Margraff said of Abbott’s return. “We’re trying to bring him back slowly, but he’s certainly a terrific guy to have in short-yardage situations. He’s a very good pass blocker. So there are situations where he excels and that we’ll try to highlight. But we’ll bring him back at a pace where we’re trying to bring him back to 100 percent as soon as possible.”
Abbott continues to lead the Blue Jays in rushing touchdowns with eight, but there is only one ball to share in the backfield between him, Cherry and Walters as the team heads into Saturday’s showdown with Ursinus (6-1, 5-1).
“I think with our backs, it’s a little more situational,” Margraff said of increasing Abbott’s playing time. “I think his workload will increase, but I don’t think he’s at 100 percent yet.”