Johns Hopkins football head coach Jim Margraff

Johns Hopkins football head coach Jim Margraff (Kenneth K. Lam / The Baltimore Sun / November 17, 2012)

Brandon Cherry finished what Stuart Walters started.

Walters, a freshman running back, rushed nine times for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and Cherry, a sophomore, gained 90 yards on eight carries in the second half to power No. 14 Johns Hopkins to a 42-17 thumping of Dickinson before an announced 1,150 in a Centennial Conference matchup at Homewood Field on Friday night.

Walters scored on runs of 49 and 44 yards, with the latter making him the first freshman to eclipse the 100-yard mark since Andrew Case did it twice in 2006.

“The offensive line was working,” said Walters, who finished with 15 carries for 124 yards. “We drew up plans all week, and they executed it well. So they made some easy running lanes for me.”


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Walters, though, had his rookie moments. He gained just 3 yards on six rushes in the second half and fumbled the ball when he ran into the back of an offensive linemen in the third quarter.

That's when Cherry (Boys' Latin) took over. One carry of 60 yards led to a 10-yard touchdown run by freshman Dionisio Roman in the fourth quarter, and Cherry finished with 152 yards on 14 attempts.

“It’s great because it allows us to have multiple threats,” Cherry said of his partnership with Walters. “It’s hard to game-plan against two backs. People consider us speed backs, but we’re both not scared to put it up the middle and push through.”

Their performances made it easier for the Blue Jays (6-0, 5-0) to absorb the absence of senior JD Abbott, who is out indefinitely with an unspecified injury.

“They’re both playing very well right now,” coach Jim Margraff said of Walters and Cherry. “JD Abbott’s our big back. He’s been out several weeks, and we’re hopeful to have him back very soon. So we feel very good about our running back situation right now.”

Senior quarterback Robbie Matey completed 14 of 24 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball three times for 56 yards, including a 47-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that led to a 15-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Jared Beekman.

Beekman, senior tight end Brendan Hartman and freshman wide receiver Bradley Munday each caught a touchdown pass for a receiving corps that played without senior wide receiver Bob D'Orazio. D'Orazio, who entered the game leading the offense in receiving yards (320) and touchdown catches (four), left the game after the team's first possession and did not return.

Johns Hopkins got on the scoreboard on its first series of the game. The offense needed just six plays to march 54 yards in 2:18, and capped the drive with a 5-yard screen pass to freshman wide receiver Bradley Munday.

The Red Devils (2-4, 2-3) tied the score at 7 when senior fullback Mike Capone rumbled 10 yards into the end zone with 11 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

On the ensuing possession, the Blue Jays used four plays to move from their 29-yard line to near midfield. That's when Walters bolted up the middle for 49 yards, shattering the team's previous season-long run of 13 yards.

Two Johns Hopkins series later, Walters took the handoff from Matey, ran up the middle, cut back to his left and followed a block by Matey down the left sideline with 6:10 left in the second quarter for a 44-yard touchdown and 21-7 advantage.

After a Dickinson three-and-out, Johns Hopkins was threatening again. But on first-and-10 from the Red Devils' 31, Matey was sacked and stripped by sophomore linebacker Teddy Airoldi, and senior defensive end Matt Giel recovered the fumble at the 29.

The Red Devils marched 52 yards on seven plays to set up a 36-yard field goal by junior Adam Kaminski with 0.3 seconds remaining.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

 

[ Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct the length of Brandon Cherry's fourth quarter run that set up a touchdown. ]