The offense remains conservative, yet effective enough to win.
With its starting quarterback still ailing, Johns Hopkins has relied mostly on its ground attack, with four backs averaging at least four yards a carry, to climb into first place in the Centennial Conference.
The plan worked again yesterday, though it didn't overwhelm anyone. A couple of long runs by senior Hari Lymon were about all the offense the Blue Jays could muster, as they matched last year's victory total by holding off Ursinus, 14-9, at Homewood Field.
Hopkins (4-1) extended its winning streak to four games, its best start in 28 years and improved to 3-0 in the conference. Ursinus (1-4, 0-4) hasn't won since the opening week.
Senior transfer Jim Guzzo started his fourth straight game at quarterback in place of senior Dan Redziniak, who is recovering from a pinched nerve in his neck. Redziniak, who completed 64.5 percent of his passes last year and threw for 1,073 yards, has been cleared to play and would have gotten in yesterday if the Blue Jays had been farther ahead.
"He'll play next week," Hopkins coach Jim Margraff said. "I'm not sure if he'll start, though. He's not 100 percent."
Guzzo has been efficient, though hardly spectacular, completing of 75 passes for 375 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. But he isn't expected to carry the load. That chore belongs to the guys carrying the football.
Lymon (City College) was the first to touch it for Hopkins yesterday, taking a pitch right and going 64 yards untouched for a quick 7-0 lead. He finished with 127 yards on only six carries.
From there, the Blue Jays offense did little. It picked up two first downs on its next five possessions of the first half, both on runs by sophomore tailback Don Zajick. Guzzo (6-for-17, 46 yards) completed three passes, for five yards.
If not for some untimely penalties by Ursinus and some key plays by the Hopkins defense, the Bears might have been ahead at halftime. Led by junior tailback Dan Steigerwalt, making his first collegiate start, they out-gained the Blue Jays, 140 yards to 94, and held the ball for 22:09, but managed only a 33-yard field goal by Mark McGonagle.
Steigerwalt gained 101 of his 145 yards in the first half, becoming the first Ursinus player to go over 100 since the last game of the 1993 season. Fullback Mark Parks got most of the carries in the second half, finishing with 71 yards.
The Bears churned most of the yardage, but Hopkins did most of the scoring. Taking over at midfield, the Blue Jays used two plays -- a 45-yard run by Lymon and a 5-yarder by Zajick -- to increase their lead to 14-3 in the fourth quarter.
"Coming off a great win, the emotions were really high and technique went out the window," said Lymon, who was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Week after last weekend's 35-16 romp at Gettysburg, when he accumulated 175 all-purpose yards and scored twice. "We had to recuperate and get our technique back, and things started clicking a little bit towards the end."