Johns Hopkins took another big step toward a postseason berth by dominating Franklin & Marshall in every facet of Saturday's crucial Centennial Conference matchup.
With the 51-13 victory before an announced 2,300, Johns Hopkins is in position to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs by winning at McDaniel on Saturday. Andrew Kase finished with 198 yards on 34 carries and three touchdowns to become the first running back in Johns Hopkins history to eclipse 4,000 career yards. The Blue Jays have won 12 of the past 13 against the Diplomats in a series that dates to 1912.
"Our defense played exceptionally well," Johns Hopkins coach Jim Margraff said. "The last game of the year is always McDaniel, and that is a great in-state rivalry. The focus was totally on Franklin & Marshall today. We had a great week of practice. They were ready today."
With last week's 58-7 victory over Juniata, Johns Hopkins scored 50 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1967. The Blue Jays gained 507 yards of total offense against the Diplomats (7-2, 5-2 league).
Johns Hopkins (7-2, 6-1) has the top defense in the conference, allowing 268.1 yards per game, and did a good job containing quarterback John Harrison, who leads Franklin & Marshall's top passing attack. Harrison was pressured most of the game and was sacked six times. He completed 27 of 41 passes for 275 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Blue Jays opened the scoring on an 11-play, 66-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Kase with 4:15 left in the first quarter.
"We knew this was a huge game, the last on Homewood Field for our seniors, and we were ready to go from the beginning," Kase said. "The offensive line and the fullback did a great job opening it up. I was not getting touched until 4 or 5 yards down the field. All the credit goes to them."
An interception by Glenn Rocca set up a 35-yard field goal by Alex Lachman, and Johns Hopkins led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Diplomats cut the margin to four on an 18-yard pass from Harrison to Mike Deutch.
However, another 38-yard field goal by Lachman and a 25-yard pass from Hewitt Tomlin to Brian Hopkins that finished an 11-play, 99-yard drive gave Johns Hopkins a 20-6 lead at the half.
"I think when you look at the difference in the teams, they have a lot more depth and a lot more guys," Franklin & Marshall coach John Troxell said. "Our defensive line got pushed a little. Johns Hopkins is going to do a great job in the NCAA playoffs. They will make some waves."
A 74-yard pass from Tomlin to Tucker Michels set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Kase and the Blue Jays led 29-6 with 5:32 left in the third quarter. The Blue Jays rounded out the scoring on touchdown runs from Kase (12 yards), Jonathan Rigaud (32) and Nick Fazio (1).
Saturday, 1 p.m.