HAMPDEN SYDNEY, Va. - - Johns Hopkins turned in a dominant second-half performance to defeat previously unbeaten Hampden-Sydney, 23-7, and advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time in school history.
The Blue Jays (9-2) held the ball for nearly 14 minutes in the third quarter and eventually wore down the 14th-ranked Tigers (10-1).
A 23-yard field goal by Alex Lachman broke a 7-7 tie less than one minute into the final quarter and would be the first of three he would make in the quarter and the first of four scores for the Blue Jays in the final 15 minutes.
The Tigers, who entered the game averaging more than 37 points and 430 yards of total offense, had a chance to draw even a short time later as they returned the kickoff after Lachman's first field goal to Hopkins 23. However, sophomore Mike Milano blocked David Prizzia's 40-yard field-goal attempt and the Blue Jays bled five more minutes off the clock as they moved 68 yards in nine plays and capped their second touchdown drive of the game with a 1-yard run by senior Andrew Kase on fourth-and-goal with 9:22 remaining to make it 17-7.
The Blue Jays' defense then picked off quarterback Corey Sedlar on three straight possessions and turned them into 28- and 27-yard field goals by Lachman in the final 3:25 before taking a knee in the final seconds.
Kase turned in his 24th career 100-yard rushing game and scored both Blue Jays touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Dan Crowley made a career-high 13 receptions for a personal-best 178 yards.
"I'm very proud of our team," Hopkins coach Jim Margraff said. "We knew it would take a monumental effort to come down here and beat an undefeated Hampden-Sydney team. We made some mistakes early on offense but adjusted well at halftime. At the same time, we tackled very well on defense and our defensive coordinator [Bob Chesney] did a magnificent job of preparing our players."