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Johns Hopkins football completes perfect regular season with 48-17 rout of McDaniel

Johns Hopkins' Reiley Syrek carries the ball against McDaniel on Saturday at Homewood Field.
Johns Hopkins' Reiley Syrek carries the ball against McDaniel on Saturday at Homewood Field. (Ken Koons)

Jim Margraff has built a Division III football powerhouse in his 25 years as coach at Johns Hopkins.

Entering this season as the defending Centennial Conference champions, having won the title outright each of the past three seasons, the Blue Jays were the preseason favorites to win the title again. And as the season progressed, it became obvious Hopkins would have no trouble repeating.

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With a 48-17 win over McDaniel on Saturday at Homewood Field, the Blue Jays finished with a 10-0 regular-season record for the second straight year and third time in four seasons, winning their 14th game in a row to capture the conference championship outright for the sixth time in 10 seasons.

"It's always exciting. Each year's a new challenge, and our kids came out fired up," Margraff said. "Our kids have come out each week with a real business-like attitude. They have fun, they enjoy each other. It's been a rewarding year to this point."

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Johns Hopkins (10-0, 9-0) will find out Sunday night whom it will face Saturday in the NCAA Division III tournament.

The Blue Jays, ranked No. 7 in the D3football.com poll, have dominated the Centennial Conference for the better part of the past decade. They are 40-4 since the beginning of the 2011 season, the second-most wins in a four-year stretch in conference history. (McDaniel won 41 from 2000 to 2003.)

Hopkins is 43-1 in its past 44 regular-season games. This season, the Jays averaged 40.2 points per game, winning by at least 16 points in all but one game.

"It's tough to go 10-0, and to be able to accomplish that is something special," Hopkins quarterback Braden Anderson said. "To win four conference titles in a row, it's really amazing."

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On Saturday, Johns Hopkins' prolific offense started quickly. Running back Brandon Cherry (Boys' Latin) scored on a 14-yard carry 4:08 in the game. On the Jays' next drive, Anderson threw a 21-yard touchdown to wide receiver Quinn Donaldson for a 14-0 lead just 6:53 in.

Johns Hopkins scored points on seven of its nine first-half possessions, building a 41-7 lead by halftime.

Anderson completed 14 of 18 passes overall for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 38 yards and a score on the ground. Kicker Jamie Sullivan connected on a pair of short field goals for the Jays.

On Hopkins' final play of the first half, backup quarterback Will Nunn connected with David Brookhart for a 17-yard score, the Jays' fifth touchdown.

Margraff said the team's goal this year was another conference title, and the weeks to come are just "bonus football." Anderson said he feels the team will fare well, after falling in its first playoff game last year to Wesley.

"We've played well this entire season, and it's all been leading up to this," Anderson said. "We're happy to go and prove we can compete with a lot of the other teams out there and hopefully keep this going as long as we can."

The Green Terror's lone points in the first 30 minutes came on a 20-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Matty Callahan to J.T. Kotowski. A 49-yard run by Callahan on the previous play set up the score.

McDaniel (1-9, 0-9) punted six times and lost two fumbles in the first half. The Terror now have two or fewer wins in each of coach Mike Hoyt's first three seasons, and are 3-27 overall since 2012.

But Hoyt said he believes the team has made progress, especially with the program's young players, even though the results weren't obvious this season. Freshman running back Tayahd Campbell scored a touchdown Saturday and first-year linebacker Drew Scott added a pair of interceptions.

"When you have freshmen that are competing with the No. 1 team in the conference, that's exciting for the future," Hoyt said. "I can't wait to get started in the offseason. I'm really pumped."

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