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Johns Hopkins football the outright leader in Centennial Conference

Johns Hopkins got some help from an unlikely source in the program's bid for a sixth straight Centennial Conference title.

Juniata stunned Ursinus, 38-10, on Saturday. That Bears loss coupled with the No. 9 Blue Jays' 42-7 rout of Dickinson on Friday night opened up a one-game for Johns Hopkins (6-0 overall and 5-0 in the league) over Ursinus (5-1, 4-1) and Muhlenberg (5-1, 4-1).

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But coach Jim Margraff downplayed the significance of the separation between the top three teams in the conference.

"There's actually no distance and I say that because with one loss, you lose out on head-to-head [tiebreaker] and all these other types of things," he said Wednesday morning. "We take five minutes to be fans on Sundays at our meetings just to go through all that type of stuff. We talk about those things and do what other people do and compare scores and all the stuff that is sort of silly just to get it out there and get it out of the way. If anything, everyone we're playing right now is in a must-win situation. Gettysburg [Friday's opponent at 7 p.m. at Homewood Field] has two losses, and if you look ahead, someone else has one loss. So we've got to make sure that other people aren't more motivated than we are right now. Our guys have been very workmanlike, and we've had another good week of practice. I'm really pleased with our team's attitude and their work ethic and where their minds are collectively."

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The Blue Jays, who defeated Muhlenberg, 42-26, on Sept. 27, will clash with Ursinus on Nov. 1, and a victory over the Bears would almost lock up the Centennial championship. But Margraff said the team won't get ahead of itself.

"We can't win a championship this week," he said. "All we can do is beat Gettysburg this week. That's all we're focused on."

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