Johns Hopkins broke out an oldie but not a goodie from the film archives in the lead-up to Saturday's NCAA Division III second-round playoff game against Wesley at noon at Homewood Field.
The Blue Jays watched their 29-24 loss to the Wolverines in the first round of the 2013 tournament, during which they failed to protect a one-point lead in the final minute of regulation.
Wesley went 82 yards in five plays and 31 seconds, capped by a 33-yard deep post from then-sophomore quarterback Joe Callahan to then-junior wide receiver Steve Koudossou with 12.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Reliving that heartache two years later revived the memory for senior strong safety-outside linebacker Brady Watts.
"The fact that they took us out two years ago is definitely in the back of our minds," he said. "Watching that film from two years ago this week and seeing how it ended in a really painful way definitely brings it all back. So it helps practicing knowing that a lot of the guys who played for them two years ago are still playing for them now. It makes practice a little more fun, a little more exciting."
Thirty-nine current juniors and seniors were present during that loss, and senior inside linebacker Keith Corliss didn't try to hide that No. 8 Johns Hopkins (11-0) is eager to clash with the No. 11 Wolverines (10-1).
"I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you that now that we're playing them again, it's a little extra motivation," he said. "We've been lucky enough in my four years here not to lose many games. So when you do lose one and you lose it the way we did toward the very end, it stays with you a little bit.
"It's something you try not to focus on and you try to focus on the task at hand, and now that Wesley is the task at hand, it kind of gives that extra little revenge factor. But we're going to treat it like every other game and not get too excited or you're going to start making mistakes."
Coach Jim Margraff downplayed the notion that the Blue Jays are seeking revenge.
"There's nothing like that," he said. "We just know that they're an outstanding team. When you talk about Division III football, there are three or four schools at the very top with Mount Union and [Wisconsin-]Whitewater and maybe Linfield and a couple others out there. And Wesley has been in that conversation for a long time. … Our guys know that they're outstanding.
"They've been the team that most times has stopped our conference champion from advancing – whether it was us or Muhlenberg in years past. To us, this is just bonus football right now. So our guys are just enjoying being together and having another opportunity to play. It's nice to play at home, and we'll let it rip and see what we've got this week."