Johns Hopkins football starts strong, wins big in Division III tournament opener

Johns Hopkins junior wide receiver Bradley Munday breaks into the open field against Western New England
Johns Hopkins junior wide receiver Bradley Munday breaks into the open field against Western New England (Bill Hughes photo)

In its playoff opener, the Johns Hopkins football team played about as perfect a first half as possible.

The No. 8 Blue Jays scored on six of eight first-half possessions and cruised to a 52-20 drubbing of Western New England in a Division III tournament first-round game Saturday afternoon at Homewood Field.


An announced 834 watched Johns Hopkins (11-0) set a program record for points scored in a postseason game and advance to the second round for the third time in four years.

The Blue Jays will meet No. 11 Wesley (10-1) on Saturday at a time and site to be determined. The Wolverines defeated Framingham State, 42-22, on Saturday.

Johns Hopkins was in control early. The team scored 24 points in the second quarter and led 38-0 at halftime.

"Our guys today played very well," said coach Jim Margraff, who has guided the school to back-to-back 11-0 starts. "It was choppy at times, but we've played well at home all year long, and today was no different. We got up early by a couple scores and played well after that."

Junior Jonathan Germano said the offense's first-half efficiency — it scored five touchdowns and had one field goal — ranked among the unit's best performances this season.

"I'd say it was definitely up there," said Germano, who became the first quarterback in Johns Hopkins history to throw four touchdown passes in a playoff game, and finished 17-for-26 overall for 293 yards before sitting out the fourth quarter. "We came out really hot, obviously. … When we're moving like that and we're moving the ball on every play and we're throwing gas like that, we feel really powerful and confident in the offense. It was just a great job all around today."

Junior wide receiver Bradley Munday caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense harassed the Golden Bears (10-1) into committing five turnovers.

The Blue Jays did most of their damage in the first 30 minutes, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives. Sophomore running back Ryan Cary punched the ball in from 1 yard out with 11:27 left in the first quarter, and Germano found Munday on a slant across the middle for a 13-yard score with 6:07 remaining.

After a rare three-and-out, Johns Hopkins scored back-to-back touchdowns again. Junior running back Stuart Walters reached the end zone from 3 yards out with 13:30 left in the second quarter, and Germano connected with freshman wide receiver Luke McFadden on a 43-yard play-action pass with 9:27 remaining.

After a 27-yard field goal by junior kicker Nick Campbell and another punt, the Blue Jays capped the first half with a 19-yard touchdown strike from Germano to Munday with 15 seconds left.

Meanwhile, Western New England punted five times, committed three turnovers and crossed midfield just twice in the first half.

Junior cornerback Marcus Spearman intercepted one pass in the first quarter and recovered a fumble in the second after sophomore defensive tackle Lance Hammond slapped the ball out of Golden Bears senior quarterback Tyler Ward's hands. Senior cornerback Charlie Kassis also intercepted a pass, which led to Germano's second touchdown pass to Munday just before halftime.

Senior free safety Jack Toner grabbed his team-leading sixth interception of the season to thwart a Western New England drive late in the third quarter, and senior strong safety Sebastian Edwards picked up a fumble after a strip by sophomore defensive lineman Chris Stauch in the final period.

Ward paced the Golden Bears with 197 yards and two touchdowns on 13-for-21 passing and rushed for 54 yards and a score as Western New England was bounced from the first round of the postseason for the second time in two NCAA tournament appearances.


"Watching on film, you could see over the last couple of weeks, they really did a number on their opponents," said Golden Bears coach Keith Emery, who was an assistant coach under Margraff for seven years, serving as the team's defensive coordinator and associate head coach. "It wasn't all that surprising. They did a great job. They had a great game plan and knocked us back pretty good. It was an impressive display on their end."

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