Cox records eight tackles, two forced fumbles
WESTMINSTER, Md. – Johns Hopkins, ranked 12th in the latest d3football.com poll, rolled up 590 yards of offense to overcome a six-turnover day and defeat McDaniel 28-24 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action on Saturday.
Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson) led the Green Terror (2-8, 2-7 CC) on a defense that forced a season-high six turnovers with eight tackles, including his program-record 25th career sack. He also had two forced fumbles and a pass breakup.
Hewitt Tomlin completed 35 of 47 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Blue Jays (10-0, 9-0 CC) to their first undefeated regular season in program history and seventh in CC history. Daniel Wodicka and Sam Wernick both racked up 100-yard receiving days. Wodicka caught 13 passes for 159 yards while Wernick had eight catches for 110 yards.
Deadlocked at 21-all entering a second half that turned into a full-scale rivalry game in all ways, Johns Hopkins fumbled at midfield around a pair of Jake Nichols (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) punts to start the third quarter.
The Blue Jays took over at their own 11 with 9:34, where a pair of short runs set up third-and-3. Tomlin found Wodicka for 16 yards for a first down at the 34.
One play later, Tomlin hit Matthew Barry, who sprinted down the near sideline 66 yards and dove into the end zone for a 28-21 lead with 8:12 on the clock.
McDaniel took over at its own 40 but was hit for a deadball penalty and a false start to make it third-and-27 from its own 23.
Starting quarterback Nick Valori (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.) took off on a 14-yard scramble but was knocked out of the game on the play.
Facing a second-and-24 after an offensive pass interference call, Cox knocked the ball from Tomlin for his record-breaking sack and Bill Gerdes (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) fell on the ball to give the Green Terror possession at the Blue Jay 17.
Seth McFall (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney), seeing his first action of the season at quarterback, moved the ball four yards to set up a Nichols 30-yard field goal to pull the hosts within 28-24 with 4:33 showing in the third quarter.
Tomlin responded with a 10-play march but Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) picked off the quarterback in the end zone to thwart the drive.
On the back of seven Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) carries, McFall moved the Green Terror to the Johns Hopkins 33 with 9:27 remaining.
However, McDaniel lost its second quarterback of the game at that point and was forced to punt.
Tomlin engineered another long drive, hitting Wernick on a third-and-4 from the Green Terror 35 but Cox tracked down the streaking receiver at the one-yard line and the ball rolled out of bounds through the end zone to give the ball back to McDaniel.
A Rollins two-yard run and pair of incomplete passes gave the ball back to the Blue Jays, who were able to run the last 4:23 off the clock and escape with the win.
McDaniel kicked off to start the game but Carlos Thomas (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) came up with the first turnover of the day to set up his team at the 25.
Six plays later, Rollins ran it in from a yard out for a 7-0 lead just 3:13 into the game.
After a pair of fourth-down stands, Jonathan Rigaud ran off the last 28 yards of a 66-yard drive to even the score with 2:36 to play in the first quarter.
The Green Terror punt team pinned Johns Hopkins at its own nine. On the first play, Cox hit Tomlin as he released and Sean Lajoie (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape) snagged the ball and returned it 12 yards for a 14-7 lead with eight seconds on the first-quarter clock.
Tomlin needed 12 plays and 3:58 to drive 80 yards that was capped on a Nick Fazio 19-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Rollins runs of 18 and 39 yards on back-to-back plays keyed a 6-play, 84-yard march. Valori ended the scoring drive with a four-yard touchdown run for a 21-14 lead with 3:37 left in the first half.
Johns Hopkins took over with 59.2 seconds left in the second quarter and marched 70 yards in just 39 seconds to even the game with 26 seconds to play in the half.
Rollins finished the day with 136 yards to give him 1,401 yards for the season – a total which is fourth all-time.
McDaniel opens the 2012 season at Catholic on Sept. 1.