GETTYSBURG, PA – Junior quarterback Hewitt Tomlin (Jackson, TN/Trinity Christian) threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns to fuel a Johns Hopkins offense that churned out 463 yards in a 29-21 Centennial Conference victory at Gettysburg Saturday afternoon at Musselman Stadium. The Blue Jays, who trailed 7-0 early before taking the lead for good in the second quarter, improve to 1-1 on the year and 1-0 in the Centennial Conference. The Bullets slip to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Centennial.
Johns Hopkins improved to 17-3 in its last 20 Centennial openers, while Tomlin set school records with his 16th career 200-yard passing game fourth career 300-yad passing game and also became just the fourth quarterback in school history to top 5,000 career passing yards. He now has 5,199.
After spotting the Bullets a 7-0 lead on the opening drive of the game, the Blue Jays took the lead for good with a pair of touchdowns less than two minutes apart early in the second quarter.
Junior Tyler Porco (Venetia, PA/Peters Township) polished off a 16-play, 90-yard drive that ate nearly seven minutes off the clock with a one-yard scoring run. The Blue Jays efficiently worked the ball down the field and faced just two third downs on the 16-play drive, which saw a nice blend of running and passing. Tomlin hit sophomore Scott Cremens (Finksburg, MD/Westminster) three times on the drive for 30 yards and was 5-for-5 overall for 46 yards on the drive.
Special teams led directly to JHU's next score. The Blue Jay defense forced a quick three-and-out on the drive after Porco's touchdown and junior Scott Barletta (Sarasota, FL/Cardinal Mooney) came in clean to block a Gettysburg punt and set the Blue Jays up at the Gettysburg 37.
It took exactly one play and an NFL-caliber throw from Tomlin to junior Sam Wernick (Dallas, TX/Dallas Jesuit) on a deep out to give the Blue Jays the lead for Good. Tomlin rolled to his right and hit Wernick inside the Gettysburg five yard line and Wernick muscled his way into the end zone to give the Blue Jay a 12-7 lead.
Neither team seriously threatened in the final 12 minutes of the second quarter and the Blue Jays nearly pushed the lead out to 19-7 on the opening kickoff of the second half as sophomore Jonathan Rigaud (Pembroke Pines, FL/Pembroke Pines) retuned the kick 96 yards for an apparent touchdown, only to have the play called back on a penalty. The return would have been the longest in school history.
After trading possessions to start the half, the Blue Jays again capitalized on a blocked punt – this one by sophomore Taylor Maciow (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee). Maciow's block gave the Blue Jays possession deep inside Gettysburg territory and it took the Blue Jays just three plays to find the end zone as Tomlin threaded one down the middle to Wernick to extend the lead to 19-7 with 9:35 remaining in the third quarter.
The Bullets answered with their second long scoring drive of the game, a 13-play, 70-yard drive that Jamel Mutunga capped with a three-yard scoring run.
Johns Hopkins, needed less than two minutes on its ensuing drive to answer as a pair of Nick Fazio (McMurray, PA/Peters Township) runs and a 21-yard scamper by Porco gave JHU a first down at the Bullet 44. The Blue Jays pulled some trickery on the next play as Fazio took the handoff from Tomlin and flipped it back to him. Tomlin then dropped one in perfectly to a well-covered Tucker Michels (Allendale, NJ/Northern Highlands) inside the five-yard line and Michels carried a defender into the end zone to make it 26-21.
Gettysburg made things interesting down the stretch as junior Kyle Whitmoyer orchestrated a five-play, 79-yard drive that he capped with a five-yard touchdown run with 12:04 remaining in the fourth, but senior Alex Lachman (Livingston, NJ/Livingston) answered with a 24-yard field goal just over four minutes later to make it 29-21.
Gettysburg got as deep as the JHU 20 yard line on its next possession, but the Blue Jays forced a turnover on downs and then ran out the final 5:19 to seal their 14th win against the Bullets in the last 16 meetings. Tomlin and Wernick provide the key play on the final drive as they connected on a 35-yard completion on a third-and-12 to move the ball deep in Gettysburg territory. A key first-down run by Fazio sealed the win in the final 90 seconds.
Tomlin was 22-of-31 for the 326 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Michels (7-135-1) and Wernick (7-125-2) combined for 260 of those yards with Cremens adding six receptions for 55 yards. Michels became the fifth player in school history to amass 150 career receptions as his seven against Gettysburg improve his career total to 152.
Junior Ryan Piatek (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace) led the Blue Jay defense with 11 tackles, including two for losses and one sack, and added a forced fumble. JHU came up with three sacks of Whitmoyer, blocked the two punts and got an interception from junior Michael Milano (Allentown, PA/Allentown Central Catholic).
Whitmoyer was 19-of-28 for 269 yards with one interception and added the rushing touchdown as well. Matt Brophy was his favorite target as he totaled a game-high 147 yards on seven catches. Mutunga added 83 yards and the two touchdowns.
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