BALTIMORE, MD – Two years ago, Johns Hopkins quarterback Hewitt Tomlin (Jackson, TN/Trinity Christian) was forced to miss the Blue Jays' ECAC Bowl Game after suffering an injury in the regular season finale. On Saturday, he more than made up for missing that game as he threw for a career-high 443 yards and four touchdowns to fuel a 44-14 win over Lebanon Valley in the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl at Homewood Field. For his efforts, Tomlin was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Game.
The win is the fifth straight for the Blue Jays, who grabbed their fourth ECAC title since 2002 and finish the season with an 8-3 record. The Flying Dutchmen, who entered with a five-game winning streak of their own, finish at 6-5.
Poised to take 14-7 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Blue Jays were stuffed on consecutive plays at the goal line and turned the ball over on downs. One play later, sophomore Taylor Maciow (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) knifed into the backfield and dropped LVC's Ben Guiles (Columbia, PA/Columbia) two yards deep in the end zone for safety to give JHU a 9-7 lead. From there, it was all Hopkins.
After the ensuing free kick, the Blue Jays needed just nine plays to go 49 yards and Tomlin capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to senior Brian Hopkins (Rocky River, OH/St. Ignatius) to make it 16-7 with 2:33 remaining in the first half. Sophomore Jonathan Rigaud (Pembroke Pines, FL/Pembroke Pines) did a majority of the work on the drive as rushed for 25 yards on five carries.
Caleb Fick (Emmaus, PA/Emmaus) was intercepted by JHU's Ryan Piatek (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace) on LVC's fourth play after Hopkins' score and Tomlin needed just three plays to extend the lead to 23-7 after that. A 14-yard completion to freshman Dan Wodicka (West Lafayette, IN/West Lafayette) set up a 25-yard strike to junior Sam Wernick (Dallas, TX/Dallas Jesuit) to cap the drive and JHU's late first-half scoring surge that saw the Blue Jays score 16 points in just over four minutes.
Any hopes of a comeback for the Dutchmen were dashed less than five minutes into the third quarter as the Blue Jays took the opening kickoff of the half and moved 71yards in 12 plays with Scott Barletta (Sarasota, FL/Cardinal Mooney) capping the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to make it 30-7. Tomlin was 5-of-5 for 63 yards on the drive.
The quick-strike Blue Jays got the ball back just over a minute later after the defense forced a three-and-out and Tomlin hit Wernick in stride down the middle with an 80-yard touchdown pass on JHU's first play. The touchdown pass was the fourth of the day for Tomlin, who had hit Wernick with an eight-yard touchdown pass on JHU's first drive of the game. The scoring pass also moved him into a tie with current head coach Jim Margraff for first place on the school's career touchdown passes list with 50.
The teams traded fourth-quarter touchdowns as Barletta added his second one-yard touchdown run of the game early in the period and LVC tight end Brendan Riley (Reading, PA/Reading Central Catholic) caught his second TD of the game – this one a two-yard strike from Fick – three minutes later to account for the final scoring.
In addition to tying Margraff's career record for touchdown passes, Tomlin also broke the JHU single-game record for completions as he was 32-of-38 for the 443 yards with the four touchdowns. He ends the season with a school and Centennial Conference-record 3,309 passing yards and a JHU-record 24 touchdown passes. The 443-yard effort is the second best in school history.
Wernick totaled 10 receptions for 180 yards and three touchdowns and broke the Centennial single-season touchdown receptions record as he finishes the season with 17. He was one of three JHU receivers to rack up more than 75 yards receiving in the game as JHU rolled up a season-high 583 yards of total offense.
Guiles, who entered the game averaging 128 yards per game on the ground, was held to just 45 yards on 17 carries and the Dutchmen generated just 81 yards on 34 rushing attempts. Fick was 9-of-24 for 98 yards with the two touchdowns, but he threw two of LVC's three interceptions and couldn't dig the Dutchmen out of the 16-point halftime deficit.
The Blue Jay defense allowed just 212 yards, came up with three interceptions and posted three sacks in the win. Sophomore Adam Schweyer (Allentown, PA/Allentown Central Catholic) posted a career-high 17 tackles to lead the way for the Blue Jays, who also got 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses and the one interception from Piatek.
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