Tomlin's Six TD Passes Lead Hopkins Past USMMA, 45-14

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KINGS POINT, NY – Johns Hopkins senior quarterback Hewitt Tomlin threw for 297 yards and tied the JHU single-game record with six touchdown passes as the Blue Jays pulled away from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the second half of a 45-14 win at Captain Tomb Field Saturday afternoon.  The six TD passes ties the record originally set by John Guglielmo against Georgetown on October 26, 1991.

Tomlin, who also became the first quarterback in school and Centennial Conference history to top 8,000 career passing yards in the win (8,095) threw three of his six scoring passes in the third quarter, when the Blue Jays pushed a 21-14 halftime lead to 42-14 with touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. In the third quarter alone, Tomlin was 17-of-17 for 189 yards and three touchdowns and eventually completed 19 consecutive passes before missing on one early in the fourth quarter.

Tomlin and the Blue Jays needed just two plays to go 64 yards to open the third quarter as he connected with sophomore Dan Wodicka for a 37-yard touchdown pass just 29 seconds into the second half.

A Sam Eagleson interception for the Blue Jays on the Mariners' ensuing possession led to the second of the three third-quarter scorers.  JHU moved 69 yards in eight plays and Tomlin capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brendan Hartman to push the lead out to 35-14.  Tomlin was 6-of-6 for 67 yards on the drive. 

The Mariners had a chance to hop back in the game as they drove from their own 46 yard line to the Blue Jay 13, but quaeterback Alex Coviello's errant pitch on an option play was recovered by Hopkins senior Tyler Brown at the 24-yard line and Tomlin and the Blue Jays went back to work.

Hopkins covered 76 yards in 13 plays and used just under four minutes of the clock before Tomlin hit senior Sam Wernick with a swing pass that Wernick took to the end zone to make it  42-14.  Tomlin was perfect again on the drive as he completed all seven of his attempts for 60 yards on the drive.

A Richie Carbone 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter closed the scoring for the Blue Jays, whose 45 points today are the most by a JHU team in a season-opener since 1915.

The second-half surge for the Blue Jays didn't look like it would be necessary as Tomlin threw touchdown passes to Scott Cremens, Wernick and Wodicka before the game was 17-minutes old to stake JHU to a 21-7 lead.  A turnover that gave the Mariners possession at the JHU 12-yard line led to USMMA's only touchdown – a one-yard run by Michael Bozich – in the first 25 minutes of the game.

Still, the Blue Jays had a 14-point lead late in the second quarter before the Mariners put together their best drive of the game.  Coviello directed an 18-play, 67-yard drive that ate just over nine minutes off the clock and he capped the drive with a two-yard scoring run with just 34 seconds left in the first half.  The Mariners converted a pair of fourth downs and two third-down chances on the drive, which made it 21-14 at the half.

The seven-point halftime lead lasted less than 30 seconds in the third quarter before Tomlin directed the three straight scoring drives that put the game away.

Tomlin was 28-of-37 for the 297 yards and six touchdowns.  Wodicka had a career-high 11 receptions for 133 yards and the two scores, while Wernick had seven catches for 90 yards and the two touchdowns.  Junior Jonathan Rigaud rushed 14 times for 75 yards to lead a Blue Jay rushing attack that accounted for 156 of JHU's 491 yards of total offense.

John-Paul Gosselin rushed for a team-high 50 yards on 13 attempts and Chris Adema added 41 yards on just four carries, but the Mariners put together just the one long scoring drive and didn't have an answer for Tomlin and the Blue Jay offense in the pivotal third quarter.