Tomlin, 18th-Ranked Hopkins Shoot Down Bullets, 83-21
GETTYSBURG, PA - Johns Hopkins senior quarterback Hewitt Tomlin threw for 501 yards and seven touchdowns - both school records - and the visiting Blue Jays rolled up a program-record 731 yards of total offense in an 83-21 win over host Gettysburg Saturday afternoon. Hopkins (7-0, 6-0 Centennial Conference) scored on six of its first seven possessions, built a 42-7 halftime lead and never looked back in winning its school-record 12th consecutive game.
The 83 points are the most in Centennial Conference history and the second-most in Johns Hopkins history. JHU's 7-0 start matches the best in program history. This is the fourth time JHU has started 7-0 (1892, 2003, 2005).
In a matchup of two teams that controlled their own destiny in the race for the Centennial Conference title, the 18th-ranked Blue Jays sprinted out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and the Bullet defense never consistently slowed down Tomlin or the Blue Jay offense in allowing the most points in school history.
A five-yard strike from Tomlin to senior Tyler Porco opened the scoring midway through the first quarter and rushing touchdowns by juniors Jonathan Rigaud (6 yards) and Scott Barletta(28 yards) in the final four minutes of the opening quarter extended the lead to 21-0 with Barletta's touchdown coming on the final play of the opening period.
The Bullets (4-3, 4-2 CC) got on the board early in the second quarter when Aden Twer hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass from Kody Smith to cap a quick three-play, 68-yard drive, but the Blue Jays scored on their next three possessions - with each drive covering more than 60 yards - to push the margin out to 42-7 at the half.
Tomlin found senior Sam Wernick down the middle from five yards out just over three minutes after Twer's touchdown to make it 28-7 and he added scoring passes of 17 and 16 yards to junior Scott Cremens in the final eight minutes of the first half to account for the 42-7 halftime score.
Gettysburg's defense, which spent more than 20 minutes on the field in the first half, stiffened early in the third quarter as the Bullets came up with a fumble recovery on JHU's first possession of the second half and forced a punt on the second. Gettysburg's Ted Delia returned that punt 91 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-14, but the quick-strike Blue Jays got a long kickoff return from Rigaud and needed just three plays to go 43 yards to push the lead to 49-14 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tomlin to Wernick, who took a short hitch in the middle of the field and raced untouched into the end zone.
Tomlin capped his day with two more touchdown passes - a 30-yarder to Cremens and a 24-yarder to sophomore Dan Wodicka on a perfectly executed backside screen - before leaving the game after the first play of the fourth quarter.
Hopkins closed its record-setting day with three more scores in the final 12 minutes. Freshman Matt Berry and sophomore J.D. Abbott both scored on short runs and freshman Matthew Connery capped the scoring with a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown with just under five minutes remaining.
Gettyburg's final score came after Berry's touchdown early in the final period when John Pesce hauled in an 18-yard pass from Smith that made it 69-21 with just over 10 minutes left. Abbott and Connery's touchdowns came in a 30-second span a short time later.
Tomlin set school records for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions (39) and total offense (505). His 52 attempts were one shy of the JHU single-game mark.
Wodicka and Wernick combined for 28 receptions for 365 yards and three scores. Wodicka tied the JHU single-game record for receptions (15) and his 217 receiving yards are a career-high and the fourth-highest single-game total in school history. Cremens' three TD receptions are a career-high as he totaled six receptions for 92 yards. Wodicka is the first player in school history to have back-to-back 200-yard receiving games.
Not to be outdone, the Blue Jay defense held Gettysburg to half of its season scoring average (42.2 entering the game) and nearly 200 yards below its season average as the Bullets totaled 336 yards after entering the game averaging 525.
Junior Adam Schweyer totaled a team-high 12 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, while Taylor Maciow (8 tackles) and senior Kale Sweeney (6 tackles, 1.5 sacks) also fueled the Blue Jay defense, which totaled 10 tackles for losses, a season-high seven sacks and three fumble recoveries.
Twer, who entered as the Centennial's leading receiver, did his part for the Bullet offense as he had a career-high 11 receptions for 132 yards and the one score. Smith and senior Kyle Whitmoyer were under heavy pressure throughout and combined to threw for 257 yards and two scores, but a ground game that was averaging 253 yards per game totaled just 77 and the early deficit was more than Gettysburg could overcome.
The win sets up a showdown with Centennial Conference rival Ursinus next Saturday at Homewood Field. The Bears are 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the Centennial after knocking off Susquehanna, 49-19, earlier today.