Rigaud Lifts Hopkins Past Ursinus, 35-17, To Centennial Title
Oct. 27, 2012
COLLEGEVILLE, PA - Johns Hopkins senior running back Jonathan Rigaudrushed for a career-high 238 yards and tied a school record for the second time in three weeks with four rushing touchdowns as the 10th-ranked Blue Jays clinched a share of their fourth consecutive Centennial Conference title with a 35-17 victory at Saturday afternoon. Rigaud's 238 yards are the fourth-highest single-game total in school history and he is the first running back in school history with back-to-back 200-yard games.
Johns Hopkins' win, coupled with Franklin & Marshall's 24-17 loss at Susquehanna, gives the Blue Jays at least a share of the Centennial Conference title. The Blue Jays can secure the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Playoffs with a win in either of their last two games against F&M and McDaniel.
In addition, the Blue Jays (8-0, 7-0) ran their regular season winning streak to 22 games, their Centennial Conference winning streak to 20 games and their road winning streak to 11 games.
The Bears (5-3, 4-3 CC) entered the game among the national leaders in turnover margin, but the Blue Jays forced a pair of fumbles in the first 19 minutes of the game that they turned into Rigaud touchdowns.
After freshman Joe Trumbettirecovered a Bryan Ellis fumble on the Bears' first possession, the Blue Jays needed just seven plays to go 42 yards and grabbed a 7-0 lead on a five-yard Rigaud scoring run on a sweep to the left.
The Bears trimmed the deficit to 7-3 late in the first quarter and were on the verge of taking a 10-7 lead early in the second when quarterback Chris Curran fumbled on a quarterback keeper at the goal line and the Blue Jays took over at their own 20. Three plays later Rigaud swept right again and streaked down the sideline for a career-long 70-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 14-3. The run is the longest by a Johns Hopkins player since Hari Lymon had a 79-yard run against then Western Maryland on November 14, 1992.
The 11-point lead held for the Blue Jays until midway through the third quarter, when Rigaud got loose again - this time from 29 yards out - to give the Blue Jays the first of three 18-point leads, 21-3.
Ursinus stuck with its game plan and wrapped a three-yard touchdown run by Teddy Conrad and a 38-yard touchdown pass from Curran to Jerry Rahill around a 25-yard scoring run by JHU's Scott Barlettato make it 28-17 with more than 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but Rigaud, as he did throughout the game, found the outside midway through the period and raced 18 yards into the end zone to close out the scoring.
Rigaud, who rushed for 210 yards in last week's 49-35 win over Gettysburg and four touchdowns in a 49-0 win at Dickinson two weeks ago, led a ground game that churned out 354 yards and the five touchdowns.
Curran was 24-of-36 for 239 with the one touchdown to Rahill, who had seven receptions for 105 yards and the one score. Ellis rushed for 53 yards on 17 carries, but 29 overall rushing attempts generated just 78 yards and the Bears' longest rush of the game was an 11-yard scramble by Curran. Defensively, the Bears couldn't solve the Blue Jays' rushing attack, which averaged 7.4 yards per attempt.
Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday when the Blue Jays hit the road again at Franklin & Marshall. The Diplomats are now 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the Centennial after their loss at Susquehanna earlier today.
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