August 6, 2014

Johns Hopkins Grabs Top Spot in Centennial Preseason Poll

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LANCASTER, PA – The Johns Hopkins football team earned 14 of 20 first-place votes and grabbed 158 points to earn the top spot in the 2014 Centennial Conference Preseason Poll of head coaches and sports information directors. The poll was announced at Kickoff 14, the Centennial Conference's annual media day on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College.

Johns Hopkins earned the top spot in the poll for the sixth straight year and the ninth time since 2004. The Blue Jays went on to win the Centennial title in seven of the previous eight years in which it topped the preseason poll, including each of the last five years.

Muhlenberg picked up the remaining six first-place votes and totaled 147 points to finish second in the poll, while Ursinus (125 points), Franklin & Marshall (111) and Juniata (96) round out the top five. Gettysburg (80), Moravian (60), Dickinson (52), Susquehanna (42) and McDaniel (27) ranked sixth through 10th.

The Blue Jays have won five straight Centennial Conference titles, including outright championships in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and a shared title in 2010. In all, Johns Hopkins has won nine CC championships since claiming its first title in 2002; the Blue Jays' nine all-time conference crowns are tied for the most in league history.

Head coach Jim Margraff welcomes back 13 starters from last season's team, which spent the entire season ranked in the top 15 in the nation. The Blue Jays have been ranked for 30 consecutive weeks dating back to the first poll of the 2011 season.

Headlining Margraff's returning starters are nine on defense, including co-captains Michael Longo (DE) and Ryan Rice (DB), who are back after earning First Team All-Centennial Conference honors a year ago. Joining Longo up front are fellow seniors Matthew Connery and Michael Rocca, while seniors Jimmy Holder and Chris Ibrahim return to the secondary with Rice. An athletic group of returning starters at linebacker includes senior Hani Annabi along with juniors Keith Corliss and Brady Watts.

The third returning First Team All-Centennial selection for the Blue Jays this season is junior running back Brandon Cherry. Cherry makes up half of one of the top returning running back tandems in the nation as he and sophomore Stuart Walters combined to rush for 1,649 yards and 13 touchdowns a year ago. Junior Colin Egan (OL) and classmate Ryan Finkel (WR) are Johns Hopkins' other returning starters to an offense that averaged a school-record 40.5 points per game last season.

With the loss of eight starters on offense, sophomore place-kicker Nick Campbell will likely earn additional opportunities for field goals. All he did a year ago as a freshman was lead the nation in field goal percentage by hitting 10-of-11 (.909) while also connecting on 54-of-55 extra points en route to grabbing Second Team All-Centennial honors.

Johns Hopkins opens the 2014 season on Saturday, September 6 when the Blue Jays welcome Randolph-Macon to Homewood Field. Earning a sixth consecutive Centennial Conference title will be no small task for Johns Hopkins, which will travel to Muhlenberg, Ursinus and F&M – the teams that ranked second, third and fourth in the preseason poll.

2014 Centennial Conference Preseason Football Poll
Rk. School (1st place votes) – Points (2013 record)
1. Johns Hopkins (14) – 158 (10-1 overall, 9-0 CC)
2. Muhlenberg (6) – 147 (8-3, 7-2)
3. Ursinus – 125 (7-3, 6-3)
4. Franklin & Marshall – 111 (7-4, 6-3)
5. Juniata – 96 (7-4, 6-3)
6. Gettysburg – 80 (4-6, 3-6)
7. Moravian – 60 (2-8, 2-7)
8. Dickinson – 52 (3-7, 3-6)
9. Susquehanna – 42 (1-9, 1-8)
10. McDaniel – 27 (2-8, 2-7)

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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Langston at McMurry
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
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Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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