The Johns Hopkins defense came up with four interceptions after halftime and the Blue Jay offense turned the first of those four into an early fourth-quarter touchdown to fuel a 17-12 win at Randolph-Macon on Thursday night. Johns Hopkins, which is ranked sixth in the nation by D3football.com, wins its season opener for the ninth consecutive year and tops the 24th-ranked Yellow Jackets for the seventh straight time.
The game was the first for Greg Chimera as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. Chimera was named head coach after Jim Margraff, who coached the Blue Jays to 221 wins in 29 seasons, passed away suddenly on January 2, 2019 – just weeks after guiding Johns Hopkins to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in school history.
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The Blue Jays grabbed an early 7-0 lead on the strength of a 17-play, 86-yard drive that ate more than eight minutes off the first-quarter clock. Johns Hopkins converted all five of its third-down plays on the drive, including the final play when he hit junior Stephen Gervasi on a third-and-goal with a 7-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Jays a 7-0 lead.
|Johns Hopkins athletics photo
That score held until late in the second quarter, when the Yellow Jackets got on the board when Colin Brooker hit a 25-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 46-yard drive. The Yellow Jackets had worked to a first-and-goal situation at the Blue Jay 8-yard line, but had to settle for the field goal after three plays left them stalled at the 8.
The teams traded third-quarter field goals with Hopkins going up 10-3 on a 30-yarder form Mike Eberle early in the period, while the 'Jackets made it 10-6 when Brooker was true from 28 yards four minutes later.
The 10-6 cushion jumped to 17-6 early in the fourth quarter when Ryan Weed intercepted a Burke Estes pass deep in Randolph-Macon territory and Tammaro hit Harrison Wellmann two plays later from 4 yards out to give the Blue Jays the 11-point lead.
Randolph-Macon turned a short field of its own into its only touchdown midway through the fourth quarter when Andrew Ihle swept in to make it 17-12. The Blue Jay defense stopped the ensuing two-point attempt and then got interceptions from Nick Seidel and Macauley Kilbane to kill the last two Yellow Jacket possessions and seal the victory.
Johns Hopkins, which improved to 89-11 in its last 100 games with the victory, got 191 yards passing and the two touchdowns from Tammaro. Senior Dane Rogerson rushed for a team-high 60 yards and had a team-best seven receptions for 51 yards as well.
The Johns Hopkins defense had the four interceptions, picked up a pair of sacks and held the 'Jackets to just 279 yards of total offense.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, September 14 when the Blue Jays host Susquehanna in their Centennial Conference opener (1 pm).
Notes: Johns Hopkins improves to 24-16-1 all-time against Randolph-Macon with tonight's win • JHU is 27-9 against teams from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference since the start of the 1990 season • Tammaro moved into fourth place on JHU's career completions list as his 19 tonight give him 854, which moves him past John Guglielmo (1989-91, 93) • The Blue Jay defense has not allowed more than 17 points in nine consecutive regular season games.