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JHU airs it out to beat RMC in NCAAs

Luke McFadden set career-highs with 11 receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns.

Luke McFadden set career-highs with 11 receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns.

To call it a career-game for sophomore wide receiver Luke McFadden would be an understatement. Though the first 10 games of the season he only had 325 yards. Against Randolph-Macon, the was the beneficiary of a beautiful matchup against a Yellow Jackets defense that likes to stack the box to stop the run. In the Blue Jay’s first game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, McFadden had 11 receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns to help Johns Hopkins advance with a 42-21 victory.

“We thought the real strength of our team is at wide receiver and though we could get some plays early,” said JHU head coach Jim Margraff, who also won his 200th game “We threw it a whole bunch early on. We expected to throw it against them.”

Senior quarterback Jon Germano had 418 yards and four scores, with classmate Bradley Munday also topping the century mark in receiving with 104 yards and two scores.

The Blue Jays’ first offensive play was a 46-yard reception to McFadden, who laid out to catch Germano’s down-field pass. Just a few plays later the Blue Jays seemed headed to facing a fourth and long, but Germano scrambled out of a sure sack, eluded three different Yellow Jacket pass rushers and picked up three yards to make it a fourth and four.

That was key for the Blue Jays. They were stuck in no-mans land where it would be a long kick but a short punt, but picking up the three yards opened up the Blue Jays playbook and Germano completed a 20-yard pass to McFadden down the field to get to the four-yard line. Germano capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run right up the middle.

Just about everything went right for the Blue Jays on that first drive and just about everything continued to go right for them in the first quarter. It was clear that was true on the first play of Randolph-Macon’s next drive. Burke Estes tried to sling the ball to his receiver over the middle, but it was tipped up in the air and Blue Jays safety Michael Curry came up with it.

The Blue Jays took that drive right down the field in 68 seconds. Germano completed three of his four passes to get the Blue Jays 60 yards down the field before Dane Rogerson punched it into the endzone from two yards out.

Then after forcing another Yellow Jackets punt, the Blue Jays marched quickly down the field again. Germano completed all four of his passes on the drive to gain 54 yards. His last pass was a six-yard touchdown to McFadden, running a post rout in the middle of the field, to give JHU a 21-0 lead before the end of the opening quarter.

“There were definitely certain plays we really wanted to hit on and connect,” McFadden said. “Then it was Jon finding the right guy and it happened to be me.”

Randolph-Macon finally had some fortune on their side in the beginning of the second quarter, Germano was sacked by Xavier Strothers and the ball popped out. The Yellow Jackets set up just 18 yards away from the endzone. Their fortune continued when a runner was called down before a clear fumble. Randolph-Macon didn’ttake long to get into the endzone after that.

But the Blue Jays shook it off, marched down the field in another hurry and Germano completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bradley Munday, who dove for the ball in the right side of the endzone. Curry then ended a mounting Randolph-Macon drive with his second interception of the game.

JHU couldn’t do anything with the early possession and had to punt for the first time in the game. Randolph-Macon scored on that possession, too, with Estes hitting Christian Redman for a 19-yard touchdown to make it a 28-14 game at the half.

The Blue Jays didn’t let that reverse the momentum through halftime, however. Germano hit McFadden for a 43 yard touchdown in the beginning of the third quarter. And despite two interceptions by Germano, the Yellow Jackets were held to just a single yard in the third quarter.

“It’s not that tough to come back from a turnover,” Margraff said. “Our guys have done a remarkable job this year and over the last couple of years just staying focused and understanding it’s about the next play.”

The Blue Jays increased their lead to 42-14 with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Germano to Munday early in the fourth quarter.

The Yellow Jackets would get one more score in the fourth quarter when Eric Hoy rushed for a touchdown, but they still couldn’t be able to mount much of anything in the second half. Including rhe one yard gained in the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets gained only 87 yards after halftime.

The Blue Jays out-gained the Yellow Jackets 500 to 314 in the game. Johns Hopkins will move on in the NCAA Tournament to play powerhouse Mount Union next weekend at noon. The location of the game will be announced on Sunday.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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