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JHU falls to Mount Union in second round

Jon Germano moved into second and third in career touchdown passes and passing yards in Johns Hopkins history, respectively.

Jon Germano moved into second and third in career touchdown passes and passing yards in Johns Hopkins history, respectively.

It’s a rough way to end a season, with only one single loss. The No. 8 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays hosted defending national champion Mount Union on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division III football tournament and started out very well, leading them 21-7 at one point in the second quarter, but the Purple Raiders scored 21 unanswered points to end the game with a 28-21 victory.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys effort. I’m disappointed for these guys, I’m not disappointed in them. I couldn’t ask for any more effort or a better group of guys to coach,” Johns Hopkins head coach Jim Margraff said. “In that respect it’s bitter-sweet, it’s been a terrific year from a wins and loss standpoint but my disappointment is I don’t get to coach these guy next week.”

Johns Hopkins scored on three of their first four drives of the game with senior quarterback Jon Germano throwing three touchdowns, but a disappointing third quarter that netted them only two first downs and 38 total yards gave Mount Union all of the momentum to end the game.

Germano had 355 yards and three touchdowns in his final game. He finishes his career ranked second with 68 career touchdown passed, behind only Hewitt Tomlin. His 6,623 career yards are third all-time behind Tomlin and current head coach Margraff.

The Purple Raiders scored on their opening drive of the game when Jared Ruth capped off an 11-play, 65-yard drive with a 21-yard run into the endzone. But the Blue Jays came right back as Germano led Johns Hopkins on their own 65-yard drive. That ended with a two-yard touchdown pass to Brett Caggiano. On the next drive the Blue Jays went 91 yards in just five plays as Cary took a pass and went 62 yards down the field for a score to five Johns Hopkins a 14-7 lead.

JHU had their third drive stall and needed to punt, but their defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back. The drive that followed was another long drive by the Blue Jays, this one 66 yards. Germano hit Bradley Munday or a gain of 28 yards, Quinn Donaldson for 13 yards and had a 13-yard scramble to pick up three different third-and-longs. After his 13-yard run, the Blue Jays were first and goal and Germano hit Caggiano for a second time to put his team ahead 21-7.

Showing their power and experience, Mount Union made sure they got something before halftime, though. Quarterback Dom Davis completed six of eight passes on the drive before running back Jawanza Evans-Morris picked up the final 18 yards on three runs to get into the endzone.

That momentum shift was crucial for the Purple Raiders. And with the wind coming at the Blue Jays in the third quarter, they had to deviate from their gameplan just enough where they got out of their offensive rhythm. The third quarter was a bad one for the Blue Jays. Meanwhile, the Purple Raiders completed a 14-play, 82-yard drive for a touchdown to tie the game, with Davis scampering in from four yards out.

The Blue Jays just couldn’t get things back going offensively. Mount Union tightened up their defense too, packing the box a big more in the second half to prevent the Blue Jays from ever establishing the run. Johns Hopkins totaled just 26 rushing yards in the second half. Germano was sacked four times in the final quarter, including three times on the Blue Jays final drive to prevent any hope of a comeback.

With 12:04 remaining in the fourth quarter Davis completed a 30-yard pass to Ruth for the go-ahead touchdown. The Blue Jays turned the ball over on downs on their next drive. Then the line started to give way and Germano was unable to avoid the pass rush.

“They’re obviously an outstanding team. They’re athletic and big and it goes to show from a program standpoint,” Germano said. “I think obviously we played lights out in the first half and we missed a couple plays in the second half. I guess they just executed more.”

Cary, who didn’t play in the first round game against Randolph-Macon, had 161 total yards, with 122 of them and a touchdown coming off 10 receptions. Munday also had 10 catches for 130 yards. Munday became Hopkins’ career leader with 268 receptions and the fourth player to top 3,000 yards receiving (3,037).

Johns Hopkins reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for a third-straight season and fourth time in five years.

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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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