Hopkins self-destructs after leading by 24-14

October 01, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

The good news for the Johns Hopkins football team was that its offense, which was absent for the season's first three weeks, finally showed up last night.

The bad news was that the Blue Jays' defense, the team's foundation the past two seasons, could not protect a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.

And the bitter news came with 1 minute, 17 seconds remaining last night at Homewood Field when Gettysburg fullback Dwayne Marcus crossed the goal line on a 1-yard run to lift the Bullets to a 27-24 victory over the Blue Jays.

"Either we're going to come together after this or get pulled apart. I think we'll come together," said Hopkins coach Jim Margraff, whose Blue Jays fell to 1-3 overall, 1-1 in the Centennial Conference.

"We hung a lot on this game," he added. "But we couldn't sustain drives. Penalties hurt us. It came down to them making big plays and we couldn't make them. There were problems all over."

Injuries and penalties were among the biggest problems for the Blue Jays. They began the night without two starting defensive backs -- strong safety John Boyce (pinched nerve in neck) and cornerback Chad Van Den Berg (knee). And in the first half, Hopkins lost its top two running backs. Hari Lymon departed with an injured shoulder and Rob Beach left with a knee injury.

Still, the Blue Jays regrouped behind quarterback Dan Redziniak and backup running back Don Zajick (18 carries, 126 yards) -- who has been bothered by a bad shoulder all year -- to score 24 points, more than twice what they had managed in their first three games.

But after Hopkins overcame deficits of 7-0 and 14-7 to take a 24-14 lead early in the second half, it committed costly penalties on its next four possessions. In all, the Blue Jays were penalized eight times for 77 yards.

In the meantime, the Bullets (3-1, 2-0) overcame an ineffective first half, making good use of their potent backfield duo of Marcus (23 carries, 72 yards) and halfback Shannon Forsythe (23 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns).

Those two traded sizable gains on the game's clinching drive, a 16-play, 80-yard march that consumed 6:40 and ended with Marcus' 1-yard plunge.

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