Zajick, Hopkins run over Ursinus, 33-6 Senior gains 133 yards, sets Jays' career rushing mark

October 12, 1997|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The scouting report indicated it was supposed to be an easy day for Johns Hopkins yesterday at Homewood Field.

The Blue Jays had lost only once to Ursinus on their home field in the previous nine meetings and the Bears came in having lost two of their previous three games. Add a struggling Ursinus offense that was matched against the most formidable offense (averaging 380 total yards) in the Centennial Conference, and the Blue Jays were poised to remain unbeaten in the conference.

And they did. In a complete reversal of form from a year ago -- when the Blue Jays were shut out and committed 10 turnovers -- Johns Hopkins used a spirited defensive effort and an opportunistic offense to dominate from the start on the way to a 33-6 victory.

In the process, the Blue Jays (4-1, 3-0) also gained a new career rushing leader. With 133 yards yesterday, senior Don Zajick surpassed Brad McLam (1982-85) as the top rusher in Blue Jays history with 2,301 yards.

"The record is special, but I try not to worry about those things because the win is definitely more important," Zajick said.

Humility is one thing the Blue Jays can expect from Zajick; a

strong rushing performance is another. He has run for 100-plus yards three times this season, and he led a running game that out-gained the Bears 239-23 yesterday. Adam Gentile added 62 yards on 12 carries.

"They [Ursinus] are a very physical team, but I liked how our running backs broke a number of tackles and our offensive line was solid," said Blue Jays coach Jim Margraff. "The impressive thing about Zajick's record is his durability. He's not taking the pounding with Gentile back there with him."

Johns Hopkins put the game away early, rolling to a 17-0 lead late in the first half by converting two turnovers into touchdowns.

Leading 3-0, the Blue Jays' Carl Cangelosi recovered a fumble by Ursinus quarterback Craig Messick. Six plays later, Jamie Monica threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Sam Skinner.

Cangelosi then returned an interception 10 yards to the Bears' 31 midway through the second quarter, and Johns Hopkins had a 17-0 lead after Gentile scored on a 10-yard run.

The Bears (3-3, 1-3) never did get on track. Ursinus was held to 218 total yards and managed fewer than 50 yards in the first half.

Meanwhile, things went so well for the Blue Jays that even a bad snap on a punt attempt turned into something good. In the third quarter, Hopkins punter Todd Bencivenni went scrambling after a snap that sailed over his head. Yet once he retrieved it, he still had time to get off a 10-yard punt.

The Blue Jays effectively sealed the win by scoring on their first possession of the second half, going 48 yards on five plays, as Gentile broke three tackles on the way to a 36-yard touchdown run and a 24-0 lead.

"I've been impressed with how well we've played at home, and we try to establish ourselves physically because most teams don't expect that from us," Margraff said.

The Blue Jays have won eight straight home games and are 11-2 at Homewood Field since 1995.

Pub Date: 10/12/97

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