Undefeated Hopkins rolls past Gettysburg

Defense sparks 27-7 win to give Blue Jays 7-0 mark for first time since 1892

College Football

October 18, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The unbeaten Johns Hopkins football team rolled onward last night at chilly Homewood Field.

For the first time since 1892, the Blue Jays have opened a season 7-0 after dominating Gettysburg with their suffocating defense, 27-7, and remaining the only undefeated team in the Centennial Conference.

Overall, the victory was the 11th in a row for Hopkins, the longest unbeaten streak in school history.

About the only thing missing was a fourth shutout. Gettysburg (4-2, 1-1 Centennial) finally scored after an 80-yard march against the Blue Jays reserves with 1:49 left to play, getting the touchdown on quarterback Joe Gossweiler's 5-yard run.

"That's really not our concern, not what we play for," Hopkins linebacker Paul Longo said of the shutout. "We put guys in to get experience in that situation. The second team got some time on the field."

The tenor of the game changed almost immediately when the Bullets took the opening kickoff and used their old-fashioned wing-T offense to drive determinedly down the field from their 20.

They reached the Blue Jays' 17 before Gentris Bryant fumbled and Hopkins nose guard Paul Smith covered the ball. Gettysburg converted three third-down situations on the march before turning the ball over, then didn't convert another the rest of the game.

Hopkins (7-0, 3-0) had its own offensive problems for a time, including a misfire on a wide-open pass in the end zone, an interception of George Merrell and two three-and-outs.

But smash-mouth football didn't betray the Blue Jays, who stayed basically on the ground, benefited from a pass-interference call against the Bullets, and punched in two first-half touchdowns. The second came on a 39-yard run by freshman Mark Nesbitt, who, as did junior Adam Cook, rushed for more than 90 yards.

Blue Jays coach Jim Margraff cited a 74-yard touchdown pass from Merrell to Brian Wolcott on the first play of the fourth quarter as "huge. George was struggling early, but he never lost his confidence."

"This was a big game because Gettysburg was also undefeated," Cook said. "Our defense always seems to set us [offense] up. How many times do we get the ball inside the 50 or close to it?"

Gettysburg 0 0 0 7 - 7

Johns Hopkins 0 13 0 14 - 27

H-Cook 1 run (Smolyn kick), 11:43 H-Nesbitt 39 run (kick failed), 5:36 H-Wolcott 74 pass from Merrell (Smolyn kick), 14:50 H-LWolcott 7 pass from Merrell (Smolyn kick), 5:04 G-Gossweiler 5 run, (Edgar kick), 1:49

............. ......... G JH

First downs 18 17

Rushes-yards 46-160 49-223

Passing 155 116

Comp-Att-Int 10-27-2 6-16-3

Return yards 52 44

Punts-Avg 7-33.0 7-30.9

Fumbles-Lost 5-2 0-0

Penalties-Yards 7-79 6-55

Time of possession 29:59 30:01

Rushing-Gettysburg, Schwalb 17-65, Bryant 9-47, Nocar 5-42, Gossweiler 15-6. Johns Hopkins, Cook 23-93, Nesbitt 14-92, Merrell 4-26, Wolcott 1-10, Lyons 2-6, Readal 2-3, team 3-(-7). Passing-Gettysburg, Gossweiler 10-26-2-155, Beier 0-1-0-0. Johns Hopkins, Merrell 6-15-3-116, DiIonno 0-1-0-0. Receiving-Gettysburg, Nocar 4-54, Landi 2-26, Beier 1-33, Bryant 1-27, Wheatly 1-11, Schwalb 1-4. Johns Hopkins, Wolcott 3-95, Triplin 3-21.

Johns Hopkins schedule

Record: 7-0

9-6 at Rochester W, 27-19

9-13 Washington & Lee W, 36-7

9-20 Randolph-Macon W, 24-0

9-27 at Carnegie Mellon W, 21-0

10-4 at Dickinson W, 30-0

10-11 Franklin & Marshall W, 37-14

10-17 Gettysburg W, 27-7

10-25 at Muhlenberg 1

11-1 Ursinus 12:30

11-15 at McDaniel 1

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