College Football Today's Ncaa Division Iii Quarterfinals

December 05, 2009|By Mike Klingaman

Johns Hopkins (10-2) at Wesley (Del.) (12-0)

When: : Noon

Radio: : Live audio broadcast at www.d3football.com

Series: : First meeting

What's at stake: : Two victories shy of the title game, Hopkins meets Goliath. It's Wesley's fifth straight trip to the tournament where, three years running, the Wolverines have rolled over the Centennial Conference champ. The heavy favorite, Wesley scored on its first seven drives last week in a 43-9 romp over Mississippi College at home, where it has won 40 of its past 42 games. But Hopkins has scored back-to-back upsets of undefeated teams, including a last-second victory last week that fueled the Blue Jays' appetite for more. Coach Jim Margraff's team has pretty much rolled since a season-opening loss to Delaware Valley, a team Wesley handled this season. Today's winner will face next Saturday the victor of the Mount Union (Ohio) vs. Albright (Pennsylvania) contest in a game.

Key matchup: : Johns Hopkins RB Andrew Kase vs. the Wesley defense. Stop Kase and you cage the Jays, a classic ball-control team. Hopkins' veteran line, led by OT Mike Stoffel, will be challenged to spring the school's all-time rushing leader against a defense that leads the country in tackles for loss (10 per game). Wesley DE Chris Mayes (Waldorf) is the nation's best at busting in.

Players to watch: : Wesley QB Shane McSweeny. He'll come out passing against a Hopkins defense that's best against the run. Revved by McSweeny's 35 touchdown passes, Wesley has struck quickly, overwhelming opponents 238-50 in the first half. A junior, he has ratcheted up his game in the playoffs, throwing for nine scores and running for two more. A favorite target is Gene Knight (Overlea), one of 26 Baltimore-area players on the team.

Johns Hopkins QB Hewitt Tomlin and K Alex Lachman. A constant all season, Tomlin must shake off last week's three-interception game if the Jays are to have a chance. The sophomore has passed for more than 200 yards in each of the past four games, but can he withstand the rush of a team that's No. 3 in Division III in sacks? Lachman's 43-yard field goal last week saved Hopkins' skin. He said he would be happy to try it again.

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