Johns Hopkins football's 2-0 start muted by uneven performance Saturday at Susquehanna

Blue Jays know they have to play better than they did in 27-20 victory over Crusaders

September 17, 2014|By Edward Lee | The Baltimore Sun

Johns Hopkins' football team is off to a 2-0 start for the fourth consecutive year, but this fall’s beginning felt differently than in previous seasons.

After an overpowering 42-3 victory over Randolph-Macon on Sept. 6, the Blue Jays merely outlasted Susquehanna, 27-20, in Saturday’s Centennial Conference opener. Johns Hopkins needed an interception by senior safety Ryan Rice and a fumble caused by Rice that was recovered by junior cornerback Curtis Antrum to overcome four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and cement the win.

“Quite honestly, with the second game, I was pleased with our perseverance and resolve, but our play in general wasn’t nearly as good [as the victory over Randolph-Macon],” coach Jim Margraff said Wednesday morning. “We had two interceptions and two fumbles and extended a couple of drives with penalties, including roughing the punter. We really just put ourselves in a bad position. But the good news coming out of all of that was that we continued to play hard, the kids never panicked, and we won a close game in the end. It’s good to be 2-0. It’s always great to be able to teach after a win than teach after a loss. So our guys have been in good spirits, and so far, practices have gone well this week.”

The Blue Jays, who have captured the last five league championships, prevailed against a Crusaders squad that was picked to finish ninth in the Centennial Conference’s preseason poll. Maybe that’s why Johns Hopkins – which welcomes Moravian (2-0, 1-0) to Homewood Field on Saturday at noon – wasn’t going crazy after Saturday’s win.

“After the game, there wasn’t a lot of jumping around and cheering,” Margraff said. “We’re all pleased that we won, but we know we can play better, and that’s really our focus. Our focus is to get better each week, and you hope the winning takes care of itself. I think our guys immediately knew that it wasn’t our best effort, and we’re playing a 2-0 team this week that has had a lot of early-season success. So we’ve got a great deal of work ahead of us.”

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