Sept. 11, 2010

Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletics

Randolph-Macon quarterback Austin Faulkner directed a seven-play, 84-yard drive in the last two minutes and capped what proved to be the game-winning drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Michael Atkinson with 28 seconds remaining to lift the Yellow Jackets to a thrilling 41-37 win over visiting Johns Hopkins at Day Field Saturday afternoon.  The `Jackets improve to 2-0 on the year, while the Blue Jays fall to 0-1.

In a wild game that featured nearly 1,000 yards of total offense, the Blue Jays took a 37-34 lead with 7:23 remaining on a 64-yard touchdown pass from junior Hewitt Tomlin to classmate Sam Wernick.  Wernick's touchdown reception came 62 seconds after Randolph-Macon had taken a 34-30 lead on a 27-yard screen pass from Faulkner to running back Thaddeus Scruggs.

The Blue Jay defense forced a quick punt on the drive after Wernick's score and moved the ball from inside their own 10-yard line to the Yellow Jacket 41.  Faced with a fourth-and two and with 1:50 on the clock, the Blue Jays punted the `Jackets deep in their own end.  From there, Faulker took over as he completed 6-of-7 attempts in efficiently moving Randolph-Macon into scoring position.  His pass to Atkinson capped the 84-yard drive.  Tomlin's first pass on JHU's last drive was intercepted and the `Jackets ran out the final 23 seconds.

For the third consecutive trip to Randolph-Macon, the Blue Jays found themselves in an early hole as the Yellow Jackets built a 13-0 lead before the game was 14 minutes old.  A pair of field goals from Josh Sturm (44, 30) and a 44-yard run by Scruggs accounted for the 13 points for RMC, which led by identical 14-0 scores on JHU's trips to Ashland in 2006 and 2008.

The Blue Jays answered Scruggs' scoring run with an 11-play, 57-yard drive that was capped by one-yard touchdown run by junior Nick Fazio.  Fazio's scoring run came on fourth-and-goal from the one yard line and was the second fourth down conversion on the drive for the Blue Jays, who got a 26-yard completion from Tomlin to senior Tucker Michels on fourth-and-two from the `Jacket 30 four plays before Fazio found the end zone.

Randolph-Macon's 13-7 lead held until the final two minutes of the first half, when both teams found the end zone to account for a 20-14 Yellow Jacket lead at the half.

Faulkner polished off a methodical 10-play, 80-yard drive that ate 4:22 off the clock with an 11-yard scoring toss to Luke Sellers, who got free on an out pattern in the corner of the end zone.

A 27-yard return on the ensuing kickoff by Scotty Barletta gave the Blue Jays possession at the Randolph-Macon 48 with 1:44 remaining and the Blue Jays needed just 1:14 to find the end zone.  A 39-yard completion from Tomlin to sophomore Scott Cremens on third-and-nine from the `Jacket 47 gave the Blue Jays a first-and-goal at the eight-yard line and Tomlin scored on a quarterback keeper three plays later to make it 20-14 at the half.

The Blue Jays took their first lead of the game (27-20) on scoring runs of four and 48 yards from sophomore Jonathan Rigaud midway through the third quarter, but Scruggs answered with a 56-yard touchdown run of his own to account for a 27-27 score entering the final period.

A 37-yard field goal by Alex Lachman gave JHU a 30-27 lead on the second play of the final period.  That set the stage for the wild last nine minutes, which saw Faulker sandwich his scoring tosses to Scruggs and Atkinson around Tomlin's strike to Wernick.

Tomlin threw for 384 yards and the one touchdown while also rushing for the one score.  The 384 yards are the second-highest total of Tomlin's career and third best total in school history.  Cremens had seven receptions for 125 yards, while Wernick totaled 231 all-purpose yards with 123 receiving yards and 108 yards on five kickoff returns.  Rigaud added 88 yards rushing and the two touchdowns in his first career start at running back.

Faulkner threw for 302 yards and three scores against two interceptions.  Senior Earl Peoples had a game-high 12 receptions for 139 yards and Scruggs totaled 190 yards and two scores on the ground and added the 27-yard touchdown reception as well.

Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday at Gettysburg as the Blue Jays open Centennial Conference play against the Bullets.