BALTIMORE -- In a game that featured 75 points and nearly 900 yards of total offense and ultimately became the 500th all-time victory in Johns Hopkins program history, there's was just one number that mattered to the Blue Jays; one. As in, the Blue Jays secured one of the automatic bids to the upcoming NCAA playoffs with the 45-30 victory against visiting Franklin & Marshall at Homewood Field on Saturday afternoon.
The eighth-ranked Blue Jays improve to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the Centennial Conference and will represent the league in the playoffs for the third consecutive year and the fifth time since 2005. In addition, Johns Hopkins improves its all-time record to 500-476-58 with the victory, which, in a game full of interesting numbers, came in Jim Margraff's 250th game as the head coach at JHU.
Not that the victory came easy for the Blue Jays, who led 7-0 early, trailed 20-14 midway through the second quarter and then used a 17-0 run to take the lead for good.
Johns Hopkins, which is 9-0 for the second time in three years, rolled up 461 yards, including 294 and five touchdowns on the ground. Brandon Cherry's 163 yards are the second-highest total of his career and the 100-yard game was his fourth consecutive. Junior Hani Annabi led the Blue Jay defense with a career-high 13 tackles, including one sack.
Robbie Matey ended up at 16-for-23 with 167 yards and no touchdowns. Cherry rushed for three touchdowns and JD Abbott added two more on the ground.
No. 1 Mount Union 30, Baldwin Wallace 7
ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union held Baldwin Wallace to 74 total yards in the second half on its way to a 30-7 Ohio Athletic Conference victory at Mount Union Stadium.
The Purple Raiders (9-0, 8-0) extend the nation's longest winning streak to 24 games while winning their 82nd consecutive regular-season game and 72nd consecutive home field victory.
It sets up a game in Alliance next Saturday against No. 10-ranked and undefeated John Carroll for the OAC title.
Mount Union freshman running back Bradley Mitchell made his third consecutive start and ran for 114 yards on 18 carries for his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
Quarterback Kevin Burke threw two touchdowns and ran for another as he passed for 197 yards and ran for 34 yards. His top target was Jack Nicholls who had seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore safety Alex Kocheff had nine tackles and 2.0 sacks as the Raider defense posted a season-high 7.0 sacks.
Senior defensive tackle Matt Fechko also had 2.0 sacks while sophomore defensive back Tre Jones had an interception.
No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, East Texas Baptist 10
BELTON, Texas -- Mary Hardin-Baylor stormed out to a 35-0 halftime lead and went on to a 65-10 victory against East Texas Baptist on Saturday afternoon. UMHB improves to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The Cru also clinches the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships with the win. The loss drops the Tigers to 2-7 overall and 0-5 in ASC play on the season.
Zach Anderson finished 20-for-25 passing for 246 yards and three touchdowns and he added 98 rushing yards and a score on 10 carries. Deshon Kinsey tied a UMHB single-game record with 18 total tackles and Derek Williamson returned an interception for a score in the second straight game.
Silvio Diaz added 2.0 sacks in the game for UMHB and broke the ASC record for career sacks by pushing his total to 29.5. Diaz topped the previous mark of 28.0 set by ETBU's Chad Glover.
UMHB rolled up 578 yards of total offense with 310 of those coming through the air. The Cru defense held the Tigers to 53 yards rushing and 290 yards of total offense in the game. UMHB also forced two turnovers while not committing a turnover for the second consecutive game. The Cru has now won 43 consecutive regular-season games and has a 30-game win streak in conference play.
The win, coupled with Louisiana College's victory against Mississippi College, also clinches at least a share of the ASC title for UMHB.
No. 3 Linfield 79, Puget Sound 3
McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Linfield scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions on the way to a 79-3 bludgeoning of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference mismatch on Saturday at Maxwell Field.
Playing just the first two quarters, quarterback Josh Yoder threw for two scores and ran for two other touchdowns as the Wildcats beat the Loggers for the 24th consecutive time. Five quarterbacks saw action and nine different Wildcats scored points.
The ‘Cats extended their NWC win streak to 31 games while dealing Puget Sound its 18th consecutive conference defeat.
Freshman Spencer Payne came off the bench to pile up 212 all-purpose yards, scoring twice on a long punt return and a lengthy run. Matt Yarbrough rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns and Evan Peterson caught three passes for 92 yards and one TD. Puget Sound was held to 116 yards for the day and ended with minus-5 yards rushing. Linfield amassed 465 yards.
Linebacker Tyler Robitaille paced Linfield with seven tackles, including a sack, forced two fumbles and recovered one. Linfield pounced on four loose balls and also intercepted one pass. Michael MacClanathan had two sacks among his five total tackles.
No. 4 North Central (Ill.) 35, Wheaton (Ill.) 16
WHEATON, Ill. -- Playing to avenge a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) loss for the first time in three years, North Central (Ill.) played with a champion's resolve on Saturday at Wheaton. The Cardinals broke open a close game with a strong second half and defeated the Thunder 35-16 to clinch at least a share of the Cardinals' eighth consecutive CCIW title.
The Cardinals (9-0, 6-0 CCIW) regained the Little Brass Bell, the traveling trophy between the two teams, which Wheaton had owned since a 35-21 victory in Naperville last season. North Central also assured itself of the CCIW's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Football Championship.
Spencer Stanek completed 21 of 29 passes for 242 yards and tied a single-game best with five touchdowns while running six times for 42 yards. Chad O'Kane caught six passes for 46 yards and Peter Sorenson made five grabs for 103, while Ryan Kent gained 97 yards on 20 rushing attempts. North Central's offensive line was stout all afternoon, permitting Wheaton to record just one tackle for loss.
Nick Slezak led the Cardinals' defense with 12 tackles and three tackles for loss, while John Focosi recorded two quarterback sacks. North Central has limited each of its CCIW opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense.
No. 5 Wisconsin-Whitewater 17, Wisconsin-Stevens Point 7
STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- Wisconsin-Whitewater clinched a share of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 17-7 win against Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday afternoon. This is UW-W's 33rd WIAC championship in program history and the eighth in the past nine years.
Matt Behrendt was 16-23 for 86 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions on the day. Jordan Ratliffe rushed the ball 24 times for 85 yards with a long of 15. Jake Kumerow was the leading receiver, with five receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Eric Kindler played a key role in deciding field position. He punted the ball 11 times for 311 yards, downing the ball inside the 20 yard line four times and allowing only one return for nine yards. Kindler is now 13 of 16 on field goals on the season and 43 of 43 on points after touchdowns.
No. 6 Hobart 37, St. Lawrence 7
GENEVA, N.Y. -- Hobart held visiting St. Lawrence to a season-low 155 yards of offense and senior running back Steven Webb broke three career records as the Statesmen posted a 37-7 victory on Boswell Field on Saturday afternoon.
Coupled with WPI's 31-21 upset of Rochester, Hobart (8-0, 6-0) clinched the Liberty League championship outright, its third consecutive title. St. Lawrence slips to 6-3 overall, 4-2 in the league.
Webb ran for a game-high 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead a Hobart ground game that produced 238 yards. Junior quarterback Patrick Conlan threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice. Classmate John Fasano was his top target with three catches for 74 yards. Hobart's 155 yards passing today are the second-highest total allowed by the SLU defense, which leads the league in pass defense, this season.
The Saints managed 155 yards of total offense, gaining a mere 29 on the ground. SLU's rushing attack was hampered by a pair of sacks by Hobart junior defensive end Tyre Coleman and a botched punt that resulted in a loss of 13 yards. Maurice Irby ran for 32 yards on 15 carries to lead the visitors. Senior quarterback Zane Fish managed just 96 yards passing with a TD. Max Johnson pulled in a game-high four passes for 56 yards. Mike Tateosian, who came into the game leading the league in receiving yards (573), had just one catch for nine yards.
Sophomore defensive end Mark Guarino-Hyde recorded a game-high nine tackles for Hobart. Coleman had five tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, plus his two sacks. He was also credited with four quarterback hurries.
No. 7 Bethel (Minn.) 47, St. Olaf 0
ARDEN HILLS, Minn. -- Bethel (Minn.) will return to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the eighth time in the past 14 years, as Saturday's 47-0 shutout against St. Olaf earned BU its fifth MIAC championship in program history.
The Royals (9-0, 7-0 MIAC) held the Oles (1-8, 0-7 MIAC) to 11 first downs, including one in the first half, and 192 total yards of offense, while piling up more than 500 yards of total offense.
Collectively, the Royals allowed 86 yards rushing and 107 yards passing, while forcing three Ole turnovers. Daniel Leidall intercepted Nate Penz on St. Olaf's second drive, while Seth Mathis intercepted Penz with 5:09 left in the first half, which resulted in a 28-yard return for a touchdown.
Luke Buttenhoff provided great pressure at defensive end, as he finished his day with six tackles, which included 2.5 for a loss of nine yards. Jesse Moeckly, who replaced an injured Phillip Peterson—who replaced Ben Wahlquist two weeks ago—filled the outside linebacker position nicely, as he led the team with 11 tackles. Mathis finished with seven tackles and Kevin Flaherty wrapped up four tackles, including two for a loss of 12 yards.
Brandon Marquardt carried the ball 16 times for 128 yards and three touchdowns -- averaging 8.0 yards per carry -- to help pace Bethel's 507-yard offensive outburst. Altogether the Royals ground attack amassed 212 yards on 38 carries and four touchdowns, which amounted to 5.9 yards per carry.
No. 13 Wittenberg 35, No. 9 Wabash 17
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. -- The Wittenberg Tigers jumped out to a 28-3 lead by halftime and carried the momentum to a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) title-clinching 35-17 victory against Wabash.
The win clinched at least a share of Wittenberg's 12th NCAC title since joining the league in 1989 and the fourth in five years.
Wittenberg quarterback Reed Florence threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns on 16 completions. He was aided by Sean Gary, who ran for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.
Brendon Cunningham caught both of Florence's passes to account for two of his nine catches.
As a team, Wittenberg sacked Wabash quarterback Michael Putko four times, and Winston Thomas picked off one of his passes.
No. 10 John Carroll 48, No. 12 Heidelberg 7
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A 24-point outburst in the second quarter propelled John Carroll to a 48-7 victory against Heidelberg on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Blue Streaks improve to 9-0 for the first time since 1989.
DaQuan Grobsmith rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way for John Carroll. Mark Myers completed 31 of 44 passes for 387 yards and three touchdowns.
The Student Princes, who entered the game with the second-highest scoring offense in the nation, were held to 253 yards by John Carroll's defense, which came into the game giving up the fewest points per game in the nation. Marty Gibbons and Jimmy King each had an interception while Randy Greenwood and Brody Zangaro each forced a fumble.