HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Senior running back Ryan Cary.
This past weekend the Hopkins football team travelled to Westminster, Maryland to take on the McDaniel Green Terror. Tensions were certainly high going into Saturday’s game.
As of November 4, the Jays were tied with Franklin & Marshall in the Centennial Conference. A win against McDaniel would automatically secure at least a share in the Centennial Conference title and guarantee a spot for the Jays in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Luckily, the Blue Jays were more than up for the challenge. With a 56-21 victory, the Jays improved their record to 9-1 on the season, securing a co-sharing of the Centennial Conference title and extending their season for at least one more game.
The Jays struck early, with their first touchdown coming on their opening drive. Though McDaniel would quickly return with a touchdown of their own on just the Terror’s second drive, Hopkins responded by closing out the first quarter with a touchdown catch from senior wide receiver Brett Caggiano.
From there on out, the Jays dominated. By the beginning of the second half, Hopkins already led the Green Terror by a record-breaking score of 49-7.
The Jays would score once more in the third quarter when senior quarterback Drew Tomaini connected with fellow senior wide receiver David Brookhart in the end zone. Meanwhile, an imposing Hopkins defense would allow just one touchdown apiece in the third and fourth quarters, bringing the final score to 56-21.
Given the wide range of tremendous Blue Jay performances this past weekend, picking this week’s Athlete of the Week was no easy task.
However, in becoming just the seventh football player in school history to break the 30-touchdown milestone, senior running back Ryan Cary truly deserves this week’s title.
Cary has been a consistent contributor to the Hopkins offense throughout his four years. Most importantly, he has seen tremendous growth and improvement since his rookie season.
Though he garnered just 106 rushing yards in his freshman year, by the end of his junior season, Cary had easily passed the 1,000 rushing yards mark with 1,344 total rushing yards. His junior season was also a standout year for the number of touchdowns garnered (14).
It should come as no surprise then that by the beginning of Cary’s senior season, he was easily recognized as one of the Jays’ top running backs and a formidable offensive threat.
Throughout the season, he has certainly maintained this standing: The two touchdowns garnered in this past weekend’s game were, in many ways, the perfect culmination to Cary’s final regular season game.
Following his performance, Cary sat down with The News-Letter to discuss what this weekend’s outcome meant to the team as well as offer a more personal account of how he feels about the impending end of his collegiate football career.
The News-Letter:The team needed a win to clinch the Centennial Conference title and gain an automaticbid to the NCAA playoffs. How did this added pressure alter the team’s mindset going into the game against McDaniel?
Ryan Cary:It was a team effort, and there is a historic rivalry between McDaniel and us, so we wanted to play extra hard to ensure our spot in the playoffs and to make sure we came home with the lantern (the trophy for the winner).
N-L: How did it feel to earn your 30th touchdown and join a very small list of Hopkins players to ever hit the 30th TD mark?
RC: I didn’t even know I had that landmark, but it feels good. I know I couldn’t do it without the rest of the offense doing their job as well.
N-L: What did the Centennial Conference title mean to the team and to the seniors specifically, who have now officially gone four-for-four in Centennial titles?
RC: Winning the Conference never gets old, and as seniors we knew we had to continue this tradition of winning.
N-L:With just a few games left in your collegiate career, what will you miss most about playing on the Hopkins football team?
RC: I think I will miss the relationships that are created with all of my teammates and coaches. Seeing these guys for multiple hours every day and just having everybody working together towards the same goal really builds great friendships that will last forever.
N-L:Do you have any personal goals you’re hoping to achieve this postseason? Alternatively, what is the team’s goal going into playoffs?
RC: We just want to win every week. It’s win or go home, and nobody wants to go home, so we’re all focused on finding a way to win each week.