Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 18, 2024

Ground game drives football to 33-21 win

By KEVIN JOYCE | September 27, 2012

The Hopkins football team was ranked 16th in the first AFCA poll of the year, the 11th consecutive week they’ve been ranked nationally in Division III college football. They looked to maintain their stellar all-around play against the Muhlenberg College Mules this past Saturday and give the American Football Coaches Association reason to move them up in the rankings. Senior Johnathon Rigaud’s 56 yard touchdown run just two minutes into the game kick-started the Blue Jays as they rolled to a 33-21 victory over host Muhlenberg. The Jays led by only six, 20-14, late in the fourth quarter before JD Abbott iced the game with a pair of rushing touchdowns to secure Hopkins’ fourth victory of the season in as many games. The win extended Hopkins’ regular season winning streak to 18 games and their Centennial Conference winning streak to 16 games. The Blue Jays’ first possession needed just five plays to cover 83 yards, as Hopkins went up a quick 7-0 on the nations top scoring defense, who had only allowed seven points combined in their three previous games. The Mules responded well, taking 13 plays to trek 84 yards to tie it up at seven apiece with just over 10 minutes remaining in the quarter. The Jays’ defense held Muhlenberg scoreless for the remainder of the half, as junior Richie Carbone would tack on two field goals following drives of 63 and 54 yards, including an remarkable 42-yard boot, to put Hopkins up 13-7 at the break. In fact, Carbone was recently named CC Special Teams Player of the week. After stifling the Mules’ opening drive of the second half, the Jays upped their lead to 13 points following a 7-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 35-yard bullet from junior Robbie Matey over the middle to junior Bob D’Orazio. D’Orazio snagged the ball just in front of a defender, dodged two potential tacklers, and out-raced the rest of the team for the score. Hopkins maintained the lead for five minutes before the Mules’ Tyler Dandridge ran from 13 yards out for the touchdown to cut the lead to six. Faced with their first close late quarter game of the 2012 season, the Jays showed their mental resolve with a statement of a drive, going 75 yards in 15 plays to push the lead back to double digits. A nine-yard JD Abbott touchdown plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter finished the march off and gave the Blue Jays some breathing room. The Jays missed the two-point conversion attempt and the lead stayed at 12 points, 26-14. The Mules attempted to answer and stay in the game on their next possession, but their drive was stymied at the Jays’ 45-yard line, and they were forced to punt. Pinned down at its own 16, Hopkins put together perhaps the most impressive drive of the game. Needing just six plays to reach the Mules’ 41-yard line, Matey went deep down the sideline. D’Orazio continued his spectacular performance as he stretched out for an acrobatic, diving catch to put the Jays down at the Mules’ 5-yard line. The pass went for 36 yards and put Hopkins in terrific position to essentially put the game on ice with little over seven minutes left. JD Abbott’s 3-yard score did just that with 6:45 remaining in the game, and the Jays went up 33-14. Muhlenberg’s John Hoghs would return a block punt 25 yards for a touchdown to make the score 33-21, but the touchdown served no purpose other than to change the final score, as Hopkins’ Brady Watts secured the subsequent on-side kick. The Blue Jays gained the necessary first down to run out the clock on their opponents to remain undefeated on the season and tally their third victory in four years against the Mules. Once again, Hopkins dominated on the ground, racking up 273 yards rushing, with Rigaud leading the way, running for a game-high 131 yards and a score, while Abbott chipped in with 98 yards and two TDs. Matey completed 70% of his passes for 207 yards and a score, with one pick. The Hopkins D held Muhlenberg to 315 yards, 100 yards below their season average, with junior strong safety John Arena accounting for a team-high eight tackles in the winning effort. Next on the Jays’ slate is Juniata College, as Hopkins hosts the Eagles for its third home game of the 2012 season at Homewood Field. Kickoff is at noon.

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