The Hopkins football team continued its streak of dominance, blasting Dickinson 49-0 to remain undefeated for the season and extend its string of consecutive regular season victories to 20 in a row. The win boosted the Jays in the polls, as Hopkins moved up to 10th in the AFCA Division III rankings.
The Jays have been scoring points and racking up yards at a blistering pace, putting up nearly 500 yards of offense and over 40 points per game.
Their defense has been stifling, as evidenced by their shutout of Dickinson, keeping teams to a stagnant 229 yards per game (good for seventh best in the nation).
One crucial reason for the Jays success has been their rushing attack, the main star of which is senior running back Jonathon Rigaud. Rigaud rushed for 130 yards and four TDs, in what has become a typically prolific performance from him. Rigaud has been averaging over 100 yards a game this season, and has scored 12 TDs, good for fifth in the nation. The News-Letter caught up with Rigaud earlier this week to get his take on the performance against Dickinson and on the season as a whole.
The News-Letter (N-L): You rushed for a career-high four touchdowns, tying a Hopkins record, against Dickinson. What do you think led to this offensive output?
Jonathon Rigaud (JR): It comes down to the way we practice. Offensively we practice at a high level and are efficient at what we do. The offensive line and the receivers blocking on the outside made my job easier. Also the defense put us in good position to score. We work at a high level in practice and are trying to build something great.
N-L: The Jays has been dominating teams all season, with an average score of 40-12. What is the main reason for this overall excellence on both sides of the ball?
JR: The main reason for our team's success comes down to our intensity and focus in practice. Defensively, everyone is running to the ball every snap and offensively were pushing the tempo to keep the defense on its heels.
N-L: The rushing game in particular has been a strength of the football team this year, averaging over 239 yards on the ground per game. Comment on why Hopkins has been so impressive running the ball?
JR: We have been able to run the ball at a high level due to the offensive line and the receivers blocking on the outside. It's team effort and everyone goes hard for each play at a time, helping create success in the running game.
N-L: Any remarks on how well the defense has performed this year?
J-R: At Hopkins, defense is something we take great pride in and is a significant reason for the offense's success. The speed, intensity, and focus our defense brings every play is a reason why they have had success. Additionally, freshman have been stepping up in pivotal roles to help our team in a big way.
N-L: How has this team changed since your freshman year?
JR: Since freshman year, offensively we have been trying to push the tempo on defenses and have tried to capitalize on making big plays. Defensively, we have pretty much been the same. The team as a whole has changed in terms of our depth. Some of our players who are number two in the depth chart are pushing the starters to work harder in practice. So the fact we have people competing for positions everyday, helps to create a fun and hard-working atmosphere.
N-L: You guys are on a roll, having won 20 straight regular season games. What do you need to do to maintain this momentum?
JR: Focus and taking it one game at a time. Like Coach Margraff always says each week is a battle for the centennial conference championship. The guys on the team really take this message to heart and we focus on one team at a time.