Football comes from behind to win in OT

By GREGORY MELICK | September 7, 2017

B11_Football Senior place kicker Jamie Sullivan tied a Hopkins record with four field goals.

This past Friday the Hopkins football team opened up their 2017 season against the Washington & Lee University Generals in Lexington, Va. The Generals tested the Jays’ 41-game regular season winning streak, which spans back to the 2012 season.

Many wondered who the starting quarterback would be for the Blue Jays after two year-starter Jonathan Germano graduated. It was sophomore David Tammaro who won the job over junior Zack Baker and senior Drew Tomaini.

The game started out rough for Hopkins, as they gave up a touchdown on a 12-play drive by Washington & Lee, who ran the ball on all but two of those plays. Moreover, the Blue Jays’ opening drive was less than perfect, as a false start penalty forced them into a three-and-out.

As the Generals continued to run the ball and the Jays’ offense continued to sputter, the Blue Jays found themselves in a 14-0 hole before they could get a first down. At that point, Tammaro got into gear, completing six out of seven passes on the next drive to get the Blue Jays to the goal line before being stopped and forced into a field goal.

Hopkins continued to control the game from that point on, scoring 13 more points to take a 16-14 lead over the Generals.

But at the end of the third quarter Washington & Lee found their running game again and rushed the ball seven times on an eight play drive to score a touchdown and retake the lead at 20-16.

With only eight minutes left of play, the Generals scored another touchdown to extend the lead to 26-14. Quickly bouncing back, Tammaro was able to put together two drives when he needed them most, giving the Blue Jays a touchdown with five minutes left and a field goal in the last 22 seconds of play, sending the game to overtime.

In overtime the Blue Jays held the Generals to just a field goal, and Tammaro capped off his first career start with a 17-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Luke McFadden to win the game 32-29.

The game was really a tale of two one-dimensional teams. Hopkins ended the game with 426 yards passing but only 58 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Washington & Lee had 311 yards rushing and only 73 yards through the air.

Tammaro ended up setting the school record for pass attempts (61) and completions (42). His 426 yards are the sixth-most in a game in Hopkins history. One of the most telling stats for a quarterback making his debut as a starter is turnovers, and Tammaro did not have any in the game.

“He really took care of the ball and allowed us to win the turnover margin which was key,” McFadden said. “He’s a guy with a lot of talent and is very knowledgeable about the game. I’m really looking forward to watching his career progress throughout the next two years.”

A close game was out of the ordinary for the Hopkins returners from last year’s team, who won all their regular season games by an average of 25 points.

“We definitely have not been in a game like that so early in the season in recent years, but I was really impressed with how our team stayed the course,” McFadden said. “Obviously, we had some clutch plays by guys in really big moments which proved to be pivotal to the win, but it was really just about the team as a whole never losing hope.”

McFadden and senior wide receiver Brett Caggiano were Tammaro’s favorite targets in his first start as quarterback, with McFadden accruing 141 yards receiving and Caggiano earning 138.

The Generals were led by running back Walker Brand, who ran for 123 yards, as well as running back Josh Breece, who ran for 95 yards. The Generals’ quarterback Matt Sgro ran for 84 yards while only passing for 73 yards.

Hopkins looks to continue their regular season winning streak on Saturday, Sept. 9 for their home opener against the Susquehanna University River Hawks.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The News-Letter.