This past Saturday the Hopkins football team narrowly escaped the Ursinus College Bears, who were ultimately edged out by the Blue Jays 32-29. This was Hopkins’ third straight win, bringing them to an overall record of 4-1 and 3-1 in the Centennial Conference. Hopkins survived a late-game surge by the Bears, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter in an ultimately futile attempt to take the lead.
Hopkins jumped ahead quickly behind sophomore wide receiver Harrison Wellmann’s 64-yard touchdown reception early in the first quarter. Wellmann then capped off a 77-yard drive by Hopkins later in the first with a two-yard touchdown delivered by senior quarterback David Tammaro.
A field goal from senior kicker Mike Eberle brought the score to 23-7 with less than three minutes left in the first half.
When Ursinus marched the other way for 75 yards, Hopkins refused to even let them get the extra point. The kick was blocked and junior defensive back Finn Zechman returned the ball to the end zone for a defensive point after touchdown. This made the score 25-13 at halftime.
Hopkins appeared to have sealed their victory after junior running back Luke Yakely punched in a touchdown in the third, extending the Blue Jays’ lead to 32-13 in the third quarter.
The Bears then took over, marching down the field, scoring seven on a 75-yard drive, cutting the deficit to 11. After forcing the Blue Jays to punt, the Bears capitalized, covering 94 yards in order to bring the game within a field goal.
The Hopkins defense responded to this late-game surge with a pair of incompletions and two sacks, sealing the victory for Hopkins with 61 seconds left to play.
Wellmann discussed the team’s mindset on the bench early in the game. He also discussed whether or not Ursinus’s late-game surge gave anyone flashbacks to Susquehanna University’s successful comeback against the Blue Jays earlier in the season.
“I think our great start to the game helped us get out in front early on and maintain the rest of that lead throughout the rest of the second half,“ Wellman said. “I don’t think anyone was having flashbacks necessarily, we just knew we couldn’t keep letting teams back into the game like that to where they can gain momentum and mount a comeback. And I think we were all frustrated about how close the game was, but at the end of the day, a win’s a win, and we’re going to take it and move onto the next one.”
Tammaro had 234 passing yards and two touchdowns on the day. This was Tammaro’s 70th touchdown pass in his career, making him just the second quarter back in Hopkins history to reach that mark.
He is also four touchdowns away from Hewitt Tomlin’s (2008 - 2011) school record of 74 in a career.
Wellmann’s 106 receiving yards marked the first time since 2010 that a Hopkins receiver has caught the ball for at least 100 yards in three consecutive games.
This win marks the 30th consecutive win in the month of October for Hopkins, dating back to 2010.
Hopkins will ride this three-game win streak into their bye week.
The Blue Jays historically are 44-3 in games played before their bye week since 2011.
In addition, sophomore defensive back Nick Seidel’s interception gave the Blue Jays at least one pick in the last six games, dating back to last season.
Wellmann also discussed the plan going into the bye week and preparing for Franklin and Marshall College.
“Going into the bye week everyone realizes we have to kick into another gear if we want to be the team we all know we have the potential to be and fix some of the little things preventing us from becoming a dominant team in the Conference,” Wellman said. “I have a lot of confidence that we will be able to come together as one and reach the goals we set out to achieve.”