No. 23 Football Falls in Quarters
BALTIMORE, Md. - Johns Hopkins University rushed for 237 yards and four touchdowns and the No. 13/14 Blue Jays defeated No. 23/RV Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) 37-14 in an NCAA Playoffs Quarterfinals contest at Homewood Field. Hopkins improves to 12-1 and advances to play No. 1/1 Mount Union University in the national semifinals next Saturday in Ohio. The Engineers conclude the season with a 10-2 mark. Rensselaer, which was playing in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second time in program history (2003), got both of its touchdowns from senior wide receiver Keaton Ackermann. He had a 16-yard scoring reception in the first quarter and a 23-yard run in the third. Ackermann finished with seven receptions for a game-high 147 yards and he led the team in rushing with his 23 yards. Senior Stuart Walters had two rushing touchdowns (52 & 3 yards) among his 16 carries and 115 yards for Johns Hopkins. Hogan Irwin and David Tammara both added 2-yard runs before Tammara hit Luke McFadden from seven yards out for his lone touchdown pass of the afternoon. The junior quarterback finished with 284 passing yards (26 of 41) with no interceptions and 81 rushing yards on 10 carries. The Blue Jays took the lead on their first possession when Walters broke through the middle of the line and ran 52 yards to the end zone five minutes into the first quarter. RPI answered immediately as sophomore quarterback George Marinopoulos drove the team 80 yards on eight plays, throwing to Ackermann in the back corner of the end zone five minutes later. Marinopoulos, who was 24 of 44 for 296 yards in the contest, found senior Danny Calabro for 13, 32 and 7 yards before eventually connecting with Ackermann. Walters put Hopkins back in front 10 minutes later when he scored from three yards out and Mike Eberle made it a 17-7 game with a 31-yard field goal with only 25 seconds left in the first half. The Blue Jays received the opening kick of the second half and went ahead 24-7 when Irwin capped a 13-play, 78-yard drive that ate up 4:32 of the third quarter. Two series later, the Engineers needed just two plays to pull within 10 points. After getting the ball at the JHU 46-yard line on a punt, Marinopoulos hit Conor Davies for a 23-yard gain to the 23-yard line. Ackermann finished the drive when he took a hand off on an end around and went untouched to the end zone. Tammara and the Hopkins offense started the ensuing drive on its own 36-yard line and methodically went 64 yards on 10 plays with the signal caller rushing in from two yards away for a 31-14 edge with only 24 seconds left in the third quarter. The Blue Jays added their touchdown pass midway through the fourth to end the day's scoring. Junior defensive back Joey Gutowski led the Engineers in tackles with 11, including five unassisted and one for a loss of two yards. He also had a pass breakup. Linebackers John Sadak and Jack Hoggard both had nine stops with one of Sadak's coming behind the line of scrimmage (2 yards). Robert Fletcher had 17 tackles for the Blue Jays with 11 coming unassisted and three for lost yards (16). Ryan Weed added eight stops, all solos. Rensselaer's 10 wins is the second most in a single season for the Engineers, trailing only the 2003 team that went 11-2. The senior class leaves as the most successful in terms of career wins with 32.