BALTIMORE, Md. – Johns Hopkins racked up 500 yards of total offense as the 15th-ranked Blue Jays produced a 45-29 season-opening win over 20th-ranked Washington and Lee in football on Thursday evening at Homewood Field.
The loss snapped an 11-game regular-season winning streak for the Generals, who gained 418 yards, including 358 yards on the ground.
The Generals spotted JHU a short field on each of its first two offensive possessions following shanked punts. The Blue Jays started their opening possession on the W&L 48-yardline and assumed a 7-0 lead seven plays later when junior running back Ryan Cary scored on a 12-yard run. Hopkins then forced W&L into a 3-and-out and took over on the Generals' 36-yardline after the ensuing punt traveled just 11 yards. Cary produced another 12-yard touchdown run six plays later for a 14-0 lead at the 6:37 mark of the first quarter.
W&L got the offense rolling on its third possession, covering 78 yards on 12 plays for a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Evan Hinkle (Glen Allen, Va. / Deep Run) with 0:28 left in the first period.
The Blue Jays quickly retaliated to make it a 21-7 game just 1:00 later, marching 55 yards in three plays capped off by a 38-yard touchdown strike from junior wide receiver Brett Caggiano to Cary. However, W&L responded with a 54-yard drive that was finished off with a 26-yard touchdown run by senior running back Connor Chess (Fairfax, Va. / Flint Hill).
W&L couldn't push across another score and Cary scored his JHU-record tying fourth touchdown with 4:05 left in the half on an 11-yard run for a 28-14 lead at the break.
The Blue Jays received the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 60 yards on eight plays with senior quarterback Jonathan Germano finding sophomore wide receiver Luke McFadden with a 7-yard scoring strike at the 12:33 mark for a 35-21 lead. W&L cut it to a 35-21 game at the 7:37 mark when junior running back Walker Brand (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) scored on a 2-yard run.
Sophomore running back Tyler Messinger scored on a 13-yard run and junior placekicker Jamie Sullivan booted a 19-yard field goal to give Hopkins a 45-21 lead with 7:15 left in the game. First-year running back Jimmie Johnson (Hoover, Ala. / Hoover) capped a 9-play, 70-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run with 3:25 left and Chess added a two-point conversion for the final margin.
Senior quarterback Charlie Nelson (Redding, Conn. / St. Luke's) led the Generals' offense with 102 yards rushing on 16 carries. He also completed 3-of-5 passes for 39 yards. Chess amassed 74 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, while Hinkle totaled 57 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Brand totaled 38 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and caught two passes for 19 yards. On defense, junior linebacker Max Garrett (Fairfield, Conn. / Choate Rosemary Hall) tallied a game-high 15 tackles and intercepted a pass. Junior safety Michael Shields (Charlotte, N.C. / Charlotte Country Day) added 14 stops.
Cary recorded 158 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and caught three passes for 69 yards and another score. Germano completed 17-of-26 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. He also carried eight times for 52 yards. Senior defensive back Dan Johnson paced the JHU defense with 14 tackles.
Washington and Lee will look to rebound on Saturday, September 10 when it travels to Sewanee for a 1:00 pm CDT contest.