Fisher Advances In NCAAs With Win Over Previously Unbeaten Johns Hopkins University
The St. John Fisher College football team used five interceptions to stop one of the most potent offenses in Division III on Saturday, defeating the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 23-12 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships. Fisher snapped Hopkins' 15-game winning streak, the previously second-longest streak in any division of collegiate football.
Backup quarterback Ahmed Hassanien finished the game 8-for-13 for 162 yards and a touchdown, completing one more pass than he had the entire season. Starting quarterback Ryan Kramer was leading the Cardinals on a drive midway through the second quarter when he rushed for two yards at the Johns Hopkins 9-yard line. Kramer was tackled hard by two Blue Jays and sustained an injury that would put him on the sideline for the remainder of the game. Hassanien took over under center for Fisher and on his first play from scrimmage found Ryan Francis in the back of the end zone for a seven yard touchdown. Chad Monheim made the PAT to give Fisher the 13-6 lead and the game-winning point with 3:11 left in the first half to break a 6-6 tie and the Cardinals led for the rest for the game.
Hopkins marched 87 yards on 12 plays and pulled to within a point at 13-12 with 6:35 left in the third quarter, but missed the ensuing extra point. Fisher responded on the ensuing drive and Cody Miller capped an 8-play, 75-yard drive spanning 2:58 with a two-yard rushing touchdown to make it 20-12.
With 9:22 left in the fourth quarter, Johns Hopkins went for it on 4-and-2 from its own 34-yard line trailing by just one score, 20-12. Blue Jays' quarterback Hewitt Tomlin through a pass to a slanting Daniel Wodicka but the attempt came up incomplete.
That directly setup Fisher's final score of the game, taking over at the Hopkins 34-yard line, driving the ball 28 yards before using Monheim once again, this time from 23-yards out, putting the Cardinals up two scores 23-12 with 5:06 remaining in the game.
Fisher never trailed in the game. The Cardinals went 16-plays for 60 yards and ate up 8:18 off the clock on the game's opening drive before Monheim knocked in a 26-yard field goal to put the Cardinals up 3-0 with 6:42 left in the first quarter. The Fisher defense then forced the Blue Jays to a three-and-out to get the ball back.
The Cardinals then put together a drive that went 61 yards and ended with another Monheim field goal, this attempt from 28-yards to make it 6-0 with 14:52 left in the second quarter.
Johns Hopkins tied the game with 9:21 left in the half, scoring a touchdown on a pass from Tomlin to Wodicka for 6-yards. Mason Judd came up with a huge block on the extra point, keeping the score knotted at 6-6.
Miller carried the rushing load with a career-high 29 carries that went for 89 yards and a score. Ryan Schmidt led the Cardinals' receiving core with 11 receptions for 124 yards.
Travis Tones, Dave Vosburgh, and Tyler Schier led the Cardinals defense with 11 tackles each, while Vosburgh intercepted two passes. Schier also intercepted a pass, as did Adam Burdick and Wade Kline.
As a team, the Cardinals won the time of possession battle 32:49-27:11 finished 9-of-17 on third downs and came away with points 5-of-6 times in the red zone.
Fisher will travel to face Delaware Valley College next weekend as the Aggies defeated Norwich 62-10 on Saturday.
Check out photos from Fisher's 2015 Commencement Ceremonies on Flickr!
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