BALTIMORE, Md.- Juniata trailed Johns Hopkins 14-10 early in the second quarter but the Blue Jays would drop 31 points in that period on its way to a 52-17 win at Homewood Field on Saturday. The loss drops the Eagles to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the Centennial Conference while Johns Hopkins is 5-0 and 4-0 in the conference.
The Blue Jays won the opening coin toss and deferred to the Eagles. Juniata was able to move the ball with some effectiveness against the Hopkins defense as it was able to get into Blue Jay territory. On third and 11 from the JHU 21 however, Eagle quarterback Hank Coyne (Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford) would be picked off by Blue Jay Michael Munday in the endzone to give possession to Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays turned the miscue into points as Jon Germano rushed for a 48-yard touchdown and with the extra point, JHU led 7-0 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Juniata got the ball back and again was able to move downfield against the Hopkins' defense. A Coyne to Kirby Breault (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) 20-yard completion on second and nine from the JC 49 put the Eagles into Johns Hopkins territory. Faced with a fourth down and five at the JHU 26, Coyne found Breault, this time for seven yards, to the JHU 19. Three plays later, a pass interference penalty on Hopkins' Jack Toner put the ball on the JHU four-yard line. From there, running back Matt Lehr (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) ran it in and Kevin Bonalle's (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) extra point tied the game at 7-7 with just under two minutes to play in the first.
The Blue Jays answered back early in the second quarter as Germano connected with Ryan Cary for a 25-yard score and the extra point put Johns Hopkins ahead 14-7. Juniata began possession at its own 21. Lehr rushed for five yards on first down and then burst out for a 68-yard gain to get the Eagles to the JHU six-yard line. David Vidovic (Hohenfels, Germany/Hohenfels) picked up three and two yards to bring the ball to the one but he would be stopped for a loss on third and goal. Bonalle came out to attempt a 19-yard field and was successful as the score was 14-10 Johns Hopkins with a tick under 12 minutes in the second quarter.
Ryan Cary scored on a 26-yard run on Johns Hopkin's next possession to increase the Blue Jay lead to 21-10 with the extra point. Coyne would be intercepted by Munday again on the next Eagles drive and Germano's three-yard score put the home team up 28-10 with less than six minutes to go in half. On the ensuing kickoff, Justin Helsel (Martinsburg, Pa./Central Martinsburg) fumbled the ball and it was picked up by the Blue Jays' Ian Lodge at the JC 24. The Eagle defense stood firm as it held Johns Hopkins to a 26-yard Jamie Sullivan field goal with 2:54 to play in the second. The Blue Jays tacked on another touchdown just before halftime to go ahead 38-10.
The Blue Jays began the second half with possession on its own 26. The Juniata defense was able to come up with a big play as four plays in, running back Zack Baker fumbled and Ryan Bologa (Douglassville, Pa./Daniel Boone) was there to pick up the ball and race 31 yards to the endzone for the touchdown. With Bonalle's extra point, it was 38-17 at 13:24.
On the kickoff, Bradley Munday returned the kick 86 yards for a touchdown as the Blue Jays went ahead 45-17. Johns Hopkins added another score with 9:59 remaining in the third quarter.
Johns Hopkins outgained Juniata 529-337. Passing yards were 283-140 and rushing yards 246-197, both in the Blue Jays' favor. The Eagles turned the ball over four times.
Offensive leaders for the Eagles included Lehr who had 19 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown. Breault caught six passes for 116 yards. He now has five straight 100-yard receiving games.
For the defense, Jake Diviney (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) picked up 11 total tackles to lead JC. Bologa added six stops and scored his second touchdown on a fumble recovery this year.
Juniata is off next week and returns to action on October 15 when its hosts Ursinus. Game time from Knox Stadium is at 12:00 p.m.