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Baird ties an NCAA Division III record in football's 12-0 loss at Johns Hopkins

(Posted November 1, 2008)

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Johns Hopkins University scored twice in the second half on its way to a 12-0 win over Juniata College, in Centennial Conference football action on Saturday at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md.

Juniata turned in another strong defensive effort, forcing fumbles on Johns Hopkins' first two possessions and holding the Blue Jay offense scoreless in the first half, with just 12 points for the entire game. Johns Hopkins entered the game ranked third in the league in scoring, averaging 29.3 points per game.

The Blue Jays committed a total of five turnovers, with Jordan Baird (Sayre, Pa./Athens Area) forcing four Johns Hopkins fumbles. That effort tied the NCAA Division III record for most fumbles forced in a single game, equaling the mark set by Thomas More's Nick Rice, who recorded four forced fumbles against Franklin College on Oct. 11, 2002.

Juniata was led by Tyler Hall (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) with 15 total tackles, including seven solo stops. Josh Roy (Fredericksburg, Pa./Northern Lebanon) had his sixth straight game with at least 10 tackles, finishing with 12 total tackles against the Blue Jays. Baird tallied 11 tackles, including a game-high nine unassisted, with one fumble recovery to go with the four fumbles forced.

Offensively, Juniata (1-8, 1-6 Centennial) mustered 171 yards of total offense, led by Jay Leonard's (Newville, Pa./Big Spring) 15-of-35 passing for 125 yards. Chad Steiner (Frederick, Md./Frederick) hauled in five of those passes for 40 yards, while Lance Curry (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) also had five passes for 39 yards. Dan Zentz (Lutherville, Md./Calvert Hall) carried 14 times for 30 of Juniata's 46 yards of total rushing.

Johns Hopkins (6-2, 4-2 Centennial) finished with 481 yards of total offense, paced by Andrew Kase's 180 yards rushing on 30 carries. The Blue Jays had 253 yards through the air on Hewitt Tomlin's 20-of-30 passing performance.

The Blue Jays broke the scoreless deadlock with 9:49 remaining in the third quarter, when Tucker Michels scored on a reverse play from the Juniata six-yard line, taking the pitch from Kase and scoring the touchdown. That capped an eight-play, 66-yard drive that was keyed by a 25-yard pass play from Tomlin to Sam Wernick, on third-and-five at the Juniata 34. Alex Lachman's extra-point attempt was unsuccessful, leaving Hopkins with a 6-0 lead.

JHU added a second touchdown with 5:22 showing in the fourth quarter, when Kase broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown run to widen the Blue Jays' lead to 12-0. Hopkins tried the two-point conversion, but Tomlin's pass attempt was broken up by Roy.

Juniata had its opportunities to put points on the board in the second half, but were unable to capitalize.

The Eagles prevented a Blue Jay score and regained possession with 6:39 remaining in the third quarter, following a Bryan Jung (Bethlehem, Pa./Notre Dame) interception in the Juniata end zone. Leonard guided the Eagles out to midfield with a 13-yard completion to Steiner and short passes to Abram Mellinger (Ronks, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) and Curry, and moved into Hopkins territory on a pass interference call against the Blue Jays. However the drive stalled on the Hopkins 40-yard line with an incomplete pass on third-and-five, and Juniata was forced to punt.

Juniata began a series in the Blue Jays' half of the field early in the fourth quarter, but the drive fizzled at the Hopkins 28-yard line after gaining 18 yards, when a fourth-and-three pass attempt to Steiner was incomplete.

The Eagles' best scoring chance was on their possession immediately following the second Johns Hopkins touchdown. Starting out at the Juniata 37-yard line with 5:17 remaining in the quarter, Leonard hooked up with Curry for a 17-yard gain, followed by receptions for 21 yards and 15 yards by Matt Dunker (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) and Steiner. Steiner's catch gave the Eagles a first-and-goal at the Hopkins 10, but Juniata came away with no points after four straight incomplete passes ended the drive.

Juniata will close out the 2008 season next Saturday, Nov. 8, when it hosts Dickinson College at Knox Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.