By SHANE COUGHLIN
Senior Staff Writer
Three victories and 156 points in those three games have given the Blue Jay football team their highest ranking in an American Football Coaches Association D-III poll in school history. The Jays sit at No. 8 in the national rankings while landing within the top 20 for 40 consecutive weeks. Most recently, Hopkins took its 24th regular season win streak to
Moravian College Greyhounds where senior running back Brandon Cherry tied a school record with four touchdowns on the way to a 45-23 win. The conference matchup gave Hopkins a 3-0 start to the season while extending their road winning streak to 12.
Cherry now leads the Centennial Conference in rushing touchdowns while junior quarterback Jonathan Germano continued his phenomenal start to the season, adding 193 passing yards with two scores to his 2015 campaign.
“It was a great day. The wide receivers were doing a great job blocking and the offensive line and I were just on the same page,” Cherry said.
The day began with a Cherry highlight when he took a handoff 73 yards for the first points of the game only minutes into the first quarter.
This began the historic first half for the senior in which he also added scores from 6, 14 and 34 yards away.
Before Moravian could retaliate, Germano was able to hit junior wide receiver Quinn Donaldson on a ten-yard passing score, Donaldson’s second in the season. At the half, Hopkins extended its lead to 35-0.
The Jays kept rolling to start the second half when a short punt gave sophomore running back Ryan Cary an excellent field position to punch in a 2-yard rushing touchdown.
The lead stood at 42-0 but the Moravian Greyhounds would fight back with their backfield tandem of freshman Eli Redmond, freshman Josh Dixon and Centennial Conference rushing yards leader sophomore Chris Negron.
Each of the three backs recorded a rushing score in the second half during Moravian’s offensive answer while also tacking on a combined 300 all-purpose yards.
Greyhounds quarterback freshman Mike Hayes was also able to find some rhythm in the later half of the game, finishing 17-25 with 191 yards. His favorite target, sophomore receiver Jalen Snyder-Scipio was also able to turn 10 receptions into 92 yards, but the second half offensive outburst was far too little and too late after Hopkins’ early dominance.
The score closed at 45-23, rounded out by a field goal from the Jays’ kicker junior Nick Campbell and a late safety for the Moravian defense.
Cherry was the story of the day on offense with his four scores and 165 all-purpose yards including 47 through the air. Germano also kept up with his prowess on the ground, scrambling for 28 yards of his own while junior playmaker Stuart Walters also turned in a healthy total of 60 yards.
“When we play like the way we did this week it is exciting to see what the future has for us and how better we can get each and every week,” Cherry said.
On defense, Hopkins was led by sophomore lineman Keonte Henson, who was all over the field for a career and team high of nine tackles including one of Hopkins’ four sacks.
“Our intensity has been a key that’s helped us through the first three games,” Henson said about the defensive performance. “We start fast, stay fast and finish fast. Everyone knows their job and takes accountability when it comes to getting their job done.”
Next up for Hopkins is another conference rival when Muhlenberg College travels to Homewood Field after toppling McDaniel College 55-0 in their last contest.