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Friday, June 21, 2024

Johns Hopkins Defeats Union College Football Team in Division III Playoff Quarterfinals


They were no‍ match.

That’s how head coach⁢ Jon Poppe reflected on‌ the end of⁤ the 2023 season for the Union College football team, who ultimately fell to the Johns Hopkins Blue⁤ Jays in‌ the second round of the NCAA ⁣Division III playoffs. Though there were mistakes made, ⁣Poppe acknowledged that the Blue Jays ⁢were simply the better team​ on that day.

“We​ came up‍ against‍ a powerhouse today,” stated Poppe during his postgame press conference on Saturday following the 39-17⁢ defeat.⁤ “They dominated⁤ us on both offense and defense, and even special teams. They were⁤ just better.”

In the ‍end, Poppe’s message to his team was to appreciate the six-hour bus ride⁢ from Homewood​ Field in‌ Baltimore‍ back to Schenectady.

“This is your last‍ trip together⁤ as a⁢ team, so enjoy the ride,” he said. “Although things didn’t go our way, we can still look back on this incredible season we had⁤ and be proud of ⁢ourselves and our efforts.”

The⁢ undefeated Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (12-0 overall) quickly took control of ‌the game with two touchdowns on their first two offensive drives, and held on to the lead ‌for the remainder of the game.

While Union (10-2⁢ overall) put ⁤up⁢ a strong fight in the second quarter, the Blue Jays ⁢capitalized on three interceptions from Garnet Chargers quarterback Donovan Pacatte, and secured their victory with 17 points in ⁤the closing minutes of ⁤the game.

“Our execution throughout the ​game was⁣ frustrating, but Johns Hopkins deserves all⁤ the ⁤credit in the ⁢world,” explained Poppe. “We definitely faced a⁢ tough opponent.”

John Hopkins quarterback‌ Bay Harvey had an impressive ‍performance with ⁣282 passing yards ​and one ⁤touchdown, as well ⁤as 73‍ rushing yards ​and another touchdown. Spencer Uggla contributed 68 ​yards on 17 attempts and scored three short touchdowns.

The Blue Jays took an early​ lead in the first quarter with touchdowns from Uggla and Harvey, but ‍Union answered back in the⁤ second quarter with a touchdown‌ pass from Pacatte to ⁤Isaiah Russell, after making ‌a crucial stop on fourth down.

In the final minute of the first half, after⁤ a field goal brought the Blue‌ Jays to 16-7, Union gained momentum when⁤ James Gillespie forced a​ fumble and Cole DaSilva returned it ‍deep into ⁣Johns Hopkins territory. This set up Pacatte’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Michael Fiore with⁤ 46 seconds left.

However, Johns Hopkins responded with a ⁤quick 24-yard pass from⁣ Harvey to EJ Talarcio for⁤ a touchdown with just⁣ seven seconds ‍remaining in the ⁣half,⁢ bringing the⁤ score to ⁣22-14 in favor of the ​Blue Jays.

“Sometimes,” said Poppe, “you get⁢ this kind of score when they make plays in one-on-one situations‍ and you don’t.”

Union came within⁢ five points after a field⁣ goal from Max‌ Gluck in the third quarter, but Johns Hopkins ⁢solidified their win​ with​ two more touchdowns from Uggla and a field goal from Joe Zahner.

Pacatte threw for 169 yards, ⁣while Jonathan Anderson led the Garnet Chargers⁤ with 79 ‌rushing yards. Anderson‍ finished​ the season with 1,023 yards, ⁢joining Fiore with​ 1,095 yards as the first Union​ teammates to both ​run for 1,000⁤ yards in a⁢ season.

“As we broke down, I reminded ⁢the team ⁤that there’s so⁢ much to be proud⁢ of,” Poppe concluded. “Our fifth-year seniors stuck with us ⁣while we tried to build a new team. I am extremely proud of this group of men.”

Union 0 ‍14 3 0 — ⁤17

Johns Hopkins ⁣13 9 0 17 — ‍39

JHU —⁤ Uggla 2 run (Zahner kick)

JHU — Harvey ⁤11 run (kick failed)

U — Russell 7 pass from Pacatte (Gluck kick)

JHU — Zahner⁤ 21 ⁤field goal

U — Fiore 7 pass from Pacatte​ (Gluck kick)

JHU‍ — Talarico 24 pass from Harvey​ (kick blocked)

U — Gluck 24 field⁣ goal

JHU — Uggla 1 run (Zahner kick)

JHU — Zahner⁤ 24 field​ goal

JHU — ⁤Uggla‍ 2 run (Zahner kick)

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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