SALISBURY, Md. – Despite gaining over 500 yards of offense and a season-best effort through the air, the No. 11/12 Salisbury University football team were unable to dig out of an early hole to fall 45-20 to the No. 17/18 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Championship Tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Salisbury took the opening kickoff and marched down the field 75 yards. Shamar Gray opened the game with a 26-yard run before Hunter Cleaver took a reverse 30 yards for a touchdown to give Salisbury the early 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
- Johns Hopkins responded with a fourth-down conversion on the ensuing drive. Ryan Stevens found Harrison Wellmann with a 32-yard touchdown catch.
- Both teams traded punts before Hopkins took the 14-7 lead before the quarter break on another long touchdown catch from Stevens to Wellmann for 70 yards.
- A good punt by Caleb Brubaker pinned Hopkins down at its own one but a long pass and several penalties gave Hopkins a goal-to-go situation. Two plays later, Danny Wolf scored on a six-yard run.
- Hopkins capitalized on a fumble on the ensuing drive in Salisbury territory with another Wolf touchdown on an option play on a fourth down.
- The Blue Jays made it 35 unanswered points when Stevens kept the ball on a read-option and scampered in from 15 yards out and allowed Johns Hopkins to take a 35-7 lead with just under four minutes left in the half.
- Despite starting the ensuing drive inside its own five, Salisbury was able to cut into the deficit on a perfect four-minute drill. Three plays after a Jack Lanham to Gray connection for 28 yards to get into Hopkins territory, Chad Gleason took a toss 29 yards to the house to trim the Hopkins lead to 35-14 heading into halftime.
- The passing game got back in sync for Hopkins to score first in the second half. Stevens found Wellmann again for a 21-yard touchdown to push the lead back to 42-14 in the early parts of the third.
- Hopkins got the ball back on a Salisbury turnover on downs, but its next drive stalled inside the SU five-yard line. John Krill made a 22-yard field goal to extend the Hopkins lead to 45-14.
- Salisbury was able to get the last laugh in the ball game when Lanham rolled out of the pocket and found Gleason on the seam for a 44-yard touchdown catch to give the game its final margin, 45-20.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Salisbury gained 502 yards of total offense with 298 yards on the ground and 204 through the air.
- Jack Lanham went 12-for-19 for 204 yards and a touchdown. Lanham rushed 21 times for 35 yards.
- Chad Gleason caught a touchdown and ran in a touchdown to lead the offense. Gleason totaled 162 yards of offense with 89 receiving yards and 73 rushing yards.
- Joey Bildstein carried the ball 16 times for 67 yards.
- Shamar Gray notched 59 yards on the ground and 32 yards in the passing game.
- Hunter Cleaver reeled in four passes for 57 yards and ran in a 30-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
- Sam Pagella paced the defense with seven tackles, including a sack.
- Aaron Jahnke and A.J. Butler tallied five tackles.
- Sean Carroll, Jimmy Celentano and Josh Adewumi each registered four stops.
JOHNS HOPKINS GAME NOTES
- Ryan Stevens was 17-of-24 for 346 yards and three touchdowns.
- All three of Stevens' passing touchdowns went to Harrison Wellmann, who recorded five catches for 141 yards.
- Quinn Revere also hit triple-digits in receiving with 147 yards.
- Danny Wolf tallied 136 rushing yards on 20 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
- Macauley Kilbane, Nick Seidel and Matt DuBois each had nine tackles to lead the Hopkins defense.
- Salisbury finishes the 2021 season 8-2 overall and a 6-0 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference to three-peat as conference champions and secured the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Salisbury University is a proud member of NCAA Division III with primary membership in the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference, along with the New Jersey Athletic Conference for football and the Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Conference for men's and women's swimming. With over 500 student-athletes in 21 varsity sports, SU is recognized as one of the most competitive intercollegiate athletics programs regardless of division, and dedicated coaches and staff that foster excellence on-and-off the field. The Sea Gulls have celebrated 22 team national championships, 24 individual national champions, 186 conference championships and 41 Academic All-Americans.
To learn more about the tradition of excellence with Sea Gull Athletics, visit www.SUSeaGulls.com or on social media @SUSeaGulls.