Improvement is only as important as the mark one is measuring from. Although the Yellowjackets played a much improved brand of football in week two as compared to their opening loss to St. John Fisher, a lack of consistency continues to plague the team as UR falls to 0-2 on the season after a 41-28 loss to Johns Hopkins University on Saturday.

“We played certainly better than we did in week one” said Head Coach Mark Kredyt. “There were improvements in all three phases of the game ? offensive, defensive and kicking. We were only down by five points with nine minutes to play but we weren’t able to play consistently enough to win.”

The contest started disastrously for the Yellowjackets as freshman quarterback Pat Manuel fumbled the very first play of the game resulting in a turnover. The Blue Jays quickly drove the ball deep inside UR territory to the 5-yard line and scored on a touchdown run by Hopkins tailback Kevin Johnson. The point after touchdown attempt by Chris Smolyn was no good, but the Yellowjackets were down by six with only 54 seconds elapsed in the game.

UR bounced back several minutes later, as Manuel hit senior tailback John Breedy with a screen pass that was taken 86 yards down the field for a Yellowjacket touchdown. Junior kicker Chris Johnston kicked the extra point, putting UR in the lead 7-6. UR put seven more on the board three minutes later, thanks to a 37-yard spiral from Manuel to junior wide receiver Brian Ferris and a PAT by Johnston.

It was at this point that things began to deteriorate for the Yellowjackets. The young defense, which has been especially prone to bouts of inconsistency, began to concede large gains to the Blue Jays. The Yellowjacket defense, which had been performing brilliantly, allowed 20 unanswered Blue Jay points, increasing Hopkins lead to 26-14.

The defense suddenly came back to life, as freshman defensive back Michael Dermody picked off a pass from Rob Fernand and returned the interception 25 yards. The Yellowjackets had four interceptions Saturday, two by Dermody and one each from junior linebacker Craig Pipal and sophomore defensive back Chad Manley. Unfortunately, the Blue Jay defense was able to hold the Yellowjackets on their own 4-yard line, forcing a field goal attempt by Johnston. The 34-yard attempt bounced off the upright and was no good, resulting in a turnover on downs.

The ball was back in UR possession only two plays later, when junior defensive lineman Sam Snowden fell on a Blue Jay fumble and recovered possession. The ensuing drive was capped by a 5-yard TD pass from Manuel to sophomore tide end Dave Sanok. Johnston’s kick was good and suddenly the Yellowjackets only trailed the Blue Jays by five points.

Hopkins quarterback Fernand ran in the next touchdown himself, a 1-yard run that was followed by a PAT by Chris Smolyn. The Blue Jays were leading the Yellowjackets 33-21 but the defense pulled through again, as Pipal intercepted another of Fernand’s passes and set up a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Gerald Hopkins that put UR within five points of Hopkins. The Blue Jays soon put victory out of reach, eating up the clock with a 12 play drive that culminated in a 9-yard touchdown run by Adam Cook and making the final score 41-28.

Kreydt was frustrated by his team’s inability to capitalize on turnovers. “We need to create more turnovers and then take advantage of those turnovers” said the coach. “It was a much better game than the score would indicate, but we need to raise our level of play we need to grow up and stop making critical errors.”

Although the team play was much improved over the Fisher game, Kredyt has higher expectations for his team. “We have to create better habits and put them to test in a game situation,” Kreydt said.

Most of all, according to Kredyt, the team needs to look at itself before looking ahead to next week’s opponent St. Lawrence University.

“The opponent doesn’t matter; we have to control ourselves first,” Kreydt said.

Schloss can be reached at aschloss@campustimes.org.



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