St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 5, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team threw for a school-record 420 yards in the Bears' season-opening 45-24 win over Carnegie Mellon University Saturday at Francis Field in St. Louis.
Junior quarterback J.J. Tomlin was 26-for-36 for a career-high 399 yards and four TDs. Tomlin's favorite target was junior wide receiver Kevin Hammarlund, who hauled in a career-high nine catches for 168 yards and two TDs. Junior wide receiver Hank Childs also reached the 100-yard plateau with four catches for a career-high 106 yards and a TD.
Senior defensive back Quincy Marting had 10 tackles a forced fumble and two interceptions, including an 88-yard INT return for a TD midway through the fourth quarter that sealed the win.
"It was an amazing opportunity for us after what happened last year at Carnegie. We worked hard for the last 294 days since then and coach Kindbom really brought us together," Marting said. "It feels good. We are not satisfied as we have nine more games to go. It's time to go back to work."
WashU marched down the field on its opening possession, driving 80 yards on six plays. Tomlin connected on 3-of-3 for 58 yards on the drive, including a 17-yard screen for a TD to senior tight end Mitch McMahon to make it 7-0.
CMU tied it up with a TD of its own, and then Marting came up with two big plays. He forced a fumble that senior linebacker Matt Goad picked up and marched to the one-yard line. Two plays later, junior running back Austin Smestad scored from a yard out.
Marting then picked off CMU quarterback Andrew Hearon on the ensuing drive, which led to a 24-yard field goal by senior Alex Hallwachs to make it 17-7.
CMU added a field goal, but the Bears offense responded with a 90-yard TD from Tomlin to Childs to push the lead to 24-10 with 13:13 left before half. Tomlin tossed this third TD of the half as he found Hammarlund open in the corner of the end zone for a 26-yard TD to make it 31-17.
Tomlin was 15-of-22 for 273 yards and three TDs as the Bears totaled 325 yards of offense in the opening half. Hammarlund had six receptions for 105 yards.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter as WashU held onto a 14-point lead at 38-24 with 6:43 left. Hammarlund caught his second TD off a bubble screen, where he snuck through the CMU defense and scampered 52 yards.
Sophomore defensive back Nick Doctors made a career-high nine tackles, while junior defensive lineman Josiah Situmeang added five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The two teams combined for 1,031 yards of total offense (CMU-519; WashU-512).
WashU (1-0) will have a bye week before returning to action Saturday, Sept. 19, at No. 22-ranked Centre College. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. (ET) in Danville, Ky.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Carnegie Mellon, 17-16 … The win for head coach Larry Kindbom was his 189th, moving into sole possession of fifth place on the NCAA Division III active wins list … WashU is 19-8 in seasons openers under Kindbom … CMU and WashU also played in the final game of 2014 … The Bears turned three turnovers into 17 points … The 45 points scored in a season opener was the most since a 58-14 win over Missouri Mines in 1954.