Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 8, 2016 – Senior quarterback J.J. Tomlin threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns and became WashU's all-time passing leader in the Bears' 56-35 win at Rhodes College Saturday in Memphis.
WashU improved its overall record to 4-1, 3-1 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), while Rhodes dropped to 3-2, 1-2 in the SAA.
"I thought we came ready to play today. Our offense was clicking and our defense was getting some stops," said WashU head coach Larry Kindbom, who picked up career win No. 198. "Our team is playing confident right now and that is how we came out of the locker room today."
Tomlin completed 31-of-35 passes in the win, and also eclipsed 7,000 passing yards (7,027) for his career. He eclipsed Thor Larsen's all-time mark of 6,713 yards.
"J.J. was awesome today. He was very focused and executed the game plan," said Kindbom. "This is a great accomplishment for J.J., but it shows how much of an investment he has made in his position."
Senior wide receiver Kevin Hammarlund had another big day with 10 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Hammarlund moved into third on the WashU all-time receiving yardage list with 2,266. He leads the conference in receptions per game (9.2) and is third in receiving yards per game (105.0).
Tomlin completed 24-of-28 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns as the Bears jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead. WashU totaled 412 yards in the first half.
Tomlin connected with Hammarlund for a 14-yard TD pass and then found junior wide receiver Marcus Ramspott open a nine-yard TD strike to quickly make it 14-0 with 7:13 left in the first.
The Bears outscored Rhodes 21-0 in the second quarter. Senior running back Austin Smestad had a one-yard TD run, and Tomlin connected with senior tight end Matt Page for an eight-yard TD pass and he added a 16-yard TD strike to Hammarlund.
The lead grew to 42-14 midway through the third after a six-yard run by Smestad. Freshman running back Emmanuel Engermann added a one-yard TD run and sophomore quarterback Ryan Arthur tossed a 10-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Matthew Goldberg to round out the scoring.
WashU had the 639-434 advantage in total offense, and totaled 32 first downs. Smestad had 63 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Page added seven catches for 69 yards and a TD.
The Bears' defense recorded three interceptions for the second-straight contest. Sophomore defensive back Ben Marcus made 10 tackles, while sophomore linebacker Max Barnett had eight tackles, an interception and a tackle for loss. Junior defensive back Nick Doctors added five tackles, a half tackle for the loss and the first interception of his career in the win.
WashU returns home to host Sewanee: University of the South (0-5, 0-3 SAA) on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Francis Field.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Rhodes met for the 53rd time in school history – and for the 29th-straight season … The teams have split the all-time series 26-26-1 … The Bears are off to their best since 2007 … WashU has won three-straight road games … It was WashU's first win at Rhodes since 2004 … Senior John Doty made his 25th straight start at center.