Holy Cross Edged By Connecticut In Season Opener
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EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - UConn tailback Nate Hopkins carried the ball 20 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns, to lead the Huskies to a 27-20 victory over the Holy Cross football team at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. The Huskies open the season 1-0 with the victory, while the Crusaders start the year 0-1.
UConn scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to rally for the win. Hopkins began the comeback with a three-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, before an 11-yard pass from Bryant Shirreffs to Hergy Mayala gave the Huskies a 21-20 lead. Hopkins then concluded the scoring with a one-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Holy Cross had opened the game by jumping out to a 20-7 halftime lead. The Crusaders scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, on a 19-yard pass from senior quarterback Peter Pujals to senior wide receiver Blaise Bell and a six-yard run by senior tailback Diquan Walker.
MAN OF THE MATCH PRESENTED BY THE UNITED STATES MARINES:
- Following the game, Pujals was selected as the Man of the Match presented by the United States Marines.
- He completed 33 of 56 passes on the evening for 358 yards and a touchdown.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Bell finished the night with 10 receptions for a team-best 129 yards and a score.
- Junior wide out Richie DeNicola added 10 catches for 87 yards.
- Junior linebacker Ryan Brady led the Crusader defense with 14 total tackles.
- Senior cornerback Alim Muhammad finished with 12 tackles and two pass breakups.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- The contest marked Holy Cross’ first game against an FBS opponent since it defeated Army 30-21 in 2002.
- The crowd of 24,435 was the largest to witness a Holy Cross football game since 2002, when 28,063 fans attended the game at Army.
- Bell set new career highs for both catches (10) and receiving yards (129), while Brady (14) and Muhammad (12) both posted career highs for tackles.
- Senior placekicker A.J. Wells scored the first eight points of his collegiate career, hitting field goals of 20 and 25 yards along with two extra points.
- Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 9, when it travels to Bucknell for its Patriot League opener at 12:00 p.m.
BE A PART OF THE ACTION:
- Tickets for the 2017 Holy Cross football season are available by calling 1-844-GOCROSS or by visiting GoHolyCross.com/tickets. Order your tickets today to make sure you don’t miss out on a minute of the action!