Crusaders To Battle With Colgate On Family Weekend
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: #22 Holy Cross (5-1, 1-0 PL) vs. #17 Colgate (7-0, 2-0 PL)
Date: October 24, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Television: WCTR TV-3, Worcester; Kevin Shea, play-by-play; Andy Lacombe, color
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Unofficial Live Statistics: Click Here
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; Click Here for Internet Broadcast
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Colgate Radio: WKXZ 93.9 FM, Norwich, N.Y.
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 37-29-5
Last Meeting: Colgate 28, Holy Cross 27; November 22, 2008; Hamilton, N.Y.
The Series With Colgate
This will be the 72nd meeting between the Crusaders and the Raiders on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 37-29-5. Colgate has won seven of the last eight games played in the series, with the Crusaders' only victory during that time being a 27-20 triumph in Worcester in 2007. From 1983-1996, Holy Cross posted 14 consecutive victories over the Raiders. For games played in Worcester, the Crusaders hold a 24-16-2 advantage against Colgate, but the Raiders had won five in a row prior to 2007. The schools first met on November 3, 1917, with Colgate posting a 21-0 victory in Utica, N.Y.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 37-29-5
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 24-16-2
At Fitton Field: Holy Cross leads, 24-16-2
Current Win Streak: Colgate, one game
Tom Gilmore vs. Colgate: 1-4
Dick Biddle vs. Holy Cross: 10-3
Holy Cross On Family Weekend
The Crusaders have posted an all-time record of 28-24-1 in Family Weekend games. Holy Cross defeated Lehigh 35-21 last season, to break a six-game losing streak on Family Weekend. That marked only the second Family Weekend victory for the Crusaders since 1994, to go along with a 63-53 win over Lafayette in 2001. This year's game will be the fourth meeting between Holy Cross and Colgate on Family Weekend, with the Raiders leading 3-1.
Randolph Attacks Record Book
Over the course of his collegiate career, senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) has completed 982 of 1,547 passes for 11,640 yards and 101 scores, while amassing 12,164 yards of total offense. During the Georgetown game, he broke the Holy Cross and Patriot League records for career passing yards, while becoming the first player in school or conference history to throw for over 10,000 career yards. Last season, Randolph broke the Holy Cross career records for completions, pass attempts, touchdown passes and yards of total offense. In addition, his career completion percentage of .635 is the best in school history, while his 21 career 300-yard passing games and seven 400-yard passing games are both the most-ever by a Crusader. Randolph enters this week's game ranked ninth all-time in NCAA football championship subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) history in touchdown passes, ninth in passing yards and 10th in yards of total offense. He also owns the all-time FCS record with his current streak of 35 games in which he has thrown for at least 200 yards, and is just 360 yards away from becoming only the seventh player in FCS history with 12,000 career passing yards.
Experienced Wide Receivers Shine
Holy Cross once again has a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game, as six different wide receivers have caught at least 10 passes so far this season. Junior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) leads the way with 34 catches for 446 yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) is also off to a strong start, catching 20 passes for 278 yards and a score. In addition, senior wide out Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) has totaled 18 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns, senior wide receiver Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has posted 17 catches for 152 yards and four scores, junior wide receiver Rob Koster (Bellerose, N.Y.) has caught 14 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore wide out Charles McCall (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) has added 10 receptions for 99 yards and a score. Overall, the Crusaders have 10 wide receivers and 16 total players with at least one reception on the season.
Offense Puts Up Big Numbers
The Holy Cross offense has opened the 2009 season with some impressive performances. The Crusaders have averaged 34.3 points and 447.0 yards of total offense per game on the year. Holy Cross has thrown for 327.3 yards per game this season, while averaging 119.7 yards per contest on the ground. The Crusaders have hit the 40-point mark twice already this season, scoring 52 points against Sacred Heart and 42 points at Northeastern. The 52 points against Sacred Heart were Holy Cross' highest total since scoring 59 points at Lehigh in 2007. In 2008, the Crusaders averaged 34.4 points and 455.4 total yards per game. Holy Cross also totaled 348.9 passing yards per game a year ago, the second-most in school history behind only the 1987 team which averaged 358.4 yards through the air.
Anderson Award On The Line
The Dr. Edward N. Anderson Award is presented annually to the outstanding player in the Family Weekend game, as determined by the working press. The award is sponsored by the Holy Cross Club of Greater Worcester, and was originally awarded to the most outstanding player of the Holy Cross-Massachusetts game. It is presented in honor of former Holy Cross head coach Edward Anderson, who had a 129-67-8 record in 21 seasons as the Crusaders' coach (1933-1938; 1950-1964), and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971. Last season, Holy Cross' Dominic Randolph claimed the award, after leading the Crusaders to a 35-21 victory over Lehigh. This year, Randolph has a chance to become only the sixth player to win the award more than once, and the first since Joe Segreti in 1988 and 1989. Other players to have won the Anderson Award more than once are UMass' Mike Fallon (1976 and 1977), UMass' Dean Pecevich (1980 and 1981), Holy Cross' Peter Muldoon (1982, 1983 and 1984) and Holy Cross' Jeff Wiley (1986 and 1987). (A complete list of past Anderson Award winners can be found on page 102 of the Holy Cross media guide.)
DiMichele, Johnson & Wright Lead Crusader
Junior strong safety Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.), junior free safety Alex Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and senior cornerback Michael Wright (Fort Washington, Md.) have all been playing well in the Holy Cross defensive backfield this season. DiMichele leads the team with 43 total tackles on the year, to go along with four tackles for loss, four pass breakups and one interception. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 115 tackles, 14 pass breakups and three interceptions. Johnson has recorded 24 solo tackles so far in 2009, in addition to posting four pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. His three-year career totals at Holy Cross now include 74 tackles and 10 pass breakups. Wright has recorded 25 total tackles, a team-high 10 pass breakups and two interceptions on the season. A second team All-Patriot League selection in 2008, he has now totaled 68 tackles, 23 pass breakups and three interceptions during his collegiate career.
Smith Keeps Starting At Center
Senior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) enters the Colgate game having started 39 consecutive games at center for the Crusaders. If he starts again against the Raiders, he will become only the third player in school history to start at least 40 consecutive games. Casey Gough currently holds the Holy Cross record with 41 straight starts from 2004-2007. Mike Zimirowski ranks second, having started 40 straight contests from 1993-1996. Smith started all 11 of the Crusaders' games in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and has started all six contests so far in 2009. He is also closing in on the all-time school record for total games started, which is currently shared by Gough and Patrick Quay (1997-2000) at 43 starts.
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Senior Dominic Randolph is now in his fourth season as Holy Cross' starting quarterback, and is one of the favorites to win the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in the NCAA football championship subdivision. In six games so far this year, he has completed 161 of 246 attempts for 1,961 yards and 18 touchdowns, in addition to ranking second on the team in rushing with 219 yards and three scores on 46 carries. During the Brown game, Randolph connected on 38 of 53 passes for 411 yards and four touchdowns, while directing two fourth quarter scoring drives to tie the game at 31-31. Previously at Northeastern, he completed 16 of 24 attempts for 305 yards and five scores. Randolph has also played well against Dartmouth (26 of 36 for 264 yards and three scores), Harvard (25 of 39 for 293 yards and two touchdowns, 41 rushing yards and a score), Sacred Heart (274 passing yards and two touchdowns, 64 rushing yards and two scores) and Georgetown (36 of 56 for 414 yards and two touchdowns). In 2008, Randolph threw for at least 300 yards in each of his last eight games, including three 400-yard performances. In 11 games played last season, he hit on 340 of 520 passes for 3,838 yards and 34 touchdowns. Randolph set new Holy Cross single-season records for passing yards, total offense (3,917 yards), completions and pass attempts, while tying the mark for touchdown passes in 2008.
Bellomo & Houghton Provide Solid Combination At
Sophomore tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) and freshman tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) have both played well in the opening five games of the season. Bellomo leads the team in rushing with 269 yards and four touchdowns on 53 carries, in addition to catching 27 passes for 204 yards. Last season, Bellomo ran for 150 yards on 39 attempts, while catching four passes for 37 yards. Houghton ranks third on the team with 179 rushing yards and two scores on 28 carries this year, and also has three catches for 31 yards. Houghton's 52 rushing yards in the season opener against Georgetown were the most by a Holy Cross player in his collegiate debut since Gideon Akande ran for 87 yards on eight carries against Georgetown in 2002.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is now in his sixth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore currently owns an overall record of 35-26, including a 32-18 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. He has led Holy Cross to winning records in four straight seasons, including 7-4 marks in 2006, 2007 and 2008, along with winning streaks of six games (in 2008) and five games (in 2006). Two of Gilmore's players, Dominic Randolph (2007 and 2008) and Steve Silva (2005), have been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, with Silva also earning first team All-America honors. Gilmore has also led the Crusaders to a pair of victories over ranked opponents - 13-10 over No. 10 Lehigh on Oct. 8, 2005, and 27-20 over No. 25 Harvard on Sept. 19, 2009. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Gilmore served as an assistant coach at Lehigh (2000-2003), Dartmouth (1992-1999), Pennsylvania (1986, 1990-1991) and Columbia (1987-1989). An Academic All-American at Pennsylvania, Gilmore graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in computer mathematics. He was the Ivy League Player of the Year as a senior and helped lead the Quakers to four consecutive Ivy League titles.
Offensive Line Paves The Way For Success
Holy Cross has a number of experienced players along the offensive line, where it looks to have one of the most dominating units in the Patriot League in 2009. So far this season, the line has paved the way for the Crusaders to average 34.3 points and 447.0 total yards per contest. The line has allowed Holy Cross to throw for 327.3 yards per game in 2009, and has given up only seven sacks while the team has attempted 249 passes (just one sack for every 36.6 times the team dropped back to pass). Starters on the Holy Cross line include senior Chris Smith at center, senior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) at guard, senior Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) at tackle and junior Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.) at tackle. Junior Mike Bernazzani (Whitman, Mass.) and senior Rob Petrosino (Bogata, N.J.) have both started games at the other guard spot. All told, those six offensive linemen have combined for 119 career starts. A year ago, Jones was named first team All-Patriot League and Poole earned second team All-Patriot League honors.
The Last Meeting With Colgate
Dominic Randolph completed 16 of 27 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Colgate 28-27 at Andy Kerr Stadium on Nov. 22, 2008. Holy Cross took a 7-0 lead on just the second offensive play of the game, when Randolph threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Jon Brock. Colgate came back to tie up the score on a 50-yard scoring pass from Greg Sullivan to Pat Simonds. The Crusaders regained the lead on their next drive, when Randolph threw a 42-yard scoring strike to Bill Edger. Early in the second quarter, the Raiders tied the game at 14-14 on a one-yard touchdown run by Jordan Scott. Holy Cross took the lead back on its next possession, when Randolph tossed a seven-yard scoring pass to Brett McDermott. The Crusaders then increased their advantage to 24-14 just before halftime on a 36-yard field goal by Matt Partain. Colgate cut into the lead on its opening possession of the third quarter, on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sullivan to Simonds. Partain then kicked a 37-yard field goal to put Holy Cross up 27-21 heading into the final period. But Nate Eachus scored on a five-yard run with 13:05 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Raiders up 28-27, and neither team would score again as Colgate held on for the victory. McDermott finished the game with six catches for 63 yards, while Brock had four receptions for 118 yards. Eachus led the Raiders with 118 yards on 21 carries. Ryan Stewart led the Crusader defense with 13 total tackles, including two tackles for loss.
Rodriguez Racks Up Tackles
Senior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez (Peoria, Ariz.) has been one of the top players on the Holy Cross defense over the last few years, and was named second team All-Patriot League in 2008. This season, Rodriguez has posted 40 total tackles and five pass breakups in six games. During the Brown game, he led the team with 12 total tackles and a pass breakup. Previously against Georgetown, Rodriguez recorded a team-high eight solo tackles with two pass breakups. He also posted six tackles with a pass breakup against Dartmouth, while totaling five tackles in both the Harvard and Northeastern games. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Rodriguez has now totaled 178 total tackles with 10 tackles for loss.
Crusaders Among League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Oct. 17. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph leads the league in passing yards (326.8 yards/game) and total offense (363.3 yards/game), while standing second in pass efficiency (151.7 rating). Junior wide out Luke Chmielinski ranks third in the conference in both receiving yards (74.3 yards/game) and receptions (5.7 catches/game). In addition, junior wide out Freddie Santana leads the league in punt returns (7.9 yards/return), senior cornerback Michael Wright ranks third in interceptions (0.3 picks/game) and junior free safety Alex Johnson stands fourth in kickoff returns (21.3 yards/return). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (34.3 points/game), rushing defense (81.5 yards/game), passing offense (327.3 yards/game), punt returns (10.2 yards/return) and net punting (36.1 yards/punt); while standing second in total offense (447.0 yards/game) and pass efficiency (150.8 rating); and ranking third in scoring defense (19.5 points/game).
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 357-166-27 (.674). Fitton Field is the second-oldest stadium still used for Division I college football, behind only Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania (opened in 1895). Holy Cross' best decade at home occurred from 1980-1989, when the Crusaders recorded a 41-12-1 mark. In the current decade, the Crusaders have posted a record of 29-24 at home, with a 4-0 mark so far in 2009. Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in each of the last three years, going 3-2 in 2006, 4-2 in 2007 and 4-1 in 2008.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2009 campaign marks the 114th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 588-467-54, good for a .554 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2009 season, Holy Cross' 583 all-time victories ranked as the 15th most among all Division I-AA schools. Holy Cross has had 31 first team All-America selections, sent 69 players on to professional football, won five Lambert Cups, claimed five Patriot League championships, and was named the Division I-AA Team of the Year in 1987. The Crusaders also played in the 1946 Orange Bowl, losing to host Miami on the game's final play.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2009, the Crusaders are looking to post a winning record for the fifth straight year. In 2008, Holy Cross finished the season with an overall record of 7-4, marking the third consecutive year in which it has posted seven victories. The Crusaders previously went 7-4 in both 2006 and 2007, and their 21-12 mark from 2006-2008 was its best in a three-year span since the 1990, 1991 and 1992 squads went a combined 26-6-1. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 32-18 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. This marks the first time the Crusaders have posted four straight winning seasons since finishing with a winning mark in seven straight years from 1986-1992.
Randolph Named Team Captain
Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph is serving as Holy Cross' team captain during the 2009 football season, as announced by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. Randolph, who was one of three captains during the 2007 campaign and one of two captains in 2008, becomes the first player in school history to serve as a team captain for three seasons. Only 10 other players in the history of Holy Cross football had previously served as a captain for two years. This will also mark the first time since the 1967 season that the Crusaders will have just one player serving as team captain.
Scouting The Raiders
Colgate enters this week's game with an overall record of 7-0 on the season, including a 2-0 mark in the Patriot League. The Raiders are coming off a 31-14 victory at Georgetown last week. The Colgate offense is led by sophomore tailback Jordan McCord (141 carries for 689 yards and five touchdowns) and sophomore tailback Nate Eachus (94 carries for 531 yards and nine scores). Junior quarterback Greg Sullivan is also enjoying a solid season, completing 78 of 136 passes for 1,087 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions, in addition to rushing for 550 yards and six scores. Junior wide out Pat Simonds is the top receiver for the Raiders, with 43 catches for 601 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior linebacker Greg Hadley leads the Colgate defense with 43 tackles on the year, including four tackles for loss. Dick Biddle is now in his 14th season as the Raiders' head coach, and has posted an overall record of 111-49. Biddle served as Colgate's defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach, and also spent time as an assistant at Navy, Minnesota and Virginia Tech.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2009 will air on The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 40th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 24th year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standout Tom Kelleher, who earned first team All-New England honors while leading the undefeated 1987 team in rushing, is in his 10th year as the color commentator. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet through the Worcester Pike website. In addition, WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will carry a number of games this year.
Holy Cross On Television
The Crusaders are scheduled to have four games shown on live television during the 2009 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2009 campaign:
Sept. 19 vs. Harvard: WCTR-TV3
Oct. 24 vs. Colgate: WCTR-TV3
Nov. 7 at Lehigh: Service Electric
Nov. 14 vs. Lafayette: WCTR-TV3 / Lafayette Sports Network
The Holy Cross Football Show
Every Tuesday during the season, head coach Tom Gilmore will be joined by Bob Fouracre for the Holy Cross Football Show. The show airs live from 1:00-1:30 p.m. exclusively on the internet, with archives of all the shows available to those who can not listen in live. The show is carried free of charge through SportsJuice.
Live video streaming of all 2009 Holy Cross home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision.The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $6.95 per game. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.
Holy Cross won its first four games of the 2009 season, marking the 20th time in school history the Crusaders have opening with at least four straight victories ... Senior center Chris Smith has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame to the top scholar-athlete in the nation ... Freshman wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made his first collegiate reception a memorable one, as it went for a 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the victory over Harvard ... Junior kicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) leads the team in scoring so far this season with 25 points, making 16 of 17 extra point attempts and three field goals. Dornfried has also averaged 40.8 yards on 13 punts this year ... Senior linebacker Anthony Campbell (New Albany, Ohio) recorded two quarterback sacks among his four total tackles against Georgetown. That marked the second multi-sack game of Campbell's career, after he had previously posted two sacks in the 2008 victory at Lafayette ... Holy Cross was picked to finish in first place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors, while senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year ... The Crusaders were picked as the No. 13 team in the nation and the top team in the Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2009 College Football Preview. Holy Cross was also ranked No. 18 in the nation by Athlon and No. 21 by Lindy's ... For only the third time since joining the Patriot League in 1986, Holy Cross played all of its non-conference games against opponents from New England (Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Northeastern and Sacred Heart).