Crusaders Travel To #18 UMass On Saturday Night

Alex Johnson

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Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-0, 0-0 PL) vs. #18 Massachusetts (1-0, 1-0 CAA)
Date: September 11, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium (17,000), Amherst, Mass.
Television: CBS 3 Now (Comcast Channel 293 in Western Massachusetts)
Live Video Streaming: www.UMassAthletics.com
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Gordie Lockbaum, color; Click Here to Listen
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Unofficial Live Statistics: Gametracker
Series Record:
Massachusetts leads, 22-21-5
Last Meeting: Massachusetts 45, Holy Cross 42; September 6, 2008; Worcester, Mass.

The Series With Massachusetts
This will be the 49th meeting between the Crusaders and the Minutemen on the gridiron, with Massachusetts leading the all-time series 22-21-5. UMass has won the last seven games in the series, including a 45-42 victory in Worcester two years ago. For games played in Amherst, the Minutemen own an 9-7 advantage in the series, with three straight victories. The last win for the Crusaders in the series came on Sept. 14, 1991, when they posted a 22-20 victory at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The schools first met on Sept. 25, 1897, in Amherst, with Holy Cross posting a 4-0 victory.

Series Quick Facts
Overall: UMass leads, 22-21-5
In Amherst: UMass leads, 9-7
At McGuirk Alumni Stadium: UMass leads, 9-5
Current Win Streak: UMass, seven games
Tom Gilmore vs. UMass: 0-2
Kevin Morris vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
In Overtime: n / a

Holy Cross Against The CAA
The Crusaders own an all-time record of 59-45-6 against the 10 schools which currently compete in the Colonial Athletic Association. Holy Cross played two games against teams from the league last year, falling to Villanova 38-28 in the NCAA playoffs and defeating Northeastern 42-21 (the Huskies are no longer in the conference, having since dropped football). The Crusaders' all-time record against the Colonial Athletic Association includes marks of 2-1 against Delaware, 5-0-1 vs. Maine, 21-22-5 against Massachusetts, 6-5 vs. New Hampshire, 9-1 against Rhode Island, 1-0 vs. Richmond, 4-3 against Towson, 9-13 vs. Villanova and 2-0 against William & Mary.

Holy Cross Looks To Defend Patriot League Title
During the 2010 campaign, the Crusaders will look to win the Patriot League championship for the seventh time in school history. Holy Cross is the reigning conference champion, after clinching the 2009 title with a 28-26 victory over Lafayette to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. The Crusaders' six Patriot League championships (all of them outright) have come in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2009. Holy Cross is tied for the most championships in conference history, behind only Lehigh with eight titles. Last season, Holy Cross won five Patriot League games for just the fourth time in school history. The Crusaders previously went 5-1 in 2008, while posting 5-0 conference records in 1990 and 1991. Heading into its 25th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 74-59 (.556) in conference action.

Lamkin Returns At Linebacker
Senior linebacker Sean Lamkin (Jenks, Okla.) has returned to the Holy Cross lineup this season, after missing most of the 2009 campaign due to injury. In the 2010 season opener against Howard, he totaled six tackles, a team-high two quarterback sacks and two pass breakups. A second team All-Patriot League selection in 2008, Lamkin played in just three games last year before suffering a season-ending injury. During his limited time on the field in 2009, he recorded 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception. Previously in 2008, Lamkin totaled 71 tackles, including 56 solo stops, six tackles for loss and one sack. He also broke up two passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in 2008. Over the course of his collegiate career, Lamkin has now totaled 113 tackles with 14 tackles for loss.

Offense Puts Up Big Numbers
The Crusader offense started the 2010 season strong, scoring 38 points in the season-opening victory over Howard. Holy Cross is coming off a 2009 campaign in which it averaged 32.2 points and 433.6 total yards per game. The Crusaders averaged 314.9 passing yards per game last season, in addition to rushing for 118.7 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross hit the 40-point mark four times last year, scoring 52 points against Sacred Heart, 42 points against both Colgate and Northeastern, and 41 points against Fordham. The 52 points against Sacred Heart were Holy Cross' highest total since scoring 59 points at Lehigh in 2007. The Crusaders also had an outstanding year offensively in 2008, averaging 34.4 points and 455.4 yards per game. Holy Cross also totaled 348.9 passing yards per game in 2008, the second-most in school history behind only the 1987 team which averaged 358.4 yards through the air.

Crusaders Return An Abundance Of Experienced Wide Receivers
Holy Cross looks to once again have a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game this season, as it returns its top three wide receivers from a year ago. In the season opener against Howard, senior wide out Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) led the team with seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Edger previously totaled 49 receptions for a team-best 818 yards and five touchdowns in 2009, and has now recorded 80 catches for 1,287 yards and 11 scores during his collegiate career. Senior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) caught three passes for 21 yards and a score in the Howard game, after leading the team with 63 receptions for 807 yards and four touchdowns in 2009. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Chmielinski has now totaled 90 catches for 1,086 yards and six scores. Senior wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) will also play a key role, after catching two passes for 12 yards against Howard, while returning a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. Santana had 46 catches for 601 yards and a team-high eight scores in 2009, and has recorded 75 receptions for 923 yards and 11 touchdowns during his collegiate career. Both Chmielinski and Santana were named second team All-Patriot League in 2009.

Ohimor Plays Big On Defensive Front
Senior defensive end Mude Ohimor (Stoughton, Mass.) is once again a major force for the Crusaders in the trenches this year. In the 2010 season opener against Howard, he made four solo tackles and recovered a fumble. A first team All-Patriot League selection in 2009, Ohimor led all Holy Cross defensive linemen with 34 tackles last season. He also ranked fourth in the Patriot League with seven sacks and seventh with nine tackles for loss, both marks which were the best on the team. Over the course of his collegiate career, Ohimor has now played in 33 games with 20 starts, totaling 63 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

The Last Meeting With UMass
UMass placekicker Armando Cuko hit a 42-yard field goal as time expired, to give the fourth-ranked Minutemen a 45-42 victory over Holy Cross at Fitton Field during Homecoming Weekend on Sept. 6, 2008. Holy Cross opened the scoring at the 0:54-mark of the first quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dominic Randolph to  Jon Brock. The Minutemen came back to tie the score early in the second quarter, with Liam Coen scoring on a one-yard run. The Crusaders regained the lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Terrance Gass, before UMass responded with a 26-yard scoring pass from Coen to Jeremy Horne. Brett McDermott returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to put Holy Cross back in front, then Randolph tossed an eight-yard scoring pass to Freddie Santana to make the score 28-14 late in the second quarter. But the Minutemen came back to make the score 28-21 before halftime, with Coen and Horne hooking up for a 19-yard touchdown pass. In the third quarter, UMass scored two straight touchdowns to take its first lead of the game. Tony Nelson scored on a four-yard run, then Coen hit Joe Sanford from 25 yards out to make the score 35-28. Gass then scored his second touchdown of the game on a 21-yard run, tying the score up at 35-35 heading into the fourth quarter. UMass went back in front on a one-yard scoring run by Nelson, before Randolph again found Santana in the end zone, this time from nine yards out with 2:22 to play, tying the score at 42-42. But the Minutemen came back down the field to set up Cuko's game-winning field goal in the closing seconds.

DiMichele & Johnson Look To Lead Holy Cross Secondary
Senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) and senior free safety Alex Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) should once again be among the top players on the Holy Cross defense in 2010. In the season opener against Howard, Johnson made six solo tackles and intercepted a pass to set up a Crusaders touchdown. In 2009, Johnson earned second team All-Patriot League honors, after recording 55 total tackles with five pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. His four-year career totals at Holy Cross now include 111 tackles, three interceptions and 11 pass breakups. DiMichele missed the Howard game due to injury, but was a first team All-Patriot League and third team All-America selection in 2009. He finished last year ranked second on the team with 82 total tackles (70 solo), to go along with two interceptions, five pass breakups, five tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Over the course of his collegiate career, DiMichele has now totaled 154 tackles, 15 pass breakups and four interceptions.

Dornfried & Lemieux Get Their Kicks
Senior placekicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) and senior punter Don Lemieux (Gardner, Mass.) are both in their second year in starting roles for the Crusaders. In the season opener against Howard, Dornfried hit all five of his extra points and also connected on his only field goal attempt, from 29 yards. A first team All-Patriot League selection in 2009, he scored 61 points last year by hitting seven of nine field goals and 40 of 41 extra points. Lemieux averaged 38.0 yards on seven punts and 64.4 yards on seven kickoffs against Howard to open the year. Named second team All-Patriot League in 2009, he averaged 38.4 yards on 25 punts and 61.3 yards on 71 kickoffs a year ago.

Taggart Takes Over At Quarterback
Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) had a solid contest against Howard, in the first game he has started during his Holy Cross career. Taggart completed 17 of 29 passes for 186 yards against the Bison, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His three scoring passes all came in the first 33 minutes of the game, as the Crusaders built a 21-0 lead on their way to a 38-7 win. Prior to this season, Taggart had played in only five career games, completing both of his pass attempts for four yards and rushing three times for seven yards.

Offensive Line Paves The Way
The Holy Cross offensive line looks to once again be one of the most dominating units in the Patriot League in 2010. During the season opener against Howard, the line led the way for the Crusaders to score 38 points. The starters on the Holy Cross line are junior Sean Whited (Canton, Ohio) at center, senior Mike Bernazzani (Whitman, Mass.) and senior Scott Wise (Fort Thomas, Ky.) at guard, and senior Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.) and sophomore Kyle Pedretty (Dunedin, Fla.) at tackle. The most experienced of the linemen are McCabe, who was named second team All-Patriot League last season and has played in 26 career games with 15 starts, and Bernazzani, who has seen action in 17 career games with eight starts. During the 2009 season, the line paved the way for the Crusaders to average 32.2 points and 433.6 total yards per contest. The line allowed Holy Cross to throw for 314.9 yards per game last year, and gave up only 16 sacks while the team attempted 488 passes (just one sack for every 31.5 times the team has dropped back to pass).

Schneider Shines At Tight End
Junior tight end Alex Schneider (Inner Grove Heights, Minn.) developed into a key part of the Holy Cross passing game last season, and earned second team All-Patriot League honors. Schneider finished last year ranked fourth on the team with 33 receptions for 275 yards, while his six touchdown catches were the second-most on the squad. He ranked second among Patriot League tight ends in both receptions and receiving yards, and finished the season with a streak of 10 straight games with at least one catch. Schneider's top performance in 2009 came at Villanova in the NCAA playoffs, when he caught seven passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns. To open the 2010 campaign, he caught one pass in the victory over Howard.

Crusaders Have Three Outstanding Options At Tailback
Junior tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.), sophomore tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) and sophomore tailback Sam Auffant (Hampton, N.H.) all look to share the load carrying the ball for the Crusaders in 2010. Bellomo missed the season opener against Howard due to injury, but ranked second on the team in rushing last season with 442 yards and four touchdowns on 91 carries, in addition to catching 32 passes for 251 yards. He rushed for over 50 yards five times last year, including a career-high 91 yards against Dartmouth. Over the course of his collegiate career, Bellomo has run for 592 yards on 130 attempts, while catching 36 passes for 288 yards. Houghton had a team best 41 yards on six carries to open the year against Howard. He ranked third on the team with 389 rushing yards and five scores on 68 carries last year, and also had 10 catches for 78 yards. Houghton's 52 rushing yards in the 2009 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. Auffant totaled 31 yards and a touchdown on eight carries in the season opener against Howard. He did not see any varsity action during the 2009 season.

Holy Cross Picked Fourth In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2010 Crusaders were picked to finish in fourth place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, Holy Cross senior defensive end Mude Ohimor was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year, and quarterback Greg Sullivan of Colgate was chosen as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

2010 Patriot League Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Colgate (6) 46
2. Lafayette (2) 36
3. Lehigh (3) 35
4. Holy Cross (1) 34
5. Bucknell 17
6. Georgetown 12

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 360-166-27 (.675). Holy Cross has won 11 straight games at home, since falling to Massachusetts 45-42 in the 2008 season opener. The Crusaders had a perfect 6-0 mark at Fitton Field in 2009, and have now finished the year with a winning record at home in each of the last four seasons. 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).

DiMichele, Lamkin & Santana Named Team Captains
Holy Cross has three captains for the 2010 football season. Senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin and senior wide receiver Freddie Santana were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. These three players have taken over the leadership role from Dominic Randolph, who served as the Crusaders' captain during the 2009 season.

Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2010, the Crusaders are looking to post a winning record for the sixth straight year. In 2009, Holy Cross finished the season with an overall record of 9-3, marking only the ninth time the school history the team has won at least nine games. The Crusaders previously went 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and their 30-15  mark over the last four seasons is its best in a four-year span since going 36-7-1 from 1989-1992. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 36-20 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. This marks the first time the Crusaders have posted five straight winning seasons since finishing with a winning mark in seven straight years from 1986-1992.

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 Sept. 4. Senior wide receiver Bill Edger leads the league in receiving yards (124.0 yards/game), while standing second in receptions (7.0 catches/game) and scoring (12.0 points/game), and fifth in all-purpose yards (124.0 yards/game). Senior placekicker Rob Dornfried ranks first in extra point percentage (100.0 percent), second in field goals (1.0 made/game) and fourth in scoring (8.0 points/game), while senior quarterback Ryan Taggart is third in passing yards (186.0 yards/game), third in pass efficiency (146.6 rating) and fifth in total offense (182.0 yards/game). In addition, senior punter Don Lemieux stands second in punting (38.0 yards/punt). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (38.0 points/game) and scoring defense (7.0 points/game); while standing second in pass efficiency (140.4 rating); and ranking third in passing offense (191.0 yards/game), kickoff returns (30.5 yards/return), punt returns (85.0 yards/return) and net punting (37.1 yards/punt).

Head Coach Tom Gilmore
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Tom Gilmore is in his seventh season as the head football coach at Holy Cross in 2010. Last year, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 9-3, the Patriot League championship and a trip to the NCAA playoffs. Also a finalist for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Award, he currently owns an overall record of 40-28 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 37-20 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. Gilmore has led the Crusaders to winning records in five 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 and 2009). Two of Gilmore's players, Dominic Randolph (2007, 2008 and 2009) 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 four victories over ranked opponents, three of which came in 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.

Holy Cross Has Four Preseason All-America Selections
Four different Crusaders were chosen as preseason All-Americans heading into the 2010 campaign. Senior defensive end Mude Ohimor was honored by two organizations, as he was selected as a second team All-American by College Sporting News and a third team All-American by Phil Steele's 2010 College Football Preview. In addition, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin was named a first team All-American by the FCS Senior Scout Bowl, senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele earned second team All-America honors from the Sports Network and senior wide receiver Bill Edger was selected as a third team All-American by College Sporting News.

Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2010 College Football Preview. The first team included senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele, senior placekicker Rob Dornfried, senior offensive tackle Mike McCabe, senior defensive end Mude Ohimor and junior linebacker Jimmy Thomas (Severn, Md.). Junior tailback Matt Bellomo, senior wide receiver Luke Chmielinski, senior free safety Alex Johnson, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin, senior punter Don Lemieux, senior kick returner Freddie Santana, junior tight end Alex Schneider, junior center Sean Whited (Canton, Ohio) were all selected to the second team.

Tradition Of Excellence
The 2010 campaign will mark the 115th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter the year with an overall record of 593-469-54, good for a .556 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Holy Cross' 592 all-time victories ranked as the 16th 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 six 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.

Football Legends Ring Of Fame Inductions Set For October 2
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross will honor six former football standouts this fall, as the inaugural class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Fame. Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Edmund Murphy (Class of 1943), Bill Osmanski (Class of 1939), Vince Promuto (Class of 1960) and John Provost (Class of 1975) will all be honored in a ceremony at the 2010 homecoming game against Fordham on Oct. 2, and receive permanent recognition at Fitton Field. Only former Crusader football players who have been elected to the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame are eligible for this honor, which will become an annual event each fall.

Scouting The Minutemen
Massachusetts enters this week's game with an overall record of 1-0, following last week's 27-23 victory over No. 4 William & Mary. Junior tailback Jonathan Hernandez led the Minutemen by rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, while catching two passes for 69 yards. Senior quarterback Kyle Havens completed 15 of 24 passes for 223 yards and a score, while senior tailback John Griffin added 80 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carrier. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Tyler Holmes led UMass with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception and a pass breakup. The Minutemen are coming off a 2009 season in which they posted an overall record of 5-6 with a 3-5 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. Head coach Kevin Morris is in his second season at the helm of the UMass program, and owns a career record of 30-38 (including six years as head coach at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute).

Crusasders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2010 will air on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 41st season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 25th year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standouts Tom Kelleher and Gordie Lockbaum will serve as the color commentators for selected games this season. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at 'www.GoHolyCross.com'. 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 seven games shown on live television during the 2010 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2010 campaign:

Sept. 4 vs. Howard: WCTR-TV3
Sept. 11 vs. Massachusetts: CBS 3 Now
Oct. 2 vs. Fordham: WCTR-TV3
Oct. 23 vs. Colgate: Time Warner
Nov. 6 vs. Lehigh: Service Electric
Nov. 13 vs. Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Nov. 20 vs. Bucknell: WCTR-TV3

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. To listen, click here.

Crusader Vision
Live video streaming of all 2010 Holy Cross regular season home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $8.95 per game. A package including all five home games is also available for $34.95. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.

Quick Hits
Holy Cross won its season opener for the second straight season by defeating Howard, and now stands 7-4 in openers over the last 11 years ... The Crusaders were picked as the No. 14 team in the nation by the Sporting News ... The 2009 Holy Cross football team received an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award, for posting multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all football squads in the nation. That marked the third straight season Holy Cross was honored.