September 13, 2010

Holy Cross Heads To Harvard On Saturday Night

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Video: Coach Gilmore with Charter TV3's Shaun Grady

Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-1, 0-0 PL) vs. Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: September 18, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Harvard Stadium (30,323), Cambridge, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Stretch Internet
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Gordie Lockbaum, color; Click Here to Listen
Series Record: Harvard leads, 38-23-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 27, Harvard 20; September 19, 2009; Worcester, Mass.

The Series With Harvard
This will be the 64th meeting between the Crusaders and the Crimson on the gridiron, with Harvard leading the all-time series 38-23-2. The Crimson have won 10 of the last 13 games in the series, but two of Holy Cross' victories during that time have come in the last three seasons (31-28 in 2007 and 27-20 in 2009). For all games played at Harvard Stadium, the Crimson hold a 31-17-2 lead in the series, with four straight wins and six victories in the last seven meetings. Holy Cross' Tom Gilmore stands 2-4 against Harvard as a head coach, to go along with an 8-8 record against the Crimson as an assistant coach (at Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth and Lehigh), and a 2-2 mark as a player (at Pennsylvania).

Series Quick Facts
Overall: Harvard leads, 38-23-2
In Cambridge: Harvard leads, 31-17-2
At Harvard Stadium: Harvard leads, 31-17-2
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
Tom Gilmore vs. Harvard: 2-4
Tim Murphy vs. Holy Cross: 11-4
In Overtime: Harvard leads, 1-0

Holy Cross Against The Ivy League
The Crusaders have enjoyed a good deal of success against Ivy League opposition during Tom Gilmore's tenure as head coach. Holy Cross stands 12-7 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, including a 2-1 record last season. The 12-7 mark over the last six years includes a 6-0 record against Dartmouth, a 3-1 mark against Brown, a 2-4 record against Harvard and a 1-2 mark against Yale. The Crusaders' all-time record against the Ivy League stands at 105-136-9 (30-21-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 35-34-4 vs. Dartmouth, 23-38-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).

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 second-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. During last week's game at Massachusetts, Lamkin recorded 10 tackles and a pass breakup. In the previous game 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 123 tackles with 14 tackles for loss.

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 two games played this season, Dornfried has made all six of his extra point attempts and one out of two field goals. His top game so far in 2010 came against Howard, when he 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, Dornfried scored 61 points last year by hitting seven of nine field goals and 40 of 41 extra points. Lemieux has averaged 42.2 yards on 13 punts this year, with five kicks of over 50 yards and five punts downed inside the 20-yard line. His best day so far in 2010 was at UMass, when he averaged 47.0 yards on six punts. Named second team All-Patriot League in 2009, Lemieux averaged 38.4 yards on 25 punts and 61.3 yards on 71 kickoffs a year ago.

Crusaders Return An Abundance Of Experienced Wide Receivers
Holy Cross once again has a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game this season, as it returns its top three wide receivers from a year ago. In two games played this year, senior wide out Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) leads the team with 10 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Edger previously totaled 49 receptions for a team-best 818 yards and five touchdowns in 2009, and has now recorded 83 catches for 1,326 yards and 11 scores during his collegiate career. Senior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) has caught seven passes for 64 yards and a score so far this year, 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 94 catches for 1,129 yards and six scores. Senior wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) is also playing a key role, with four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown so far in 2010. Santana had 46 catches for 601 yards and a team-high eight scores in 2009, and has recorded 77 receptions for 959 yards and 12 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. He made four solo tackles and recovered a fumble against Howard in the season opener, then totaled four tackles in the game at UMass. 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 34 games with 21 starts, totaling 67 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

The Last Meeting With Harvard
Dominic Randolph accounted for 334 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, as 23rd-ranked Holy Cross posted a 27-20 victory over 25th-ranked Harvard at Fitton Field on Sept. 19, 2009. Randolph completed 25 of 39 passes for 293 yards and two scores, in addition to leading the team in rushing with 41 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. The Crimson opened the game by marching 79 yards in 10 plays to take a 6-0 lead on a five-yard touchdown pass from Collier Winters to Gino Gordon. Patrick Long's extra point attempt was wide right. Later in the first quarter, the Crusaders claimed their first lead on a 21-yard scoring strike from Randolph to Nick Cole, going in front 7-6. Holy Cross then increased its advantage to 14-6 in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Randolph. After leading by eight points at halftime, Matt Bellomo scored on a 10-yard run early in the third quarter, and the Crusaders were up 20-6 after a missed extra point. But Harvard refused to go away, and Gordon scored on a two-yard run just over four minutes later to make the score 20-13. Early in the fourth quarter, Holy Cross increased its lead to 27-13 on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Randolph to Gerald Mistretta. The Crusader defense looked to have Harvard on the ropes on its next possession, but the Crimson converted on a fourth-and-14 play with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Winters to Chris Lorditch, making the score 27-20. Harvard would get the ball back one more time with 3:41 remaining, but Nicholas MacDonald sacked Winters to force a fumble, which Andrew Cialino recovered on the Crimson 28-yard line. After Randolph carried twice to pick up a first down, the Crusaders were able to run out the clock and claim the victory.

Senior Safeties Lead Secondary
Senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) and senior free safety Alex Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) are both among the top players on the Holy Cross defense in 2010. Johnson made six solo tackles and intercepted a pass against Howard in the season opener, then totaled three tackles at UMass. 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 114 tackles, three interceptions and 11 pass breakups. DiMichele missed the Howard game due to injury, but came back to lead the team with 18 tackles at UMass, including 14 solo stops and one tackle for loss. 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 172 tackles, 15 pass breakups and four interceptions.

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. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 186 yards against the Bison, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Taggart then hit on 17 of 32 attempts for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception at UMass. Through two games, he has now connected on 34 of 61 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. 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.

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.

Schneider Shines At Tight End
Junior tight end Alex Schneider (Inner Grove Heights, Minn.) continues to be a key part of the Holy Cross passing game this season. Through two games played in 2010, he has caught five passes for 23 yards. A second team All-Patriot League selection in 2009, 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.

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).

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

Crusaders Have Three Outstanding Options At Tailback
Sophomore tailback Sam Auffant (Hampton, N.H.), sophomore tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) and junior tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) all look to share the load carrying the ball for the Crusaders in 2010. Auffant totaled 31 yards and a touchdown on eight carries in the season opener against Howard, and now has 41 yards on 13 carries in two games played. He did not see any varsity action during the 2009 season. Houghton leads the team with 48 yards on eight carries so far in 2010, including 41 yards on six rushes 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. Bellomo has missed the first two games of the season 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.

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.

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 40-29 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 37-21 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.

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. 11. Senior wide receiver Bill Edger stands fourth in the league in receiving yards (81.5 yards/game), receptions (5.0 catches/game) and scoring (6.0 points/game). Senior placekicker Rob Dornfried ranks first in extra point percentage (100.0 percent), and third in field goals (0.5 made/game), while senior quarterback Ryan Taggart is fourth in passing yards (171.0 yards/game) and in pass efficiency (121.2 rating). In addition, senior free safety Alex Johnson stands first in interceptions (0.5 picks/game) and second in kickoff returns (27.0 yards/return), senior punter Don Lemieux stands second in punting (42.2 yards/punt), and senior wid receiver Freddie Santana is fourth in scoring (6.0 points/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in punt returns (85.0 yards/return) and net punting (37.1 yards/punt); while standing second in kickoff returns (30.5 yards/return); and ranking third in scoring defense (19.0 points/game) and turnover margin (+0.0 turnovers/game).
 
Scouting The Crimson
Harvard is coming off a 2009 campaign in which it posted a 7-3 overall record and shared the Ivy League title with a 6-1 mark in conference games. The Crimson offense is led by junior quarterback Collier Winters, who completed 156 of 272 passes last season for 1,861 yards and 15 touchdowns, while rushing for 295 yards and three scores on 121 carries. Senior tailback Gino Gordon led the team in rushing last season with 632 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 attempts, while senior wide out Chris Lorditch was Harvard's top receiver with 30 catches for 545 yards and five scores in 2009. The Crimson defense, which allowed just 16.4 points and 296.2 yards per game last season, will be led by senior free safety Collin Zych. Last season, Zych totaled 73 tackles, six tackles for loss and 12 pass breakups. Head coach Tim Murphy is in his 17th season at the helm of the Harvard program, where he has a record of 104-55. Murphy's career record stands at 136-100-1, including five seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati and two years as head coach at Maine.

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).

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 marks the 115th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 593-470-54, good for a .555 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.

Crusaders 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 by clicking here. 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, and can be heard by clicking 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
Junior linebacker C.J. Martin (Plano, Texas) tied for the team lead with 18 total tackles last week at UMass. He now leads the team with 25 total tackles on the season ... 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.