Crusaders Defeat Colgate 37-7 In Patriot League Opener

Kyle Toulouse

Video: Postgame Interview with Jimmy Thomas

WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) accounted for 237 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 37-7 victory over Colgate at Fitton Field. Taggart hit on 13 of 16 passes for 223 yards and two scores, while rushing for 14 yards and a touchdown on three carries. The Crusaders improve to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Patriot League this year, while moving to 17-9 all-time in conference openers. The Raiders fall to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the league, and have now been defeated by Holy Cross in each of the last three seasons.

The Crusader defense held the Raiders to just 319 total yards on the day, with All-America tailback Nate Eachus rushing for only 96 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. Senior linebacker Jimmy Thomas (Severn, Md.) led the way with 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and an interception return for a touchdown, while junior strong safety Tom Mannix (Kenilworth, N.J.) added 10 tackles and a tackle for loss. On the offensive side of the ball, Holy Cross averaged 7.8 yards per play with 403 yards of total offense.

The Crusaders opened the scoring at the 6:59-mark of the first quarter on a 32-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.). A 15-yard touchdown pass from Taggart to senior wide receiver Charles McCall (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and an eight-yard scoring run by junior wide receiver Nick Mercurio (Melville, N.Y.) increased the Holy Cross margin to 16-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Crusaders added two more touchdowns on a 19-yard pass from Taggart to sophomore wide receiver Kyle Toulouse (Arlington, Va.) and a one-yard run by Taggart. Thomas then returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, making the score 37-0. The Raiders avoided the shutout when Eachus concluded the scoring on a one-yard touchdown run with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 17, when it plays host to Harvard on Homecoming Weekend at 1:00 p.m.