Holy Cross Comes Back To Defeat Lafayette 29-24

Eddie Houghton

Video: Postgame Interview with Gerald Mistretta

WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) rushed the ball 17 times for 68 yards and two touchdowns, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 29-24 victory over Lafayette at Fitton Field. Houghton's second touchdown of the day came with just 1:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, to cap a 97-yard drive and give the Crusaders the lead for good. Holy Cross improves to 5-5 overall and 3-2 in the Patriot League with the victory, while the Leopards fall to 4-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

The Crusader defense intercepted three passes in the game, including two in the final six minutes of play deep in their own territory. Senior linebacker C.J. Martin (Plano, Texas) finished the contest with nine tackles and an interception, while senior linebacker Ricky Otis (Cleves, Ohio) added nine tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. On the offensive side of the ball, senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) hit on 23 of 32 passes for 225 yards and two scores, with junior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) posting six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Houghton scored the first points of the day with a 12-yard touchdown run on Holy Cross' opening drive, then sophomore placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) kicked a 28-yard field goal to make the score 10-0. After Andrew Shoop threw a 10-yard scoring strike to Mark Ross for the Leopards, the Crusaders came back with a two-yard touchdown pass from Taggart to senior tight end Alex Schneider (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.). Lafayette responded with a 32-yard field goal from Austin O'Brien, before Taggart hit Mistretta for a 21-yard touchdown to make the score 23-10. But on fourth-and-goal with just five seconds left in the second quarter, the Leopards' Greg Kessel scored on a one-yard run to make it a 23-17 game at the break.

Lafayette claimed its first lead of the day on its opening drive of the third quarter when Shoop threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Mark Ross. The Leopards drove deep into Holy Cross territory again late in the third quarter, but O'Brien missed a 26-yard field goal and the score remained 24-23. On Lafayette's next possession, it faced fourth-and-15 from the 25-yard line with under six minutes to play, when Martin intercepted a pass at the three-yard line to give the Crusaders the ball. Holy Cross then began its 97-yard game-winning drive, which ended with Houghton's seven-yard scoring run. The Leopards would not go quietly and drove down to the Crusader 22-yard line with less than 30 seconds remaining. Freshman cornerback Ben Coffaro (Cincinnati, Ohio) then intercepted a Shoop pass in the end zone to secure the victory.

Holy Cross returns to action next Saturday, Nov. 19, when it travels to Fordham for its season finale at 1:00 p.m.