Crusaders Defeat Fordham 41-21 In Season Finale

Ryan Taggart

BRONX, N.Y. – Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) accounted for 397 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 41-21 victory over Fordham at Jack Coffey Field. Taggart completed 24 of 37 passes for 334 yards and three scores, in addition to rushing for 63 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Holy Cross improves to 6-5 on the season with the victory, and finishes with a winning record for the seventh straight year. The Rams conclude the season at 1-10.

Senior linebacker Ricky Otis (Cleves, Ohio) had 11 tackles and two quarterback sacks, to lead the Crusader defense, which held Fordham scoreless during the second half. Junior strong safety Tom Mannix (Kenilworth, N.J.) also had a strong game, finishing with nine tackles and a pass breakup. Junior tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) rushed 15 times for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball, with sophomore wide receiver Kyle Toulouse (Arlington, Va.) catching four passes for 105 yards and a score.

The Crusaders opened the scoring at the 11:03-mark of the first quarter on a five-yard touchdown pass from Taggart to senior wide receiver Charles McCall (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.). The Rams came back to tie the game at 7-7 on a 44-yard scoring strike from Ryan Higgins to Greg Wilson. Higgins and Wilson then hooked up again for a 40-yard touchdown, and the Rams led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Taggart threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jon Smith (Matawan, N.J.) on fourth-and-seven, tying the score at 14-14. But Fordham came back with a six-yard scoring run by Carlton Koonce, and led 21-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter, a 71-yard touchdown pass from Taggart to Toulouse tied the game at 21-21. Taggart then rushed six yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, allowing Holy Cross to regain the lead 28-21. Houghton added two rushing touchdowns in the final six minutes of play to put the game away, scoring from 38 yards and three yards out.