Football Plays Host To Dartmouth On Homecoming Weekend
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-2, 0-0 PL) vs. Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: September 22, 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Date: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Television: Charter TV3, Worcester; Kevin Shea, play-by-play; Andy Lacombe, color; Dave Bolduc, sidelines
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 36-35-4
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 25, Dartmouth 17; Oct. 15, 2011; Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Dartmouth
This will be the 76th meeting between the Crusaders and the Big Green on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 36-35-4. The Crusaders have won seven of their last eight games against Dartmouth, with the only victory for the Big Green during that time coming in 2010 in Hanover (27-19). For games played in Worcester, the Crusaders hold a 16-13-1 advantage, including four straight victories. The schools first met on Oct. 3, 1903, with the Big Green posting an 18-0 victory in Hanover.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 36-35-4
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 16-13-1
At Fitton Field: Holy Cross leads, 16-13-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
Tom Gilmore vs. Dartmouth: 7-1
Buddy Teevens vs. Holy Cross: 1-11
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
A Jack Of All Trades
Senior Jack Maliska (Winchendon, Mass.) earned second team All-Patriot League honors as a defensive tackle during the 2011 season, and was expected to once again be a force for the Holy Cross defense this year. But due to a number of injuries along the offensive line, Maliska has been needed by the Crusaders on both sides of the ball. During last week's game against Brown, he started at defensive tackle, taking 30 total snaps and making one tackle. Maliska was also on the field for 36 plays as an offensive guard against the Bears, and helped lead the way for two of Holy Cross' touchdown drives. In addition, he saw action in six plays on special teams, and was on the field for 72 total snaps throughout the game. Last year, Maliska totaled 35 tackles for the Crusaders, with 27 solo stops, two sacks and four tackles for loss. His top games in 2011 came against Dartmouth and Lehigh, recording five tackles and a sack in each contest. Over the course of his collegiate career, Maliska now has 49 tackles, two sacks and six tackles for loss.
Holy Cross In Homecoming Games
The Crusaders have posted an all-time record of 33-29-1 in Homecoming games. Holy Cross has won six of its last seven games on Homecoming weekend, including a 30-22 victory over Harvard last season. The Crusaders previously won 11 straight games on Homecoming weekend from 1982-1992, but then went through a 12-year stretch from 1993-2004 during which they were just 2-10. Prior to the 2005 season, the Crusaders had dropped three straight contests on Homecoming weekend. This year's game will mark the 18th time Holy Cross has faced Dartmouth in its Homecoming contest. The Crusaders stand 13-4 all-time against the Big Green on Homecoming weekend, with nine straight victories. The last Homecoming meeting between the schools came in 2009, when Holy Cross won 34-14.
Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy On The Line This Week
The Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy has been presented annually to the most outstanding player in Holy Cross' Homecoming game since 1965. It is given in memory of Johnny Turco (Class of 1952), a former star halfback and a member of the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame. There are only three players who have won the honor two times in their careers (Joe Segreti in 1988 and 1990; Dominic Randolph in 2007 and 2009; and Ryan Taggart in 2010 and 2011). Last season, Taggart won the Turco Memorial Trophy following the 30-22 victory over Harvard. Taggart completed 22 of 35 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown against the Crimson, in addition to rushing nine times for 34 yards and a score.
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 15-11 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, including an 0-1 record so far this season. The 15-11 mark over the last nine years includes a 7-1 record against Dartmouth, a 4-3 mark against Brown, a 3-5 record against Harvard and a 1-2 mark against Yale. The Crusaders' all-time record against the Ivy League stands at 108-140-9 (31-23-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 36-35-4 vs. Dartmouth, 24-39-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).
Mannix Stands Out In Secondary
Senior strong safety Tom Mannix (Kenilworth, N.J.) is once again one of the top players in the Holy Cross secondary, after earning second team All-Patriot League honors in 2011. Last week against Brown, Mannix led the team with 14 solo tackles and an interception. He previously totaled five tackles and a pass breakup against New Hampshire, and now has a team-high 19 tackles on the season. Mannix ranked second on the team with 87 total tackles last year, to go along with three forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery and 10 pass breakups. During last year's Lehigh game, he recorded a career-high 12 total tackles with a forced fumble. In other games last season, Mannix had eight total tackles and an interception against Dartmouth; made 11 tackles with a forced fumble and a pass breakup against Massachusetts; and totaled 10 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup at New Hampshire. During his career with the Crusaders, he has now totaled 157 tackles, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and 17 pass breakups.
Macomber Steps Up In Kicking Game
Junior John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) has handled all of the kicking duties for the Crusaders so far this season. He has scored eight points on the year, hitting his only field goal attempt (from 32 yards) and all five of his extra points. Macomber has also averaged 39.2 yards on 12 punts, with a long of 50 yards and five kicks downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. In addition, he has averaged 63.2 yards on six kickoffs with three touchbacks. Macomber led the team in scoring last season with 56 points, hitting 12 of 15 field goals and 20 of 26 extra points. He also led the Patriot League in field goal percentage, while his 12 field goals made tied the school single-season record. Macomber's 13 career field goals made currently rank 10th all-time at Holy Cross.
Houghton Heads Up Ground Game
Senior tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) has returned to the starting lineup for the Crusaders this year. Last week against Brown, he led the team with 62 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Previously against New Hampshire, Houghton carried the ball seven times for a team-high 48 yards and also caught one pass for two yards. On the season, he has now rushed for 110 yards and a score on 22 carries. In 2011, Houghton led the team and ranked fifth in the Patriot League in rushing with 506 yards and four touchdowns on 86 carries. His top game in 2011 came in the season finale at Fordham, when he carried the ball 15 times for a career-best 153 yards and two scores. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Houghton has now rushed 215 times for 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns, while catching 19 passes for 111 yards.
Crusaders In The Patriot League
Heading into its 27th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 81-63 (.563) in conference action. The Crusaders won their last conference championship in 2009, clinching the title with a 28-26 victory over Lafayette to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. Holy Cross' six Patriot League championships (all of them outright) have come in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2009. The Crusaders are tied for the second-most championships in conference history, behind only Lehigh with 10 titles. In 2009, 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.
The Last Meeting With Dartmouth
Ryan Taggart rushed 23 times for 176 yards, and completed 29 of 41 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, to lead Holy Cross to a 25-17 victory over Dartmouth at Fitton Field on Oct. 15, 2011. Taggart set a new school single-game record for the most rushing yard by a quarterback, breaking the mark set by Jack Lentz against Richmond in 1964 with 173 yards. The Crusaders finished the game with 522 yards of total offense and 31 first downs, while holding Dartmouth to only 224 total yards. Tom Mannix led the Holy Cross defense with eight tackles and an interception, while Ricky Otis added seven tackles and a pass breakup. Dartmouth was led by tailback Nick Schwieger with 112 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. The Crusaders opened the scoring at the 9:56-mark of the first quarter on a 13-yard scoring strike from Taggart to Gerald Mistretta. Holy Cross increased its lead to 10-0 later in the quarter on a 23-yard field goal by John Macomber. The Big Green came back with a one-yard touchdown run by Schwieger in the second quarter, and trailed 10-7 at halftime. A three-yard touchdown run by Sam Auffant early in the third quarter increased the Crusaders' lead to 16-7. Dartmouth's Shaun Abuhoff returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards, to set up a 22-yard Foley Schmidt field goal. But Holy Cross drove right back down the field on its next possession, with Taggart throwing a one-yard touchdown pass to Alex Schneider to make the score 22-10. A 22-yard Macomber field goal late in the third quarter put the Crusaders up 25-10. The score remaining the same until there were just over two minutes to play, when Dartmouth's Conner Kempe threw a 13-yard scoring strike to Bo Patterson, making the final margin 25-17.
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years, but stands 0-2 at home so far in 2012. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 367-171-27 (.673). From Oct. 11, 2008-Oct. 9, 2010, Holy Cross had a streak of 13 straight victories at home. The Crusaders had a perfect 6-0 mark at Fitton Field in 2009, and finished the 2011 campaign with a winning record at home for the sixth straight season. 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).
Balanced Group Of Receivers Leads Holy Cross Offense
The Crusaders have a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game once again this season. Junior wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) currently leads the team with 16 catches for 128 yards through two games. He earned second team All-Patriot League honors last season after ranking second on the team with 45 receptions for 417 yards and two scores. Fess has now totaled 70 catches for 651 yards and two touchdowns during his collegiate career. Senior wide out Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has posted 13 receptions for a team-high 132 yards over the first two contests of the season. He was named first team All-Patriot League in 2011 after leading the team with 60 catches for 723 yards and six touchdowns. Over the course of his career at Holy Cross, Mistretta has now recorded 107 receptions for 1,360 yards and 10 scores. Junior wide out Kyle Toulouse (Arlington, Va.) has caught eight passes for 57 yards so far in 2011, after standing third on the squad with 40 catches for 472 yards and three touchdowns a year ago. Toulouse now has 56 receptions for 612 yards and three scores during his career as a Crusader. Junior wide out Jon Smith (Matawan, N.J.) has nine catches for 98 yards on the season, and now has 32 career receptions for 372 yards and one touchdown. In addition, junior wide receiver Nate Stanley (Euclid, Ohio) has made two catches for 10 yards this year, to bring his career totals to 20 receptions for 227 yards.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Tom Gilmore is now in his ninth season as the head football coach at Holy Cross in 2012. He has guided the Crusaders to an overall record of 51-40 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 48-32 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. In 2009, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 9-3, the Patriot League championship and a trip to the NCAA playoffs. A finalist for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Award, Gilmore has led the Crusaders to winning records in seven 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 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.
Schneider Shines At Tight End
Senior tight end Alex Schneider (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) is once again a key part of the Holy Cross passing game in 2012. Through the first two games of the season, Schneider has caught three passes for 17 yards, including a six-yard touchdown against Brown. In 11 games played last season, he ranked sixth on the team in receiving with 15 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Schneider previously earned first team All-Patriot League honors in 2010, when he stood fourth on the team with 30 receptions for 217 yards and a score. He was also named second team All-Patriot League in 2009, after ranking fourth on the team with 33 receptions for 275 yards, while his six touchdown catches were the second-most on the squad. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Schneider has now totaled 81 catches for 671 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Acquah & Tucker Playing Well Up Front
Junior defensive ends Gary Acquah (Bronx, N.Y.) and Mike Tucker (Chester Springs, Pa.) are both playing key roles along the Holy Cross defensive line this season. Tucker totaled three tackles in the season opener against New Hampshire, including two tackles for loss. Last season, he recorded 27 tackles and a pass breakup, while leading the team with nine sacks and earning second team All-Patriot League honors. Tucker posted a career-high three sacks at Bucknell in 2011, while making a career-best seven tackles with two sacks in the victory over Harvard. During his Holy Cross career, Tucker has now totaled 31 tackles and nine sacks. Acquah tied his career high with 10 tackles against New Hampshire, in addition to breaking up a pass and blocking an extra point. He then added three more tackles against Brown, and now has 13 total tackles on the season. Last year, Acquah led all Holy Cross defensive linemen with 40 total tackles, including two sacks and three tackles for loss. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 53 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss.
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. 15. Senior quarterback Kevin Watson (Belle Mead, N.J.) ranks second in the conference in both passing yards (247.0 yards/game) and total offense (264.0 yards/game), while standing fourth in scoring (6.0 points/game) and fifth in pass efficiency (114.7 rating). Junior wide out Mike Fess leads the league in receptions (8.0 catches/game) and ranks fifth in receiving yards (64.0 yards/game); senior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta stands second in receptions (6.5 catches/game) and fourth in receiving yards (66.0 yards/game); and junior placekicker John Macomber is third in punting (39.2 yards/punt) and fourth in field goals (0.5 made/game). In addition, junior wide receiver Kyle Toulouse and junior free safety Andrew Zitnik (Warren, Ohio) are tied for third in kickoff returns (19.0 yards/return); sophomore cornerback Ben Coffaro (Cincinnati, Ohio) and senior strong safety Tom Mannix are tied for fourth in interceptions (0.5 picks/game) and junior wide out Jon Smith stands fifth in receptions (4.5 catches/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in passing offense (250.5 yards/game) and ranks second in net punting (36.3 yards/punt).
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Seven Crusaders are ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 15. As a team, Holy Cross ranks 11th in the nation in fewest penalties, 20th in fewest penalty yards and 24th in passing yards. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Fewest Penalties||11||Holy Cross||4.0|
|Total Offense||20||Kevin Watson||264.0|
|Fewest Penalty Yards||20||Holy Cross||38.0|
|Passing Yards||20||Kevin Watson||247.0|
|Forced Fumbles||28||Scotty O'Donoghue||0.5|
|Total Tackles||46||Tom Mannix||9.5|
|Passes Defended||49||Tom Mannix||1.0|
Mannix, Mistretta, SanDoval & Whited Named Team Captains
Holy Cross will have four captains during the 2012 football season. Senior strong safety Tom Mannix, senior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta, senior linebacker Roman SanDoval (Allison Park, Pa.) and senior center Sean Whited (Canton, Ohio) 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 Mike McCabe, Ricky Otis and Mark Tolzien, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2011 season.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2012, Holy Cross will attempt to finish with a winning record for the eighth year in a row. The Crusaders concluded the 2010 and 2011 seasons with identical marks of 6-5, after going 9-3 in 2009 (marking only the ninth time the school history the team has won at least nine games). Holy Cross previously went 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and its 42-25 mark from 2006-2011 is its best in a six-year span since going 42-23-1 from 1989-1994. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 48-30 from 2005-2011. The last time the Crusaders posted a winning mark in seven straight seasons was from 1986-1992. Holy Cross is one of only 12 football championship subdivision teams in the nation to enter the 2012 campaign with at least seven straight winning seasons, along with Appalachian State, Drake, Harvard, Jacksonville State, James Madison, McNeese State, Montana, Montana State, New Hampshire, Northern Iowa and South Carolina State.
Holy Cross Picked Second In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2012 Crusaders were picked to finish in second place in the preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. Holy Cross received a total of 46 points in the poll, to go along with one first place vote. The rankings:
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||2011 Record||Points|
|1.||Lehigh (11)||11-2 / 6-0 PL||60|
|2.||Holy Cross (1)||6-5 / 4-2 PL||46|
|3.||Colgate||5-6 / 2-4 PL||36|
|4.||Georgetown (2)||8-3 / 4-2 PL||33|
|5.||Lafayette||4-7 / 2-4 PL||32|
|6.||Bucknell||6-5 / 3-3 PL||15|
Holy Cross Has Six Preseason All-Patriot League Selections
Six Crusaders were selected to the 2012 preseason All-Patriot League team, as selected by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Junior placekicker John Macomber, senior defensive tackle Jack Maliska, senior strong safety Tom Mannix, senior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta, junior linebacker Mike Tucker and senior center Sean Whited were the Holy Cross players named to the team. The Crusaders' six selections were the second-most in the league, behind only Lehigh with seven.
Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players have received preseason honors from various organizations heading into the 2012 campaign. Senior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta was selected as a third team All-American by the Beyond Sports Network. In addition, Mistretta, junior placekicker John Macomber, junior linebacker Mike Tucker and junior defensive back Andrew Zitnik were all selected to the College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists for the Football Championship Subdivision. Mistretta is a candidate for the Wide Receiver Award, Macomber is up for the Placekicker Award, Tucker is a candidate for the Linebacker Award and Zitnik is up for the Kick Returner Award.
Football Legends Ring Of Honor Inducts Third Class
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross honored three former football standouts on Aug. 30, as the third class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. Ronnie Cahill (Class of 1940), Pat McCarthy (Class of 1963) and Jeff Wiley (Class of 1989) were all honored in a ceremony prior to the New Hampshire game, and received 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 is an annual event each fall. Individuals who had previously been inducted into the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor include George Connor (Class of ex1946), Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Bruce Kozerski (Class of 1984), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Jon Morris (Class of 1964), Edmund Murphy (Class of 1943), Bill Osmanski (Class of 1939), Vince Promuto (Class of 1960), John Provost (Class of 1975) and Joe Wilson (Class of 1973).
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2012 campaign marks the 117th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 605-479-54, good for a .555 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2012 season, Holy Cross' 605 all-time victories ranked as the 14th 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.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2012 will air on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 42nd season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 26th 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. To Listen to the Crusaders' games free of charge over the internet, click 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 three games shown on live television during the 2012 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2012 campaign:
Sept. 22 vs. Dartmouth: Charter TV3
Oct. 20 at Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Oct. 27 vs. Fordham: Charter TV3
Live video streaming of all 2012 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. Season packages are also available for football only ($45.95) or all Holy Cross sports ($99.95). For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.
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 watch live. The show is carried through Crusader Vision at a cost of $1.95 per week, and is also included in season packages for the show only ($14.95), football only ($45.95) or all Holy Cross sports ($99.95). To view the Holy Cross Football Show, click here.
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Scouting The Big Green
Dartmouth enters this week's game with an overall record of 1-0 on the season, after defeating Butler 35-7 last week. Junior tailback Dominick Pierre led the Big Green with 170 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries against the Bulldogs, in addition to catching two passes for four yards. Sophomore quarterback Alex Park also played well last week, completing 15 of 20 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, while senior wide out Michael Reilly totaled four receptions for 92 yards and a score. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Michael Runger had a team-high seven tackles with one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery against Butler. Buddy Teevens is in the eighth year of his second stint as Dartmouth's head coach, with an overall record of 47-72-2. Teevens' career record stands at 89-149-2, including five seasons at Tulane (1992-1996) and three years at Stanford (2002-2004).
Senior linebacker Roman SanDoval made a career-best 13 total tackles during the season opener against New Hampshire, including one tackle for loss. He now ranks second on the team with 18 tackles through two games. Junior linebacker Scotty O'Donoghue (Tampa, Fla.) recorded a career-high 11 total tackles and one pass breakup against Brown. He currently ranks third on the team with 14 total tackles ... The season opener against New Hampshire on Aug. 30 marked the earliest in the year that the Crusaders had ever played a regular season game. Prior to this year, Holy Cross' earliest ever start to the season came on Sept. 1 (in both 2007 and 2011) ... Four Holy Cross players have returned to the team as fifth-year seniors in 2012: tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.), tight end Alex Schneider, quarterback Kevin Watson and center Sean Whited.