Crusaders Head To Harvard On Friday Night
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-3, 0-0 PL) vs. Harvard (2-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: September 28, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Harvard Stadium (30,323), Cambridge, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: www.GoCrimson.com
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: www.GoCrimson.com
Series Record: Harvard leads, 39-24-2
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 30, Harvard 22; September 17, 2011; Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Harvard
This will be the 66th meeting between the Crusaders and the Crimson on the gridiron, with Harvard leading the all-time series 39-24-2. Holy Cross has won three of the last five games in the series, but prior to that the Crimson had been victorious in nine out of 10 contests. For all games played at Harvard Stadium, the Crimson hold a 32-17-2 lead in the series, with five straight wins and seven victories in the last eight meetings. Holy Cross' Tom Gilmore stands 3-5 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, 39-24-2
In Cambridge: Harvard leads, 32-17-2
At Harvard Stadium: Harvard leads, 32-17-2
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, one game
Tom Gilmore vs. Harvard: 3-5
Tim Murphy vs. Holy Cross: 12-5
In Overtime: Harvard leads, 1-0
Coach To Cure MD
This weekend, from Sept. 27-29, college football coaches around the nation will take part in Coach to Cure MD, a national charity project of the American Football Coaches Association. To show their support, members of the Crusader coaching staff will wear a Coach to Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines during the Harvard game. Coach to Cure MD will raise awareness and research funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most prolific genetic killer diagnosed in childhood. Football fans can donate to Duchenne muscular dystrophy research by either going online to 'CoachtoCureMD.org' or by texting the word 'CURE' to 90999 (a $5.00 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill and standard text message rates apply). Last year, more than 10,000 college coaches at 505 different institutions participated in Coach To Cure MD events. The four-year fundraising total for Coach to Cure MD is just over $1 million.
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 15-12 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, including an 0-2 record so far this season. The 15-12 mark over the last nine years includes a 7-2 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 108-141-9 (31-23-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 36-36-4 vs. Dartmouth, 24-39-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).
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. Through the first three games of the season, he has played 105 snaps as an offensive guard, 39 snaps as a defensive tackle and 12 snaps on special teams. Maliska has started two games on defense and one game on offense, including starts on both sides of the ball against Dartmouth on Sept. 22. He has recorded one solo tackle on defense, and has been on the field for three of the team's six touchdown drives on offense. 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.
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 12 points on the year, hitting both of his field goal attempts (including a long of 46 yards) and all six of his extra points. Macomber has also averaged 39.4 yards on 18 punts, with a long of 50 yards and six kicks downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. In addition, he has averaged 63.8 yards on nine kickoffs with six 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 14 career field goals made currently rank ninth all-time at Holy Cross.
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 Dartmouth, he totaled four tackles and intercepted a pass. Previously against Brown, Mannix led the team with 14 solo tackles and an interception. He also totaled five tackles and a pass breakup against New Hampshire, and now has 23 tackles and a team-best two interceptions 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 161 tackles, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and 17 pass breakups.
SanDoval Steps Up In Senior Year
Senior linebacker Roman SanDoval (Allison Park, Pa.) has been one of the top players on the Holy Cross defense so far this season. During last week's game against Dartmouth, SanDoval led the team with a career-high 14 total tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack. Previously against New Hampshire, he posted a team-high 13 tackles with one tackle for loss. On the season, SanDoval now leads the team with 32 tackles, including a sack and three tackles for loss. Last year, he totaled 15 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss in the first three games, before missing the remainder of the season due to injury. Over the course of his collegiate career, SanDoval now has 87 total tackles, two sacks and six tackles for loss.
Houghton Heads Up Ground Game
Senior tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) is once again a key part of the Crusaders' offense this season. Last week against Dartmouth, Houghton rushed 16 times for a team-high 55 yards and a score, while catching one pass for five yards. In the previous game against Brown, he led the team with 62 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Houghton also played well against New Hampshire, carrying the ball seven times for a team-high 48 yards and catching one pass for two yards. On the season, he has now rushed for 165 yards and two scores on 38 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 231 times for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns, while catching 20 passes for 116 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 Harvard
Ryan Taggart completed 22 of 35 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown, to lead Holy Cross to a 30-22 victory over Harvard at Fitton Field on Sept. 17, 2011. Taggart also rushed nine times for 34 yards and a score, and received the Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy as the MVP of the Crusaders' Homecoming game. The Crusader defense forced three turnovers on the day, while holding Harvard to 372 yards of total offense. Andrew Zitnik led the way with nine tackles and an interception, while Mike Tucker added seven tackles and two sacks. Holy Cross opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal by John Macomber. Harvard came back with touchdowns on its next two possessions to go up 14-3. Collier Winters ran four yards for the first score, then Winters tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk early in the second quarter. The Crusaders responded with Taggart throwing a 68-yard scoring strike to Josh Hauser. Taggart then added a one-yard scoring run, before a 27-yard Macomber field goal gave Holy Cross a 20-14 halftime lead. Neither team scored again until late in the third quarter, when Macomber booted a 37 yard field goal to make it 23-14. The Crimson were then threatening early in the fourth quarter, when Zitnik intercepted a Winters pass and returned in 97 yards for a touchdown to make the score 30-14. On Harvard's next possession, Winters threw a 46-yard scoring pass to Alex Sarkisian and then ran for a two-point conversion to make it 30-22. The Crimson drove into Holy Cross territory one last time, but Chandler Fenner intercepted a Winters pass to ice the victory.
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years, but stands 0-3 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 367-172-27 (.672). 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 19 catches for 143 yards through three 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 73 catches for 666 yards and two touchdowns during his collegiate career. Senior wide out Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has posted 16 receptions for a team-high 146 yards over the first three 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 110 receptions for 1,374 yards and 10 scores. Junior wide out Kyle Toulouse (Arlington, Va.) has caught 14 passes for 92 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 62 receptions for 647 yards and three scores during his career as a Crusader. Junior wide out Jon Smith (Matawan, N.J.) has 10 catches for 105 yards on the season, and now has 33 career receptions for 379 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 51-41 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 48-33 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 three games of the season, Schneider has caught four passes for 21 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 82 catches for 675 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 has totaled six tackles so far this year, 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 34 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 also made six tackles against Dartmouth, and now has 19 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 59 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss.
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 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 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. 22. Junior wide out Mike Fess leads the conference in receptions (6.3 catches/game), while senior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta stands second in receptions (5.3 catches/game). Junior wide out Kyle Toulouse ranks fourth in kickoff returns (20.1 yards/return) and fifth in receptions (4.7 catches/game), while junior placekicker John Macomber is fourth in field goals (0.7 made/game) and fifth in punting (39.4 yards/punt). In addition, senior strong safety Tom Mannix stands second in interceptions (0.7 picks/game), senior tailback Eddie Houghton ranks fourth in rushing (55.0 yards/game) and sophomore quarterback Ryan Laughlin (Glen Mills, Pa.) is fifth in pass efficiency (92.2 rating). As a team, Holy Cross ranks third in the league in both kickoff returns (21.4 yards/return) and net punting (34.6 yards/punt).
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Six Crusaders are ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 22. As a team, Holy Cross ranks ninth in the nation in fewest penalties and 16th in fewest penalty yards. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Fewest Penalties||9||Holy Cross||4.3|
|Passes Defended||9||Logan Silver||1.7|
|Fewest Penalty Yards||16||Holy Cross||40.3|
|Total Tackles||25||Roman SanDoval||10.7|
|Forced Fumbles||44||Scotty O'Donoghue||0.3|
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 (Warren, Ohio) 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.
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.
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 605-480-54, 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 Crimson
Harvard enters this week's game with an overall record of 2-0 on the season, including a 1-0 mark in the Ivy League. The Crimson defeated San Diego 28-13 in their season opener, before posting a 45-31 victory at Brown last week. Senior quarterback Colton Chapple has completed 46 of 69 passes for 560 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, in addition to running for 60 yards and a score on 23 carries. Senior tailback Treavor Scales has a team-best 309 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 37 carries, while senior tight end Kyle Juszczyk has a team-high 12 receptions for 140 yards and a score. On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Bobby Schneider leads the Crimson with 18 tackles, one sack, two pass breakups and three tackles for loss. Head coach Tim Murphy is in his 19th season at the helm of the Harvard program, where he has a record of 122-59. Murphy's career record stands at 154-104-1, including five seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati and two years as head coach at Maine.
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 21 total tackles ... Sophomore free safety Logan Silver (Eugene, Ore.) totaled two tackles, a sack, an interception and two pass breakups against Dartmouth. On the season, he has now recorded 11 tackles, one sack, one interception and a team-best four pass breakups ... Prior to the Sept. 22 contest against Dartmouth, Holy Cross honored members of its 1987 team on the 25th anniversary of their perfect 11-0 season ... 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 (Belle Mead, N.J.) and center Sean Whited.