SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant placekicker Tom Alberti kicked a 30-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, to lift the Bulldogs to a 17-16 victory over the Holy Cross football team at Bulldog Stadium. The Crusaders open the season 0-1 with the loss, while Bryant begins the year 1-0.
Bryant held a 476-306 advantage in yards of total offense on the afternoon. The Bulldogs rushed for 153 yards on 43 carries, while holding Holy Cross to -3 rushing yards on 24 attempts. The Crusaders also committed four turnovers on the day, while Bryant gave the ball away only twice.
Holy Cross opened the scoring at the 11:23-mark of the first quarter, when senior wide receiver Kyle Toulouse (Arlington, Va.) returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown. The Bulldogs responded later in the quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Mike Westerhaus to Jose Depadua to claim a 7-6 lead. Bryant would add a 30-yard scoring strike from Westerhaus to Chad Ward in the second quarter, to take a 14-6 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, junior wide receiver Tyler Artim (Whitehall, Pa.) caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Steven Elder (San Antonio, Texas) to make the score 14-13. The Crusaders then reclaimed the lead later in the third quarter on a 28-yard field goal by senior placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.).
The score would remain the same until late in the fourth quarter, when Alberti kicked the game-winning field goal to put the Bulldogs back in front. Holy Cross was able to drive to the Bryant 26-yard line on its last possession, but Macomber's 43-yard field goal attempt was wide left on the final play of the game.
Freshman tailback Gabe Guild (Overland Park, Kan.) led the Crusader offense with seven receptions for 98 yards and eight carries for 12 yards, while Artim added four receptions for 71 yards and a score. Sophomore strong safety Matt Bhaya (Haddonfield, N.J.) totaled seven tackles, an interception and three pass breakups for the Holy Cross defense, and junior cornerback Ben Coffaro (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with six tackles, an interception and two pass breakups.
Holy Cross returns to action next Saturday, Sept. 7, when it plays host to Towson at 1:00 p.m.