Crusaders To Face Monmouth Under The Lights
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-2, 0-0 PL) vs. Monmouth (0-3)
Date: September 21, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Gordie Lockbaum, color; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
The Series With Monmouth
This will be the first-ever meeting between the Crusaders and the Hawks on the gridiron. Against schools from New Jersey, Holy Cross stands 14-15 all-time with marks of 11-8 against Rutgers and 3-7 vs. Princeton. Monmouth has an all-time record of 4-9 against current members of the Patriot League (2-0 against Georgetown, 1-0 vs. Fordham, 1-3 against Colgate, 0-1 vs. Lafayette and 0-5 against Lehigh).
Series Quick Facts
Overall: First Meeting
In Worcester: First Meeting
At Fitton Field: First Meeting
Current Win Streak: None
Tom Gilmore vs. Monmouth: 0-0
Kevin Callahan vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Let There Be Light
This week's game against Monmouth will mark only the third contest to ever take place under the lights at Fitton Field. In the 118 years of Crusader football only two other night games have been played on the Holy Cross campus, coming on Sept. 1, 2011 (against Massachusetts), and Aug. 30, 2012 (against New Hampshire). The Crusaders are not strangers to playing games under the lights, as they have played seven night games over the last six seasons. The Crusaders have taken part in a total of 19 night games in their history which are on record, with the first coming at Louisiana State on Oct. 5, 1940.
Football Legends Ring Of Honor Inductions Set For This Week
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross will honor three former football standouts on Sept. 21, as the fourth class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. Tom Greene (Class of 1959), Dave Quehl (Class of 1976) and Johnny Turco (Class of 1952) will all be honored in a ceremony prior to the Monmouth game, and receive 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 have previously been inducted into the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor include Ronnie Cahill (Class of 1940), George Connor (Class of ex1946), Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Bruce Kozerski (Class of 1984), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Pat McCarthy (Class of 1963), 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), Jeff Wiley (Class of 1989) and Joe Wilson (Class of 1973).
Crusaders Run Wild
During last Saturday's 52-21 victory at Central Connecticut, Holy Cross ran the ball 72 times for 419 yards. The Crusaders tied the school single-game record with their 72 rushing attempts, while their 419 rushing yards were their most since running for 583 yards on 72 carries against Columbia on Oct. 29, 1983. Holy Cross also picked up 28 of its 33 total first downs against the Blue Devils on the ground, breaking the Patriot League single-game record of 23 rushing first downs which had been accomplished four times before. The Crusaders' 419 rushing yards also tied for the third-most in the nation by any team in the football championship subdivision so far this season.
SanDoval Steps Up In Final Year
Fifth-year senior linebacker Roman SanDoval (Allison Park, Pa.) is once again among of the top players on the Holy Cross defense this year. Through three games played, SanDoval leads the team with 20 total tackles, including 17 solo stops and one tackle for loss. Last week at Central Connecticut, he made five tackles and returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown. SanDoval previously posted eight tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup against Towson, after making seven tackles at Bryant. Last year, he totaled 75 tackles, including three sacks and five tackles for loss. During last year's Fordham game, SanDoval posted 11 tackles with one pass breakup. Earlier in 2012 at Lafayette, he recorded nine tackles with a quarterback sack and a pass breakup. In 2011, SanDoval recorded 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 150 total tackles, four sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Fess Keeps Making Catches
Senior wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) is once again among the top players on the Holy Cross offense this year. In three games so far this season, Fess leads the team with 15 receptions for 192 yards and three scores. Last week at Central Connecticut, he totaled five catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Fess previously caught four passes for 48 yards at Bryant, and had six catches for 81 yards and a score against Towson. In 2012, he led the team with 80 catches for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games played. Fess' 80 total receptions on the year were the second-most ever by a Crusader in a single season, behind only Ari Confesor's 90 catches in 2003. During last season's Wagner game, he led the team with six receptions for 101 yards. Earlier last year against Lehigh, Fess caught 10 passes for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also played well against Fordham in 2012, posting eight receptions for a career-high 139 yards and two scores. In 2011, Fess earned second team All-Patriot League honors after ranking second on the team with 45 receptions for 417 yards and two scores. He has now totaled 149 catches for 1,510 yards and nine touchdowns during his collegiate career. Fess currently ranks fifth all-time at Holy Cross in career receptions, and needs 42 more catches to break the all-time school record.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2013 campaign marks the 118th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 608-488-54, good for a .552 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2013 season, Holy Cross' 607 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.
Acquah & Tucker Play Well Up Front
Senior defensive end Gary Acquah (Bronx, N.Y.) and senior outside linebacker Mike Tucker (Chester Springs, Pa.) are both playing key roles along the Holy Cross defensive front this year. Acquah currently ranks fifth on the team with 16 total tackles so far this season. He tied for the team lead with eight tackles against Towson, and also posted five tackles at Bryant. A second team All-Patriot League selection last year, Acquah recorded 54 total tackles, two sacks and seven tackles for loss in 2012. A few of his top games last year were against New Hampshire (career-high 10 tackles, pass breakup, blocked extra point), Lafayette (eight tackles) and Harvard (seven tackles). In 2011, 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 110 tackles, four sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Tucker has made three tackles so far this season, and also recorded a fumble recovery in the victory over Central Connecticut. He totaled 28 tackles last year, with a team-best nine tackles for loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. In 2011, Tucker recorded 27 tackles and a pass breakup, while leading the team with nine sacks and earning second team All-Patriot League honors. He posted a career-high three sacks at Bucknell in 2011, while making a career-best seven tackles with two sacks in the 2011 victory over Harvard. During his Holy Cross career, Tucker has now totaled 62 tackles, 11 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
The Quarterback Combo
Junior quarterbacks Steven Elder (San Antonio, Texas) and Ryan Laughlin (Glen Mills, Pa.) give the Crusaders a pair of experienced options under center. Laughlin has started the last two weeks, and has connected on 21 of 44 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns so far this season, while rushing 24 times for 100 yards and a score. Last week at Central Connecticut, he hit on seven of 14 passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed 15 times for 64 yards and a score. In the previous game against Towson, Laughlin completed 14 of 30 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, while rushing eight times for 35 yards. A year ago, he connected on 81 of 132 attempts for 752 yards and six scores, while ranking third on the team in rushing with 144 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries. Elder completed 23 of 41 attempts for 309 yards and a touchdown in the season opener at Bryant, before missing the last two games due to injury. In 2012, he led the team by hitting on 106 of 173 attempts for 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns. A few of Elder's top games last year came against Wagner (16 of 25 for 234 yards and a touchdown), Lehigh (12 of 17 for 133 yards and two scores) and Colgate (24 of 39 for 313 yards and two touchdowns).
Macomber Heads Up Kicking Game
Senior John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) is once again handling all of the kicking duties for Holy Cross this year. In three games played, he has averaged 43.1 yards on 14 punts, with six fair catches and four kicks downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line. Macomber has also scored 15 points so far this season, hitting two of three field goal attempts and nine of 10 extra points. In addition, he has averaged 62.1 yards on 15 kickoffs with three touchbacks. Macomber's top game so far this year came at Central Connecticut, when he scored 10 points and booted a career-long 63-yard punt. In 2012, he earned second team All-Patriot League honors as both a placekicker and a punter. Macomber ranked second on the team with 55 points scored last year, hitting 10 of 13 field goal attempts (including a long of 46 yards) and 25 of 26 extra points. He also averaged 40.9 yards on 62 punts in 2012, with a long of 59 yards and 23 kicks downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. In addition, Macomber averaged 62.4 yards on 47 kickoffs with 21 touchbacks last year. He led the team in scoring during the 2011 season with 56 points, hitting 12 of 15 field goals and 20 of 26 extra points. Macomber also led the Patriot League in field goal percentage in 2011, while his 12 field goals made tied the school single-season record. Over the course of his career as a Crusaders, Macomber has now made 24 of 31 field goals and 54 of 62 extra points, for a total of 126 points scored. His 24 career field goals made currently rank third all-time at Holy Cross.
Raymond Heads Up Return Game
Sophomore wide receiver Kalif Raymond (Lawrenceville, Ga.) has returned to his role as the Crusaders' top kickoff and punt returner this year. After missing the first two games of the season due to injury, he totaled 77 all-purpose yards at Central Connecticut, including three kickoff returns for 45 yards and one punt return for seven yards. Last year, Raymond earned first team All-Patriot League honors as a return specialist. He brought back 32 kickoffs for 777 yards and a touchdown last year (good for an average of 24.3 yards per return), in addition to returning 19 punts for 101 yards. During the 2012 game at Lafayette, he returned a kickoff 80 yards for his first career touchdown. Earlier last season at Colgate, Raymond brought back eight kickoffs for 178 yards, to place third on the all-time Holy Cross single-game list for kickoff return yards. He also totaled a career-best 191 all-purpose yards at Harvard in 2012, to earn Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors.
Veterans Anchor Offensive Line
Holy Cross boasts a great deal of experience along the offensive line this season, including four players with at least 10 career starts. In three games played so far this year, the line paved the way for the Crusaders to average 363.7 total yards, 176.7 rushing yards and 25.0 point per game. Fifth-year senior left guard Casey Bessemer (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) leads the team with 25 consecutive games started and 36 career games played. Fifth-year senior left tackle Kyle Pedretty (Dunedin, Fla.) owns 25 starts in 26 career games played, and senior right tackle Blake Berresford (Montoursville, Pa.) has started all 16 of his career games played. The starting lineup is rounded out by senior center Jay Knighton (Pottstown, Pa.) with 21 career games played and 10 starts, and junior right guard Ryan Schnieber (Cincinnati, Ohio) with three starts in three games played.
Freshmen Make Presence Felt
Several freshman have found their way into the Holy Cross lineup during their first season of collegiate competition. Freshman tailback Gabe Guild (Overland Park, Kan.) currently ranks second on the team in rushing with 108 yards on 29 carries, and also stands second on the team in receiving with 10 catches for 158 yards and a score. Last week at Central Connecticut, he scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 39-yard reception. Freshman tailback Brendan Flaherty (Beverly, Mass.) has also found his way into the lineup, rushing the ball five times for 27 times and a score during last week's game at Central Connecticut. Freshman linebacker Kyle Young (Roxbury, N.J.) has become a factor, earning his first collegiate start against the Blue Devils a week ago. He led the team with 10 total tackles in that contest, and has now totaled 12 tackles on the year. In addition, freshman wide receiver Jake Wieczorek (Cumming, Ga.) has become a key factor in the return game, bringing back seven kickoffs for 124 yards and two punts for 23 yards.
Crusaders In The Patriot League
Looking ahead to its 28th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 83-67 (.553) 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.
Holy Cross Attempts To Post Another Winning Season
In 2013, the Crusaders will attempt to finish with a winning record for the eighth time in a nine-year span. The Crusaders had a streak of seven straight winning seasons snapped last year, when they went just 2-9 overall. 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 in 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 was 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 had an overall mark of 48-30 from 2005-2011. Prior to that seven-year run, the last time the Crusaders posted a winning mark in seven straight seasons was from 1986-1992.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Tom Gilmore is now in his 10th season as the head football coach at Holy Cross in 2013. He has guided the Crusaders to an overall record of 54-49 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 51-41 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 led the Crusaders to winning records in seven straight seasons from 2005-2011, 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.
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years, but stands 0-1 at home so far in 2013. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 368-175-27 (.669). 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).
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Four Crusaders are ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 14. As a team, Holy Cross stands fourth in the nation in punt returns, 11th in punt coverage and 14th in net punting. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Passes Defended||4||Matt Bhaya||2.0|
|Punt Returns||4||Holy Cross||23.6|
|Punt Coverage||11||Holy Cross||0.8|
|Net Punting||11||Holy Cross||40.0|
|First Downs||18||Holy Cross||22.0|
|Solo Tackles||44||Matt Bhaya||5.7|
|Field Goals Made||46||John Macomber||0.7|
Crusaders Among League Leaders
Three Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Sept. 14. Senior kicker John Macomber leads the league in punting (43.1 yards/punt) and ranks fourth in field goals (0.7 made/game). In addition, sophomore strong safety Matt Bhaya (Haddonfield, N.J.) and junior cornerback Ben Coffaro (Cincinnati, Ohio) are tied for fourth in interceptions (0.3 picks/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in punt returns (23.6 yards/return) and net punting (40.0 yards/punt); stands second in first downs (22.0 first downs/game) and third down conversion defense (42.9 percent); and ranks third in rushing offense (176.7 yards/game) and rushing defense (200.3 yards/game).
Acquah & Fess Named Captains
Holy Cross has two captains for the 2013 football season. Senior defensive end Gary Acquah and senior wide receiver Mike Fess were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. These two players have taken over the leadership role from Tom Mannix, Gerald Mistretta, Roman SanDoval and Sean Whited, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2012 campaign.
Crusaders Earn Six Spots On Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Holy Cross players claimed six spots on the 2013 preseason All-Patriot League team, as selected by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Senior John Macomber was named to the team twice, as both a placekicker and a punter. He was joined on the squad by senior Gary Acquah (defensive line), senior Mike Fess (wide receiver), senior Kyle Pedretty (offensive line) and sophomore Kalif Raymond (return specialist). The Crusaders' six selections to the preseason All-Patriot League team were the most in the conference.
Holy Cross Picked Third In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2013 Crusaders were picked to finish in third place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. Holy Cross received a total of 35 points in the poll, to trail only Colgate and Lehigh. The rankings:
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||2012 Record||Points|
|1.||Colgate (8)||8-4 / 6-0 PL||68|
|2.||Lehigh (6)||10-1 / 5-1 PL||56|
|3.||Holy Cross||2-9 / 2-4 PL||35|
|4.||Lafayette||5-6 / 2-4 PL||32|
|5.||Georgetown||5-6 / 2-4 PL||26|
|6.||Bucknell||3-8 / 1-5 PL||15|
Crusaders Bring In Several Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players received preseason honors from various organizations heading into the 2013 campaign. Senior wide receiver Mike Fess led the way, being named a second team All-American by USA College Football. Senior placekicker and punter John Macomber was selected to the watch list for the Fred Mitchell Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate placekicker at any level outside of the football bowl subdivision. In addition, Macomber, senior defensive end Gary Acquah and sophomore wide receiver Kalif Raymond were all selected to the College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists for the Football Championship Subdivision. Macomber is a candidate for the Placekicker Award, Acquah is up for the Defensive Lineman Award and Raymond is a candidate for the All-Purpose Performer Award.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2013 will air on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 43rd season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 27th year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standouts Tom Kelleher, Gordie Lockbaum and John O'Neill will serve as the color commentators for selected games this season. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet by clicking 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 four games shown on live television during the 2013 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2013 campaign:
Oct. 5 vs. Harvard: Charter TV3
Oct. 19 vs. Colgate: CBS Sports Network
Oct. 26 vs. Lafayette: Charter TV3
Nov. 9 at Lehigh: Service Electric
Live video streaming of most 2013 Holy Cross regular season home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Campus Insiders as part of the Patriot League Network, is available free of charge. 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 11:30 a.m.-12:00 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 free of charge. For more details, click here.
Crusaders On Social Media
Updates on Holy Cross football can be found through the Holy Cross Athletics pages on the following social media networks:
Facebook: Holy Cross Athletics
Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross football team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, click here.
Scouting The Hawks
Monmouth enters this week's game with an overall record of 0-3 on the season. The Hawks are coming off a 28-25 loss against Lehigh last week. Junior tailback Julian Hayes currently leads the team with 287 rushing yards and a touchdown on 60 carries. Junior quarterback Brandon Hill has completed 54 of 89 passes for 653 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions, while senior wide receiver Neal Sterling has caught
19 passes for 165 yards and one score. On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Gary Oneukwusi has made a team-best 21 tackles so far this season, while senior linebacker Dave Damirgian has added 20 tackles with three tackles for loss and three pass breakups. Head coach Kevin Callahan is in his 21st season at the helm of the Monmouth program, where he has an overall record of 114-94. The only head coach in Monmouth's history and a three-time Northeast Conference Coach of the Year, Callahan previously spent time as an assistant at Colgate, Wagner and Syracuse.
Senior tailback Reggie Woods (Bowie, Md.) ran the ball 24 times for a career-high 153 yards during last week's victory at Central Connecticut ... Senior linebacker Tyler Zeoli (King of Prussia, Pa.) totaled seven tackles with two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble during the Central Connecticut game. He is now tied for the team lead with 18 total tackles on the season ... Sophomore strong safety Matt Bhaya has recorded a team-best five pass breakup so far this season, to go along with 18 total tackles and an interception ... Junior wide receiver Tyler Artim (Whitehall, Pa.) caught four passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in the season opener at Bryant, and now ranks third on the team with seven receptions for 106 yards ... Junior free safety Sam Jones (Canal Winchester, Ohio) ranks eighth on the team with 12 tackles so far this year, with one sack and a team-high three tackles for loss ... Senior defensive end Gary Acquah has been named a candidate for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to enriching the lives of others while contributing to the greater good of their communities ... Four Holy Cross players have returned to the team as fifth-year seniors in 2013: offensive guard Casey Bessemer, offensive guard Billy Lang (Millersville, Md.), offensive tackle Kyle Pedretty and linebacker Roman SanDoval.