LEWISBURG, Pa. – Freshman quarterback Peter Pujals (Glenview, Ill.) accounted for 378 yards of total offense and six touchdowns, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 51-27 victory over Bucknell at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Pujals completed 19 of 29 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns, while carrying the ball 13 times for 80 yards and three more scores. The Crusaders improve to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the Patriot League with the win, while Bucknell falls to 1-4 on the season and 0-2 in the conference.
Holy Cross finished the game with 514 yards of total offense, while picking up 25 first downs and becoming the first team to score over 50 points against the Bison since 2008. Bucknell's offense was able to gain 423 yards, but was also forced to commit five turnovers.
The Crusaders opened the scoring at the 11:57-mark of the first quarter, when freshman linebacker Kyle Young (Roxbury, N.J.) intercepted a pass and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown. After senior cornerback Andrew Zitnik (Warren, Ohio) forced a fumble on Bucknell's next offensive play, Holy Cross capped a quick three-play drive with a seven-yard scoring run by Pujals. The Bison responded with a 42-yard touchdown pass from R.J. Nitti to Will Carter, before senior placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) kicked a 20-yard field goal to put the Crusaders up 17-7 after the first quarter.
Pujals scored his second touchdown of the day on a six-yard run early in the second quarter, and Holy Cross led 24-7. Bucknell came back with a one-yard scoring run by C.J. Williams, then Pujals threw a five-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Nate Stanley (Euclid, Ohio) to make the score 30-14. The Bison were able to add a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nitti to Kyle Sullivan just before halftime, and the Crusaders were up 30-21 at the break.
Holy Cross opened the third quarter with a 10-yard scoring run by Pujals to make the score 37-21. Following a 14-yard Bucknell touchdown pass from Nitti to Williams, Pujals hit sophomore wide out Kalif Raymond (Lawrenceville, Ga.) for a 14-yard score to put the Crusaders up 44-27 after three quarters.
Early in the fourth quarter, Pujals tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to junior wide out Tyler Artim (Whitehall, Pa.) to conclude the scoring.
Stanley finished the day with a team-best five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown, while Raymond added four receptions for 73 yards and a score. Sophomore strong safety Matt Bhaya (Haddonfield, N.J.) led the Crusader defense with 10 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.
Holy Cross returns to action next Saturday, Oct . 19, when it plays host to Colgate in a contest which will be shown live on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 12:00 p.m.