Oct. 16, 2004
HANOVER, N.H. - Senior tailback Steve Silva (East Providence, R.I.) ran for two touchdowns and junior quarterback John O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.) threw another to lead Holy Cross over Dartmouth 24-0 at Memorial Field. O'Neil completed 20 of 34 passes for 252 yards on the afternoon. The victory halted a 15-game losing streak for the Crusaders (1-5), which was Division I football's longest active streak before the game. Dartmouth (0-5) remains winless.
The Holy Cross defense posted its first shutout in over 13 years, as it held the Big Green scoreless. The last time the Crusaders had a shutout came on Sept. 28, 1991, when they downed Pennsylvania 45-0. Senior defensive end David Mitchell (Fort Worth, Texas) led the defense with three tackles, including an 18-yard sack, and a fumble recovery.
Holy Cross took a 10-0 lead in the first six minutes as Silva punched into Dartmouth's end zone from three yards out on Holy Cross' opening drive. Sophomore placekicker Michael DeSantis (Belle Mead, N.J.) added a career-long 41-yard field goal.
The Crusaders opened their lead to 17-0 on the first play of the second quarter with O'Neil's 20-yard scoring pass to junior wide receiver Sean Gruber (Covington, Ky.), ending a 12-play, 80-yard drive. Silva ran from two yards out to wrap up scoring with 14:03 left in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 52 yards on 21 carries.
The Big Green had just two first downs in the second half until the final minute of play. The Crusaders gained 340 yards, while Dartmouth managed just 276 yards.
Big Green quarterback Charlie Rittgers was 23 of 49 for 210 yards and no interceptions, but was sacked four times. Bob Murphy caught seven passes for 81 yards.
Holy Cross returns to action next Saturday, October 23, when it travels to Colgate for a 1:00 p.m. contest.