January 4, 2006

Nine Crusaders Honored By The Sports XChange

Jan. 4, 2006

WORCESTER, Mass. - Nine Holy Cross football players have been honored by the Sports XChange on its 2005 All-America and All-Patriot League teams. Senior tailback Steve Silva (East Providence, R.I.) led the way, as he was named a first team All-American as a punt returner and the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. Silva was also selected first team All-Patriot League as both a running back and a return specialist, and was joined on the all-conference first team by senior center David Cannon (Export, Pa.), senior tight end Luke Dugan (Maple Plain, Minn.) and senior quarterback John O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.). Junior linebacker Dan Adams (Springfield, Va.), junior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.), senior wide receiver Sean Gruber (Richwood, Ky.), junior punter Ryan McManaway (Ferdinand, Ind.) and senior offensive guard Andrew Schoepfer (Waterford, Conn.) all earned second team All-Patriot League honors from the Sports XChange.

Silva was previously selected as a first team All-American by the Sports Network, the American Football Coaches Association and Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette, and a second team All-American by the Associated Press. He was named the National Special Teams Player of the Year by Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette, while placing 13th in the voting for the 2005 Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the top player in Division I-AA. Silva was also named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Year, in addition to being a first team All-Patriot League, All-New England and All-ECAC selection. He totaled 2,134 all-purpose yards this season, rushing for 913 yards and 11 touchdowns on 189 carries, catching 54 passes for 364 yards and a score, returning 19 kickoffs for 462 yards and a touchdown, and bringing back 22 punts for 395 yards and two scores. Silva led in the nation in all-purpose yards, while ranking third in punt returns, 10th in scoring, 26th in kickoff returns, 34th in receptions and 34th in rushing yards. He also led the Patriot League in all-purpose yards, receptions and punt returns, while standing second in scoring, and third in rushing and kickoff returns.

Cannon was previously named first team All-Patriot League, first team All-New England and third team All-Northeast Region, after being a second team all-conference selection in 2004. He started all 11 games for the Crusaders at center this season, leading an offensive line which paved the way for Holy Cross to rush for 127.6 yards per game, while supplying pass protection for the Crusaders to throw for 202.2 yards per contest. Dating back to the 2003 season, Cannon started the final 32 games of his Holy Cross career at center.

Dugan was a first team All-Patriot League and third team All-Northeast Region selection, after finishing the 2004 campaign with 28 receptions for 373 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He easily led all Patriot League tight ends in receiving this season, as no one else in the league had more than 18 catches or 163 receiving yards. He also developed into a key blocker along the offensive line which allowed Holy Cross to average 28.8 points and 329.8 total yards per game. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Dugan totaled 45 receptions for 575 yards and five touchdowns.

O'Neil completed 187 of 336 passes on the season for 2,074 yards and 17 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. He also rushed 71 times for 144 yards, and caught two passes for 24 yards and a pair of scores. O'Neil led the Patriot League in touchdown passes and total passing yards, while becoming only the third player in Holy Cross history to throw for over 2,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, O'Neil completed 596 of 1,067 passes for 6,670 yards and 54 touchdowns. He ends his career ranked third all-time at Holy Cross in career passing yards, touchdown passes, completions, attempts and yards of total offense (7,156), while standing fourth in completion percentage (55.9).

Adams led the Holy Cross defense with 115 total tackles on the season, including 97 solo stops, four tackles for loss and one sack. He finished the year as the national leader in solo tackles with an average of 8.8 per game, while ranking 21st in the country in total tackles. Adams' top game of the season came on Oct. 22 against Colgate, when he set a career high with 21 solo tackles, the most tackles in a game by a Crusader since the 1993 season. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, he has now totaled 208 total tackles, 166 solo stops and six tackles for loss.

Gough was named second team All-Patriot League after ranking fourth on the team with 45 total tackles this year, including 40 solo stops and three tackles for loss. He tied for the team lead with three interceptions for 53 yards and a touchdown, while ranking second on the squad with six pass breakups. In addition, Gough had nine kickoff returns for 305 yards and a touchdown, good for an average of 33.9 yards per return. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Gough now has 93 total tackles (81 solo), four interceptions and 14 pass breakups, in addition to returning 24 kickoffs for 738 yards (30.8 yard average).

Gruber was a second team All-Patriot League selection after leading the team with 598 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns this season, while averaging 16.2 yards on his 37 catches. He also ranked second on the team in scoring with 60 points, including one rushing touchdown. In addition, Gruber led the Patriot League in touchdown catches, while placing fifth in the conference in both receiving yards and scoring. He finishes his Holy Cross career with 122 receptions for 1,871 yards and 22 touchdowns. Gruber is the Crusaders' all-time leader in touchdown receptions, while ranking fifth in receiving yards and ninth in total catches.

McManaway was a second team All-Patriot League selection after punting 51 times for 1,837 yards this season, good for an average of 36.0 yards per punt. He placed 12 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line, while forcing 14 fair catches and allowing the opposition to average only 7.0 yards on 19 punt returns all year. In three seasons as the Crusaders' starting punter, McManaway has now punted 155 times for 5,343 yards. He has averaged 34.5 yards per punt during his collegiate career, dropping 27 kicks inside the 20-yard line.

Schoepfer was named second team All-Patriot League and third team All-Northeast Region, after starting all 11 games for the Crusaders at right guard this season, as part an offensive line which paved the way for Holy Cross to rush for 127.6 yards per game, while supplying pass protection for the Crusaders to throw for 202.2 yards per contest. He has now started 22 consecutive games for Holy Cross on the offensive line, and has started a total of 24 contests during his career as a Crusader.

Holy Cross concluded the 2005 season with an overall record of 6-5, while placing fourth in the Patriot League with a 3-3 mark in conference games.

To view the 2005 Sports XChange All-America team, click here.

To view the 2005 Sports XChange All-Patriot League team, click here.