Holy Cross Set To Face Harvard On Homecoming Weekend

Sept. 10, 2007

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Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-1, 0-0 PL) vs. Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: September 15, 2007
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Television: WCTR TV-3, Worcester; Kevin Shea, play-by-play; Andy Lacombe, color; Brianne Mallaghan, sidelines
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
Harvard Radio: WWZN 1510 AM, Boston; Bernie Corbett, play-by-play; Mike Giardi, color
Series Record: Harvard leads, 37-21-2
Last Meeting: Harvard 31, Holy Cross 14, September 16, 2006, Cambridge, Mass.

The Series With Harvard
This will be the 61st meeting between the Crusaders and the Crimson on the gridiron, with Harvard leading the all-time series 37-21-2. Harvard has won the last five meetings and nine of the last 10, with the only Holy Cross victory during that time coming on Sept. 16, 2000, in Cambridge (27-25). For all games played at Fitton Field, the Crimson hold a 7-4 lead in the series, with five straight wins. The last time the Crusaders defeated Harvard in Worcester came during the 1992 season, when Holy Cross won by a score of 30-7. Holy Cross' Tom Gilmore is looking for his first victory against Harvard as a head coach, although he does have an 8-8 record against the Crimson as an assistant coach (at Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth and Lehigh), and a 2-2 mark as a player (at Pennsylvania).

Series Quick Facts
Overall: Harvard leads, 37-21-2
In Worcester: Harvard leads, 7-4
At Fitton Field: Harvard leads, 7-4
Current Win Streak: Harvard, five games
Tom Gilmore vs. Harvard: 0-3
Tim Murphy vs. Holy Cross: 10-2
In Overtime: Harvard leads, 1-0

Holy Cross In Homecoming Games
The Crusaders have posted an all-time record of 29-28-1 in Homecoming games, including two straight victories against Fordham (28-21 in 2006) and Georgetown (48-6 in 2005). Since winning 11 straight games on Homecoming Weekend from 1982-1992, Holy Cross has gone only 4-10 in Homecoming games over the last 14 years. Prior to the 2005 victory, the Crusaders had dropped three straight on Homecoming Weekend. This year's game will mark the third time the Crusaders have faced Harvard in their Homecoming game. In the previous Homecoming meetings between the schools, Harvard won 25-17 in 1999 and 43-20 in 2003.

Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy On The Line This Week
The Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy has been presented annually to the most outstanding player in Holy Cross' Homecoming game since 1965. It is given in memory of Johnny Turco (Class of 1952), a former star halfback and a member of the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame. There has only been one player who has won the honor two times in his career (Joe Segreti, in 1988 and 1990). Last season, Crusader cornerback Casey Gough won the Turco Memorial Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Homecoming game. Gough totaled six solo tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack and an interception in Holy Cross' 28-21 victory over Fordham.

Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) continues to be an excellent leader for the Holy Cross offense this season. In the season opener at Massachusetts, Randolph completed 32 of 62 attempts for 296 yards and two scores without an interception, in addition to rushing for a touchdown. He set a school single game record for most passing attempts with 62, breaking the old mark of 56 set by Charlie Maloy against the Quantico Marines on Nov. 16, 1952. Last season, Randolph earned third team All-Northeast Region honors after completing 184 of 299 attempts for 2,237 yards and 19 touchdowns with only six interceptions, despite missing two games due to injury. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now hit on 216 of 361 passes for 2,533 yards and 21 scores. Despite playing in just 10 career games, Randolph already ranks ninth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, with his career completion percentage (.598) is the third best in school history.

Crusaders Have Three Captains
The Holy Cross football team has three captains for the 2007 season. Senior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.), senior free safety Obi Green (The Colony, Texas) and junior quarterback Dominic Randolph were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. Gough, who was also one of four captains during the 2006 campaign, becomes only the 10th player in school history to serve as a team captain for more than one season. Previous two-year captains were George Connor (1905-1906), Raymond Lynch (1916-1917), Thomas Lamb (1969-1970), Craig Cerratani (1977-1978), Ed Kutschke (1985-1986), John Aloisi (1998-1999), David Puloka (1999-2000), Brian Hall (2001-2002) and Steve Silva (2004-2005).

Gough Steps Up In The Secondary
Senior cornerback Casey Gough is once again among the top defensive backs and kickoff returners in the Patriot League this season. In the season opener at Massachusetts, he posted five total tackles, while returning one kickoff for 21 yards. In 11 games during the 2006 season, Gough totaled 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He was also the Crusaders' top kickoff returner, averaging 21.1 yards on 30 returns. Following the conclusion of the 2006 campaign, Gough was named first team All-Patriot League, while earning second team All-Northeast Region honors. He was previously named second team All-Patriot League in 2005, after posting a team-best three interceptions, 45 tackles, three tackles for loss and six pass breakups. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Gough has now totaled 152 tackles, seven interceptions and 21 pass breakups. He has also totaled 1,391 yards and a touchdown on 55 career kickoff returns, to rank second all-time at Holy Cross in career kickoff return yards and career kickoff return average (25.3 yards per return).

The Last Meeting - Harvard 31, Holy Cross 14
Matt Fanning caught six passes for a career-high 133 yards and a touchdown, but it was not enough as the Holy Cross football team was defeated by Harvard 31-14 at Harvard Stadium on September 16, 2006. After both teams failed to score on their first two drives of the game, Holy Cross marched 72 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 lead at the 1:58-mark of the first quarter. Brett McDermott scored the touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Brian McSharry. Harvard came back on its next possession to make the score 7-3, with Matt Schindel kicking a 33-yard field goal at the 11:10-mark of the second quarter. Later in the second quarter, the Crimson drove 62 yards on eight plays to go up 10-7, with Clifton Dawson scoring the touchdown on a three-yard run. Dawson added another touchdown run of one yard with just 31 seconds left before halftime, to give Harvard a 17-7 lead heading into the locker room. Harvard scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 31-7 lead. Jeff Witt threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Matt Farbotko, while Dawson found the end zone for the third time on the day, scoring from 28 yards out. Holy Cross concluded the scoring late in the third quarter, with an eight-yard touchdown pass from McSharry to Fanning. McSharry completed 19 of 38 passes on the day for 265 yards, while McDermott totaled five receptions for 65 yards. Dawson led the Crimson offense with 170 yards on 24 carries. Dan Adams posted a game-high nine tackles to lead the Crusader defense, while Eric Schultz had eight tackles and a sack for Harvard.

Maher Makes Big Catches
Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher (Boca Raton, Fla.) continues to show why he is one of the top wide outs in the nation. During the season opener at Massachusetts, Maher posted a team-best 11 catches for 85 yards. Last year, he led the team and Patriot League in receiving with 69 catches for 797 yards and six touchdowns. Maher also concluded the 2006 campaign ranked ninth in the country in receptions and 32nd in receiving yards. At the end of the 2006 season, he was named to the All-Patriot League first team and the New England Football Writers All-Star team, in addition to being a second team All-Northeast Region selection. Maher has currently caught a pass in 12 consecutive games, while posting three of more receptions in nine straight contests. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 84 catches for 920 yards and six touchdowns.

Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide Receiver
In addition to senior Ryan Maher, Holy Cross has shown that it has a number of other weapons in the passing game, as six different wide receivers had receptions in the season opener at Massachusetts. Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison (Wilmington, N.C.) caught eight passes for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Minutemen, while junior wide out Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) added four receptions for 52 yards. In addition, junior wide out Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) brought in four receptions for 39 yards, sophomore wide receiver Mike Frawley (Glen Mills, Pa.) had two catches for eight yards, and senior wide out Justin Maher (Milford, Conn.) caught one pass for a 23-yard touchdown. Last season, eight different Holy Cross wide receivers caught at least one pass.

Holy Cross Picked Fourth In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2007 Crusaders have been picked to finish in fourth place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, quarterback Sedale Threatt of Lehigh has been named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and linebacker Mike Gallihugh of Colgate was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Rank  School (1st place votes)   2006 Record  Points
  1.  Lafayette (6)             6-6 / 5-1 PL      63
  2.  Lehigh (5)                6-5 / 5-1 PL      62
  3.  Colgate (1)               4-7 / 3-3 PL      52
  4.  Holy Cross (2)            7-4 / 4-2 PL      50
  5.  Bucknell                  6-5 / 3-3 PL      31
  6.  Fordham                   3-8 / 1-5 PL      21
  7.  Georgetown                2-9 / 0-6 PL      15

Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Six Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I-AA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 8. As a team, Holy Cross stands third in both passing yards and turnover margin. The rankings:

 

Category             Rank  Player/Team         Avg.
Completions             2  
Dominic Randolph    32.0
Passing Yards           3  Holy Cross         321.0
                        5  
Dominic Randolph   296.0
Receptions              3  
Ryan Maher          11.0
                        7  
Thomas Harrison      8.0
Turnover Margin         3  Holy Cross          +3.0
Interceptions           4  
Daryl Brown          1.0
Turnovers Forced        5  Holy Cross           4.0
Passed Defended         7  
Kyle Mushaweh        2.0
Points Responsible For  8  
Dominic Randolph    18.0
Total Offense          11  
Dominic Randolph   286.0
Solo Tackles           14  
Obi Green            6.0
Third Down Defense     15  Holy Cross          25.0
Turnovers Lost         17  Holy Cross           1.0
Receiving Yards        34  
Ryan Maher          85.0

Crusaders Among League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players are currently ranked at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Sept. 8. Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph currently stands second in the league in both passing yards (296.0 yards/game) and total offense (286.0 yards/game). Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher leads the conference in receptions (11.0 catches/game) and ranks second in receiving yards (85.0 yards/game), while senior wide out Thomas Harrison stands second in the league in receptions (8.0 catches/game) and fourth in receiving yards (71.0 yards/game). In addition, junior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) is tied for first in the league in interceptions (1.0 picks/game), junior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is tied for first in extra points (100.0 percent), freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) stands third in punt returns (3.0 yards/return) and junior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh (Woodbury, Conn.) is fifth in kickoff returns (18.2 yards/return). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in passing offense (321.0 yards/game) and turnover margin (+3.0 turnovers/game), while standing second in scoring offense (30.0 points/game).

Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2007 will air on WTAG 580 AM, the true sports leader for the city of Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 38th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 22nd year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standout Tom Kelleher, who earned first team All-New England honors while leading the undefeated 1987 team in rushing, is in his eighth year as the color commentator. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at `www.sportsjuice.com'. 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 five games shown on live television during the 2007 season. Two home games this season will be televised on WCTR TV-3 (Worcester), against Harvard on September 15 and Dartmouth on October 13. In addition, the September 29 contest against Yale will be carried CN8 on Comcast Cable, the November 10 game against Lafayette will be shown on College Sports Television and the Lafayette Sports Network (RCN Cable and WBPH TV-60 in Allentown, Pa.), and the October 20 contest at Lehigh will be aired on Service Electric Cable (Bethlehem, Pa.).

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 1:00-1:30 p.m. exclusively on the internet, with archives of all the shows available to those who can not listen in live. The show is carried free of charge at `www.sportsjuice.com'.

Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 345-163-27 (.669). 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' best decade at home occurred from 1980-1989, when the Crusaders recorded a 41-12-1 mark. In the current decade, the Crusaders have posted a record of 17-21 at home, with a 3-2 record in 2006. Last year, Holy Cross posted its first winning record at home since the 2001 team went 3-2.

Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players earned preseason accolades heading into the 2007 campaign. Senior Casey Gough was named the No. 3 cornerback in the nation by The Sports Network, and also earned preseason All-America honors from both The Sports Network (second team) and College Sporting News (third team). Junior Dominic Randolph was listed as the No. 13 quarterback in the country by The Sports Network, and also received preseason Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors from Street & Smith's 2007 College Football Yearbook. In addition, several players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2007 College Football Preview. Gough was joined on the first team by senior wide receiver Ryan Maher, while Randolph was chosen to the second team along with senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison, junior running back Mike Kielt, senior offensive lineman Dan Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.), senior defensive lineman Adam Sadowski (Tucson, Ariz.) and junior offensive lineman Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.).

Holy Cross Set For Home Opener
Holy Cross is now in its 112th season of intercollegiate football. The Crusaders have been impressive in their opening home game of the season, posting an all-time mark of 75-28-7. Holy Cross has a 6-4 record in home openers over the last 10 years, including the 2005 victory over Sacred Heart (56-21). Following last week's 40-30 loss at Massachusetts, the Crusaders now stand at 66-37-9 in their season debuts, including a 5-3 mark on opening day during the current decade, and an 18-9-1 record since the beginning of the 1980 season.

Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is in his fourth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore enters this week's game with an overall record of 16-18, as the Crusaders have won 16 of his last 29 games. Last year he led Holy Cross to an overall record of 7-4, including a five-game winning streak (the longest by the Crusaders since the 1991 season). In 2005, Gilmore guided Holy Cross to an overall record of 6-5, with tailback Steve Silva earning first team All-America honors. On Oct. 8, 2005, Gilmore led the Crusaders to their first victory over a ranked team since 2000, with a 13-10 win at No. 10 Lehigh. Gilmore came to Holy Cross after serving as defensive coordinator at Lehigh for four seasons, during which the Mountain Hawks were one of the finest defensive teams in Division I-AA. In 2001, he was named as the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year, after molding a young and inexperienced defense into a unit that allowed just 15.8 points per game and 86.6 yards rushing per game. Gilmore previously spent time as an assistant coach at 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.

Holy Cross Set To Open Another Year In The Patriot League
Holy Cross will begin its 22nd season of play in the Patriot League when it faces Georgetown on Sept. 22. The Crusaders own an all-time mark of 13-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, including last year's 26-13 victory over the Hoyas. Holy Cross also stands 7-2 in conference openers over the last nine seasons, with the only losses during that span coming against Lehigh (38-20 in 2003) and Fordham (42-35 in 2004). From 1998 through 2002, the Crusaders won five straight conference openers, against Towson twice (31-24 in 1998; 17-14 in 2000), Georgetown twice (33-7 in 2001; 41-13 in 2002) and Lafayette once (30-12 in 1999). Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 60-55 (.522) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).

Tradition Of Excellence
The 2007 campaign marks the 112th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 569-459-54, good for a .551 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Holy Cross' 569 all-time victories ranked as the 15th 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 five 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.

Scouting The Crimson
Harvard is coming off a 2006 campaign in which it posted a 7-3 overall record and finished third in the Ivy League with a 4-3 mark in conference games. Senior quarterback Liam O'Hagan returns to lead the Crimson offense, after completing 59 of 108 attempts for 679 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions last season. O'Hagan's top target is senior wide out Corey Mazza, who caught 36 passes for 635 yards and eight scores in 2006. Following the graduation of Clifton Dawson, Harvard's all-time leading rusher, sophomore Cheng Ho (31 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown) will look to take over as the starting tailback. The Crimson defense, which allowed 16.3 points and 294.5 yards per game last year, will be led by junior linebacker Eric Schultz. Last season, Schultz totaled 83 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and three sacks. Head coach Tim Murphy is in his 14th season at the helm of the Harvard program, where he has a record of 80-49. Murphy's career record stands at 112-94-1, including five seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati and two years as head coach at Maine.

Quick Hits
Holy Cross was picked as the No. 25 team in the nation by Street & Smith's 2007 College Football Yearbook, in addition to being selected as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League. The Crusaders were also ranked 25th in the country by Phil Steele's 2007 College Football Preview, which named Holy Cross and Lehigh co-favorites in the conference. Holy Cross was the only Patriot League team ranked in the Top 25 by either publication ... For the first time since joining the Patriot League in 1986, Holy Cross is scheduled to play all of its non-conference games against opponents from New England (Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Massachusetts and Yale).