October 6, 2008

Football Returns Home To Face Brown On Saturday

Oct. 6, 2008

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Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-3, 1-0 PL) vs. Brown (2-1, 1-0 Ivy)
Date: October 11, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.worcesterpike.com, internet
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM
Brown Radio: WSKO 790 AM, Providence, R.I.; Scott Cordischi, play-by-play; Mike Wall, color
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 30-20-3
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 48, Brown 37; October 6, 2007; Providence, R.I.

The Series With Brown
This will be the 54th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bears on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 30-20-3. The Crusaders have defeated the Bears in each of the last two seasons, but prior to that the teams had not played since 1995. Overall, Holy Cross has won eight of the last 10 games in the series. For games played at Fitton Field, Holy Cross holds a 17-5-2 advantage, going 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings. The teams first met on Oct. 1, 1898, with Brown posting a 19-0 victory in Providence.

Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 30-20-3
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 17-6-2
At Brown Stadium: Holy Cross leads, 17-5-2
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, two games
Tom Gilmore vs. Brown: 2-0
Phil Estes vs. Holy Cross: 0-2

Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Senior Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) is now in his third season as Holy Cross' starting quarterback, and is one of 16 players on the current watch list for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in the NCAA football championship subdivision. Last week at Yale, he completed a school single-game record 41 of 63 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns, while leading two 90-yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Randolph shattered his own single-game record of 34 completions, which he had set at Lafayette on Oct. 21, 2006. Through four games played this season, he has hit on 121 of 198 passes for 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions. Last year, Randolph completed 297 of 482 attempts for 3,604 yards and 30 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. He set new school single-season records for completions, pass attempts and total offense (3,741 yards), while ranking second on the Holy Cross single-season lists for passing yards and touchdown passes, third for completion percentage (61.6 percent) and fourth for pass efficiency (141.6 rating). Over the course of his collegiate career, Randolph has now hit on 602 of 979 passes for 6,985 yards and 59 scores. He currently ranks third all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, third in career passing yards, third in career completions and fourth in career pass attempts, while his career completion percentage (.615) is the second-best in school history. In addition, Randolph's 11 career 300-yard passing games are the third most in Holy Cross history, while his two 400-yard passing games are tied for the most-ever by a Crusader.

Holy Cross Against The Ivy League
The Crusaders have enjoyed a good deal of success against Ivy League opposition during Tom Gilmore's tenure as head coach. Holy Cross stands 8-6 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, despite going 0-2 so far this year with losses to Harvard and Yale. The 8-6 mark over the last five years includes a 4-0 record against Dartmouth, a 2-0 mark against Brown, a 1-2 record against Yale and a 1-4 mark against Harvard. The Crusaders' all-time record against the Ivy League stands at 101-135-9 (30-20-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 33-34-4 vs. Dartmouth, 22-38-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).

Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide Receiver
Through four games played this season, Holy Cross showed that it has a number of weapons in the passing game, as eight different wide receivers have at least one reception. Senior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has posted 17 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has added 15 receptions for 129 yards and one score. Sophomore wide receiver Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) has totaled 13 catches for 150 yards and one touchdown, and sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught 12 passes for 129 yards. In addition, sophomore wide out Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has 11 receptions for 123 yards and two scores, junior wide out Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has caught 10 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown, junior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) has posted four catches for 54 yards and senior wide out Danny Bluth (Seal Beach, Calif.) has one reception for four yards.

Offensive Line Continues Strong Play
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason for the team's success on offense so far this season. Through four games played, the line has allowed the Crusaders to average 33.0 points and 397.0 total yards per game. Last year, the line paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 128.2 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which allowed the Crusaders to throw for 335.2 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross allowed only 14 sacks in 11 games last year, while attempting 497 passes (just one sack for every 36.5 times the team dropped back to pass). Starters for the Crusaders with at least one year of experience include senior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) at center, senior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) at guard, and junior Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) and senior Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) at the tackle positions. Each of those four started all 11 games for Holy Cross last season. The final guard spot is currently being manned by junior Rob Petrosino (Bogota, N.J.).

Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground Game
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing attack so far this season, running for 444 yards with seven rushing touchdowns. Senior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) leads the team with 48 carries for 210 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to posting a team-best 17 receptions for 94 yards. His top game so far this year came at Georgetown, when he ran 24 times for a career-high 135 yards and a score. Senior tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) has also played well, ranking second on the team with 171 rushing yards on 31 carries, and catching eight passes for 45 yards. Last season, Gass led the team in rushing with 563 yards and six touchdowns on 101 carries, while Kielt ran for 367 yards and six scores on 73 carries. Entering the Brown game, Gass and Kielt have combined for 2,416 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns during their collegiate careers.

The Last Meeting With Brown
Dominic Randolph completed 29 of 37 passes for 404 yards and six touchdowns, to lead Holy Cross to a 48-37 victory over Brown at Brown Stadium, Oct. 6, 2007. The Crusaders opened the scoring on a touchdown pass from Randolph to Ryan Maher, before Brown responded with a touchdown pass from Michael Dougherty to Bobby Sewall. Holy Cross then regained the lead on a field goal by Matt Partain and a scoring pass from Randolph to Jon Brock. Brown's Steve Morgan kicked a field goal early in the second quarter, but the Crusaders came right back with two more Randolph touchdown passes (to Terrance Gass and Maher) to make the score 31-10 at halftime. The Bears cut into the lead in the third quarter, when Chris Strickland scored on a run and Morgan added a field goal. Holy Cross answered with a field goal by Partain, and led 34-20 heading into the fourth quarter. But the Bears scored touchdowns on a run by Strickland and a pass from Dougherty to Buddy Farnham, tying the score at 34-34. The Holy Cross offense then came back to life, with Randolph and Maher hooking up for their third touchdown. Morgan then kicked his third field goal, cutting the Crusader lead to 41-37. But Holy Cross marched right back down the field, and Randolph threw a touchdown pass to Gass, putting the game away.

Mushaweh Steps Up In Secondary
Senior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh (Woodbury, Conn.) has been one of the top players for the Crusader defense so far this season. During the victory at Georgetown, Mushaweh intercepted three passes, in addition to recording four solo tackles. His three picks against the Hoyas tied for the fourth-most ever by a Holy Cross player in a single game. Overall this season, Mushaweh has a team-best three interceptions to go along with 15 total tackles, two pass breakups and one tackle for loss. During the 2007 campaign, he tied for the team lead in both interception (four) and pass breakups (five), while making 57 total tackles. Over the course of his collegiate career, Mushaweh has totaled seven interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 132 total tackles.

Partain Gets His Kicks
Senior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is off to a strong start this season, hitting all 18 of his extra point attempts and two out of four field goal attempts. Dating back to last season, Partain has now made 68 consecutive extra points, breaking the school record which had been held by Anthony Pignio with 58 straight extra points made from 1991-1993. In addition to his success on the field, Partain has been named a semifinalist for the 2008 Draddy Trophy as the top scholar-athlete in the nation. A first team All-Patriot League selection in 2007, Partain hit 12 of 16 field goal attempts and connected on all 50 of his extra point tries a year ago, to lead the team in scoring with 86 points. He tied the school single season record for most field goals made, while becoming the first kicker in Holy Cross history to make all of his extra points with at least 30 attempts. In the 2007 game against Dartmouth, he kicked the longest field goal in school history when he booted a 49-yarder on the final play of the first half. Partain also made eight extra points in the 2007 victory at Lehigh, good for the second-most made extra points in school history. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has now totaled 110 points, making 14 of 18 field goals and 68 of 68 extra points.

Offense Puts Up Points
The Holy Cross offense is off to a fast start this year, averaging 33.0 points and 397.0 total yards per game. In 2007, the Crusaders enjoyed one of their best offensive seasons in recent history, averaging 35.9 points and 463.4 yards per game. The 35.9 points per game were the best mark since the 1989 squad averaged 36.0 points per contest, while the 463.4 yards were the school's best since the 1991 team averaged 467.1 yards per contest. Holy Cross also scored over 40 points five times last year, including four consecutive games from October 6-27. Prior to that, the Crusaders had not scored 40 points in four straight contests since the 1991 season, when they did it against Brown (42-28), Lehigh (43-42), Lafayette (48-14) and Bucknell (42-6). The school record for most consecutive 40 points games is nine, set in 1987.

McDermott & Jenkins Lead Special Teams Success
Senior wide receiver Brett McDermott and sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins have both played key roles in the Crusaders' success on special teams this season. McDermott currently ranks sixth in the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 32.0 yards per return. In the UMass game, he returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, good for Holy Cross' first kick return for a score since the 2005 season. Jenkins ranks third in the league in punt returns, averaging 9.5 yards per return. As a team, the Crusaders currently lead the Patriot League in kickoff returns (23.4 yards/return) and stand third in punt returns (9.5 yards/return).

Brown & Randolph Named Captains
Holy Cross will have two captains during the 2008 football season. Senior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and senior quarterback Dominic Randolph were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. Randolph, who was also one of three captains during the 2007 campaign, becomes only the 11th 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), Steve Silva (2004-2005) and Casey Gough (2006-2007).

Holy Cross In The Patriot League
Holy Cross began its 23rd season of play in the Patriot League when it defeated Georgetown 38-14 on Sept. 27. The Crusaders now own an all-time mark of 15-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, including four straight victories (all against Georgetown). Holy Cross also stands 9-2 in conference openers over the last 11 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 65-57 (.533) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).

Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Six Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Oct. 4. As a team, Holy Cross stands third in the nation in third down defense, fourth in first downs and 11th in passing yards. The rankings:

 

Category              Rank  Player/Team          Avg.
Completions              1  
Dominic Randolph     30.3
Third Down Defense       3  Holy Cross           26.0
First Downs              4  Holy Cross           23.3
Points Responsible For   5  
Dominic Randolph     19.5
Kickoff Returns          6  
Brett McDermott      32.0
                        14  Holy Cross           23.4
Interceptions            6  
Kyle Mushaweh         0.8
                        35  
Daryl Brown           0.5
Total Offense            7  
Dominic Randolph    290.3
                        30  Holy Cross          397.0
Passing Yards           11  Holy Cross          286.0
                        12  
Dominic Randolph    286.0
Rushing Defense         16  Holy Cross           86.5
Time of Possession      17  Holy Cross          32:51
Scoring                 21  Holy Cross           33.0
Punt Returns            36  
Josh Jenkins          9.5
Passes Defended         38  
Kyle Mushaweh         1.3
                        38  
Michael Wright        1.3

Crusaders Among Patriot League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Oct. 4. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph leads the league in passing yards (286.0 yards/game) and total offense (290.2 yards/game), while standing fourth in pass efficiency (120.3 rating). Sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins ranks third in punt returns (9.5 yards/return) and fourth in kickoff returns (21.5 yards/return), while senior placekicker Matt Partain stands first in extra point percentage (100.0 percent), third in scoring (6.0 points/game) and fourth in field goals (0.5 made/game). In addition, senior wide receiver Brett McDermott leads the league in kickoff returns (32.0 yards/return); senior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh is first in interceptions (0.8 picks/game); senior tailback Terrance Gass ranks third in scoring (6.0 points/game); senior strong safety Daryl Brown stands third in interceptions (0.5 picks/game); and senior punter Mike Holloway (Alexandria, Va.) is fourth in punting (36.7 yards/punt). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (33.0 points/game), turnover margin (+0.3 turnovers/game), passing offense (286.0 yards/game) and kickoff returns (23.4 yards/return); while standing second in rushing defense (86.5 yards/game); and ranking third in total offense (397.0 yards/game), net punting (33.6 yards/punt) and punt returns (9.5 yards/return).

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 349-166-27 (.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 21-24 at home, with a 4-2 mark in 2007. Last season, Holy Cross posted a winning record at home for the second straight year, after going 3-2 at Fitton Field in 2006.

Tradition Of Excellence
The 2008 campaign will mark the 113th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 577-465-54, good for a .551 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2008 season, Holy Cross' 576 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.

Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2008, the Crusaders are looking to post a winning record for the fourth straight year. Last season, Holy Cross reached the seven win-mark for the second year in a row. The Crusaders' 14-8 mark in 2006 and 2007 combined is also their best in a two-year span since the 1991 and 1992 squads went a combined 17-5. In addition, Holy Cross has posted a winning record in each of the last three seasons, going 6-5 in 2005, 7-4 in 2006 and 7-4 in 2007. This marks the best three-year stretch by the Crusaders in 15 years (9-1-1 in 1990, 11-0 in 1991 and 6-5 in 1992).

Crusaders Winning Turnover Battle
Holy Cross is once again leading the Patriot League when it comes to turnover margin. The Crusaders forced five total turnovers during their victory at Georgetown, and took the ball away four times in the contest at Harvard. Through four games played this season, Holy Cross has now taken the ball away 10 times, and given it away nine times. Since the beginning of the 2005 campaign, Holy Cross is now plus-27 in turnovers, forcing their opponents to cough up the ball 78 times, while giving the ball away only 51 times. During both the 2005 and 2007 seasons, the Crusaders led the Patriot League in turnover margin with a plus-11 mark in each campaign. Holy Cross also ranked seventh in the nation in turnover margin in 2005, while placing 17th in the country in 2007. In addition, the Crusaders had a streak of 297 consecutive offensive plays without a turnover last season from Sept. 29, 2007 to Oct. 27, 2007 (spanning five games).

Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is now in his fifth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore currently owns an overall record of 24-24, including a 21-16 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. He has led Holy Cross to 7-4 records in each of the last two years, with the 2006 team posting 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. 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.

Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players earned preseason accolades heading into the 2008 campaign. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was listed as the No. 3 quarterback in the country by The Sports Network, while being named a second team All-American by both The Sports Network and Consensus Draft Services, and receiving preseason Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors from Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview. In addition, several players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview. Randolph was joined on the first team by senior wide receiver Brett McDermott, senior tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.), senior defensive back Kyle Mushaweh, senior placekicker Matt Partain, senior offensive lineman Chris Poole and senior defensive lineman Bryan Walwyn (Houston, Texas), while senior wide receiver Jon Brock, senior tailback Terrance Gass and junior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez (Peoria, Ariz.) were all selected to the second team.

Scouting The Bears
Brown enters this week's game with an overall record of 2-1 on the season, and a 1-0 mark in the Ivy League. The Bears opened the season with victories over Stony Brook (17-7) and Harvard (24-22), before falling at Rhode Island (37-13) last week. Senior quarterback Michael Dougherty has led the Brown offense by completing 67 of 117 passes for 677 yards this season, with three touchdowns and six interceptions. Junior wide out Buddy Farnham has a team-best 25 receptions for 273 yards and two scores, while senior tailback Dereck Knight has rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown on 40 carries. Defensively, the Bears are led by senior linebacker Steve Ziogas who has totaled 22 tackles and three quarterback hurries on the season. Head coach Phil Estes is in his 11th season at the helm of the Brown program, and owns a career record of 61-41. Estes has led the Bears to a pair of Ivy League titles, during the 1999 and 2005 seasons, and was named the 2005 New England Coach of the Year.

Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2008 will air on The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 39th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 23rd 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 ninth year as the color commentator. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at `www.worcesterpike.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 four games shown on live television during the 2008 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2008 campaign:

 

Date     Opponent        Television Outlet
Sept. 6  Massachusetts   WCTR-TV3
Oct. 25  Lehigh          WCTR-TV3
Nov. 15  Lafayette       Lafayette Sports Network
Nov. 22  Colgate         Time Warner Cable

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'.

Crusader All-Access
Live video streaming of all 2008 Holy Cross home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader All-Access.The package, done in association with College Sports Television Online, is available for a $9.95 monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Crusader All-Access, click here.

The Holy Cross Huddle
The Holy Cross Huddle will air each Friday morning during the football season at 8:35 a.m. on The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Hosted by Pike morning personality Bruce Palmer, it will feature a weekly interview with Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore previewing the upcoming game and reviewing the previous week's game.

Quick Hits
Holy Cross' three losses this season have come by a total combined margin of just seven points. Prior to this year, the Crusaders had not lost three games by a field goal or less in the same season since 1980, when they dropped three one-point contests to Harvard (14-13), Connecticut (18-17) and Boston College (27-26) ... Senior tight end Ryan McGuire caught two touchdown passes at Yale, and now ranks fourth on the team in receiving with 13 catches for 156 yards on the year ... Sophomore cornerback Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) leads the team with 25 total tackles so far this season, including a career-high nine total tackles in the UMass game ... Junior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez has totaled 23 tackles this year, to go along with three tackles for loss, a sack and fumble recovery ... Holy Cross was picked to finish second in the 2008 Patriot League preseason poll of head coaches and sports information directors, while senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was chosen as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year ... For only the second 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).