Football Returns Home To Face Dartmouth On Saturday
Oct. 8, 2007
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (3-2, 1-0 PL) vs. Dartmouth (1-3, 1-1 Ivy)
Date: October 13, 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
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
Dartmouth Radio: WDCR 1340 AM & WFRD 99.3 FM, Hanover, N.H.; Bob Lipman, play-by-play; Wayne Young, color
Series Record: Dartmouth leads, 34-32-4
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 24, Dartmouth 21 (OT); October 14, 2006; Hanover, N.H.
The Series With Dartmouth
This will be the 71st meeting between the Crusaders and the Big Green on the gridiron, with Dartmouth leading the all-time series 34-32-4. Holy Cross has posted victories in each of the last three years, but prior to that Dartmouth had won two straight and six out of eight games in the series. For games played in Worcester, the series is tied at 13-13-1, with the Crusaders winning the last game 28-16 in 2005. The schools first met on October 3, 1903, with the Big Green posting an 18-0 victory in Hanover.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Dartmouth leads, 34-32-4
In Worcester: Tied, 13-13-1
At Fitton Field: Tied, 13-13-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games
Tom Gilmore vs. Dartmouth: 3-0
Buddy Teevens vs. Holy Cross: 0-7
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) continues to be an excellent leader for the Holy Cross offense this season. In five games played this year, Randolph has competed 134 of 230 attempts for 1,571 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions. In last week's victory at Brown, he connected on 29 of 37 attempts for 404 yards and six touchdowns, setting new career highs for passing yards and touchdown passes. Two of his scoring passes against the Bears came in the fourth quarter, after Brown had come back to tie the score at 34-34. Previously against Georgetown, Randolph completed 22 of 33 attempts for 302 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing five times for 22 yards and another score. He also had a big game against Harvard, hitting on 29 of 55 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning 40-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison (Wilmington, N.C.) with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter. In the season opener at Massachusetts, Randolph completed 32 of a school-record 62 attempts for 296 yards and two scores without an interception, in addition to rushing for a touchdown. 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 318 of 529 passes for 3,808 yards and 34 scores. Despite playing in just 14 career games, Randolph already ranks fifth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, seventh in career completions, eighth in career passing yards and ninth in career pass attempts, with his career completion percentage (.601) is the second-best in school history.
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 7-4 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, with wins in four of its last five games. That mark includes a 3-0 record against Dartmouth, a 2-0 mark against Brown, a 1-1 records against Yale and a 1-3 mark against Harvard. The Crusaders' all-time record against the Ivy League stands at 100-133-9 (30-20-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 32-34-4 vs. Dartmouth, 22-37-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-26 vs. Yale).
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. Through five games played this year, Maher has totaled a team-best 34 receptions for 379 yards and five touchdowns. During last week's victory at Brown, he caught six passes for 110 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Previously in the victory over Georgetown, Maher posted five receptions for 83 yards and a score. Maher also had nine catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against Harvard, while making 11 receptions for 85 yards at Massachusetts. 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 16 consecutive games, while posting three of more receptions in 13 straight contests. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 107 catches for 1,314 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Gough Steps Up In The Secondary
Senior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.) is once again among the top defensive backs and kickoff returners in the Patriot League this season. Through five games played so far this year, he has posted 26 total tackles with four tackles for loss, an interception and three pass breakups, while returning eight kickoffs for 208 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 173 tackles, eight interceptions and 24 pass breakups. He has also totaled 1,578 yards and a touchdown on 62 career kickoff returns, to rank second all-time at Holy Cross in career kickoff return yards and career kickoff return average (25.5 yards per return).
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 seven different wide receivers already have receptions this season. Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison currently ranks second on the team in receiving with 30 catches for a team-best 404 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide out Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has added 24 receptions for 288 yards and two scores, while junior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has brought in 18 receptions for 236 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, senior wide out Justin Maher (Milford, Conn.) has three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown, freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught three passes for 25 yards and sophomore wide receiver Mike Frawley (Glen Mills, Pa.) had two catches for eight yards. Last season, eight different Holy Cross wide receivers caught at least one pass.
The Last Meeting With Dartmouth - Holy Cross 24, Dartmouth 21 (OT)
Mike DeSantis kicked an 18-yard field goal in overtime, to lead Holy Cross to a 24-21 victory over Dartmouth at Memorial Field on October 14, 2006. DeSantis made three of four field goal attempts on the day, in addition to connecting on his only extra point try for a total of 10 points. Dartmouth had the ball first in overtime, and on first down Hudson Smythe was tackled by Adam Sadowski for a three-yard loss. The Big Green then threw incomplete passes on second and third down, and were unable to get a field goal attempt off after a bad snap. Holy Cross then took possession, and Dominic Randolph completed passes to Ryan Maher and Thomas Harrison, moving the ball to the five-yard line. After a four-yard rush by Terrance Gass, DeSantis kicked the game-winning field goal. The Crusaders began the game by taking a 7-0 lead on their opening possession, with Gass scoring on a three-yard run. The Big Green tied the score at 7-7, when Mike Fritz ran 30 yards for the touchdown. Dartmouth took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, when Smythe rushed one yard for the score. Holy Cross cut the lead to 14-10 before halftime, on a 20-yard field goal by DeSantis. The Crusaders opened the third quarter with a 23-yard field goal by DeSantis, but the Big Green responded once again, going up 21-13 as Smythe ran three yards for his second touchdown of the day. Later in the third, Randolph tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Maher, then connected with Harrison for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 21-21. Randolph finished the day hitting on 20 of 32 attempts for 259 yards, with Maher catching a game-high six passes for 67 yards. Gass led the Crusader ground game with 79 yards on 18 carries. The Big Green was led by Fritz, who completed 15 of 26 passes for 147 yards. Defensively, Brian Billman led Holy Cross with 11 total tackles, including a 12-yard sack and a four-yard tackle for loss, which both came on third downs in the fourth quarter to force Dartmouth punts.
Offensive Line Continues Strong Play
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason why the Crusaders rank among the top teams in the nation in both total offense and scoring. The line has paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 140.0 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 325.2 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has allowed just 10 sacks in five games this year, while attempting 238 passes. Junior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) is the starting center for Holy Cross, flanked by junior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and sophomore Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) at the guard spots, and senior Dan Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.) and junior Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) at the tackle positions.
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 347-164-27 (.670). 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 19-22 at home, with a 2-1 mark so far in 2007. Last year Holy Cross went 3-2 at Fitton Field, to post its first winning record at home since the 2001 team went 3-2.
Crusaders Dominate Turnover Battle
In five games played so far this season, Holy Cross forced its opponents to commit 10 turnovers, while giving the ball away seven times. The Crusaders have recovered eight fumbles on the year, in addition to posting two interceptions. Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher leads the team with a pair of fumble recoveries, both of which came while playing on the punt coverage team. Six other players have one fumble recovery each, while senior cornerback Casey Gough and junior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) both have an interception. On the offensive side of the ball, the Crusaders have thrown five interceptions and lost just two fumbles.
Partain Stays Perfect
Junior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is enjoying an outstanding season for the Crusaders. Through five games played, he has hit all six of his field goal attempts and connected on all 22 of his extra point tries, to lead the team in scoring with 40 points. Partain's longest field goal so far this year was a 40-yarder against Yale, while he also connected on a 37-yarder at Brown. He also scored 12 points in both the Georgetown and Brown games, hitting two field goals and six extra points against both the Hoyas and the Bears. Partain's current streak of six straight field goals made is tied for the sixth-longest in school history. Prior to this season, Partain had not attempted any field goals or extra points during his collegiate career, although he did handle kickoff duties for Holy Cross in both 2005 and 2006.
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 572-460-54, good for a .552 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.
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Five Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I-AA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 29. As a team, Holy Cross stands 11th in total offense and sixth in passing yards. The rankings:
Category Rank Player/Team Avg. Completions 2 Dominic Randolph 26.8 Passing Yards 4 Holy Cross 325.2 6 Dominic Randolph 314.2 Total Offense 4 Dominic Randolph 329.6 7 Holy Cross 465.2 Points Responsible For 5 Dominic Randolph 20.4 Fewest Penalty Yards 6 Holy Cross 34.8 Receptions 11 Ryan Maher 6.8 24 Thomas Harrison 6.0 Fewest Penalties 13 Holy Cross 5.0 Scoring 16 Holy Cross 36.2 41 Matt Partain 8.0 Third Down Defense 19 Holy Cross 31.4 Third Down Conversions 20 Holy Cross 43.8 Kickoff Returns 30 Casey Gough 26.0 Receiving Yards 30 Thomas Harrison 80.8 41 Ryan Maher 75.8 Field Goals 32 Matt Partain 1.2 Pass Efficiency 40 Dominic Randolph 132.8
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 Oct. 6. Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph currently leads the league in passing yards (314.2 yards/game) and total offense (329.6 yards/game), while standing second in pass efficiency (132.8 rating). Senior wide out Ryan Maher leads in the league in receptions (6.8 catches/game) and stands third in receiving yards (75.8 yards/game), while ranking fourth in scoring (6.0 points/game). Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison ranks second in the conference in receiving yards (80.8 yards/game) and third in receptions (6.0 catches/game), while junior wide receiver Brett McDermott is fourth in the conference in receptions (4.8 catches/game). In addition, junior placekicker Matt Partain ranks first in extra points (100.0 percent), second in scoring (8.0 points/game) and second in field goals (1.2 made/game), senior cornerback Casey Gough stands fourth in kickoff returns (26.0 yards/return), and freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) is fourth in punt returns (6.9 yards/return). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in total offense (465.2 yards/game), scoring offense (36.2 points/game), passing offense (325.2 yards/game), turnover margin (+0.6 turnovers/game) and pass efficiency (132.4 rating); while standing third in punt returns (8.5 yards/return) and pass efficiency defense (130.2 yards/game).
Defense Shuts Out Georgetown
The Holy Cross defense turned in one of its top performances in recent history in the 55-0 shutout victory over Georgetown on Sept. 22. The shutout was the third by the Crusaders during Tom Gilmore's tenure as head coach, to go along with a 24-0 win at Dartmouth on Oct. 16, 2004, and the 27-0 victory at Marist on Sept. 23, 2006. In addition, Holy Cross held Georgetown to just 65 yards of total offense and only two first downs. The 65 total yards are the fewest by a Crusader opponent since Columbia had only 65 yards on Nov. 1, 1980, while the two first downs are the lowest-ever known total by an opponent. Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Crusaders have now held their opposition to under 300 yards of total offense nine times. With the victory over Georgetown, Holy Cross became the first Patriot League team to record a shutout this season. Through the first five contests of the 2007 campaign, the Crusaders are holding their opponents to 28.6 points, 18.8 first downs and 397.2 yards per game.
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 19-19, including a 16-11 mark since the beginning of the 2005 season. 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. 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 Have Three Captains
The Holy Cross football team has three captains for the 2007 season. Senior cornerback Casey Gough, 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).
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 (Southbury, Conn.), senior offensive lineman Dan Nolan, senior defensive lineman Adam Sadowski (Tucson, Ariz.) and junior offensive lineman Chris Smith.
Holy Cross In The Patriot League
Holy Cross began its 22nd season of play in the Patriot League when it defeated Georgetown 55-0 on Sept. 22. The Crusaders now own an all-time mark of 14-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, with victories in each of the last three years. Holy Cross also stands 8-2 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. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 61-55 (.526) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).
Scouting The Big Green
Dartmouth enters this week's game with an overall record of 1-3 on the season, with a 1-1 mark in the Ivy League. The Big Green has been defeated by Colgate (31-28 in overtime), New Hampshire (52-31) and Yale (50-10) so far in 2007, while posting a 21-13 win over Pennsylvania. Senior quarterback Tom Bennewitz has completed 56 of 96 passes for 604 yards and seven touchdowns with six interceptions this year, while junior tailback Milan Williams has rushed 57 times for 302 yards and one score. Junior wide out Eric Paul is the top receiver for Dartmouth, with 15 catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Big Green is led by senior linebacker Justin Cottrell with 43 tackles, three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Buddy Teevens is in the third year of his second stint as Dartmouth's head coach, with an overall record of 31-41-2. Teevens' career record stands at 65-118-2, including five seasons at Tulane (1992-1996) and three years at Stanford (2002-2004).
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. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2007 campaign:
Date Opponent Television Outlet Sept. 15 Harvard WCTR-TV3 Sept. 29 Yale CN8 Oct. 13 Dartmouth WCTR-TV3 Oct. 20 Lehigh Service Electric Nov. 10 Lafayette CSTV / Lafayette Sports Network
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'.
Live video streaming of all 2007 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.
Senior tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.) made the first two catches of his collegiate career in the victory over Georgetown, including a 12-yard touchdown reception ... Sophomore tailback Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) led the team in rushing against Georgetown with 89 yards on 15 carries ... 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 ... Holy Cross was picked to finish fourth in the 2007 Patriot League preseason poll of head coaches and sports information directors, behind Lafayette, Lehigh and Colgate ... 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) ... Holy Cross' victory over Harvard was its first since 2000, and its first over the Crimson at Fitton Field since 1992 ... The Crusaders won their home opener for the second time in the last three years with the victory over the Crimson, improving their all-time mark in home openers to 76-28-7. In season openers, the Crusaders are 66-37-9 all-time, following the loss at Massachusetts.