Oct. 10, 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross junior linebacker Chris Nielsen (Center Line, Mich.) and senior tailback Steve Silva (East Providence, R.I.) have been honored by the Patriot League for their performances in Saturday's 13-10 victory at 10th-ranked Lehigh. Nielsen was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week, while Silva was selected as the Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week. This is the third award for Silva this season, as he was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 5 and Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 3.
In the Lehigh game, Nielsen forced a fumble and recorded a career-high 14 tackles, including 13 solo stops and one tackle for loss. He was the leader of a Holy Cross defense which held Lehigh to just 10 points and 289 yards of total offense, after the Mountain Hawks entered the contest averaging 41.0 points and 394.5 yards per game. Nielsen also had a key hit on Lehigh starting quarterback Mark Borda, knocking Borda out of the game in the third quarter. Through six games on the year, Nielsen ranks second on the team with 45 total tackles, including 39 solo stops and a team-best five tackles for loss.
Silva recorded 152 all-purpose yards against the Mountain Hawks on Saturday, including 78 yards on punt returns. With 14:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, he returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown, to begin the Crusaders' rally from a 10-0 deficit. Silva finished the day with 38 rushing yards and 36 receiving yards, in addition to his 78 punt return yards. Through six games this season, he ranks second in all of Division I-AA with an average of 190.0 all-purpose yards per game. Silva has rushed for 468 yards and six touchdowns on 105 carries, caught 34 passes for 232 yards and a score, returned nine kickoffs for 248 yards and a touchdown, and brought back 13 punts for 192 yards and a score.
Holy Cross (4-2 overall, 2-0 Patriot League) returns to action this Saturday, Oct. 15, when it plays host to Dartmouth (1-3 overall, 0-2 Ivy League) in a 1:00 p.m. game.