Crusaders Head North For Battle With Dartmouth
Oct. 13, 2008
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (2-3, 1-0 PL) vs. Dartmouth (0-4, 0-2 Ivy)
Date: October 18, 2008
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Place: Memorial Field (13,000), Hanover, N.H.
Live Video Streaming: www.dartmouthsports.com
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.worcesterpike.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, 34-33-4
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 41, Dartmouth 15; October 13, 2007; Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Dartmouth
This will be the 72nd meeting between the Crusaders and the Big Green on the gridiron, with Dartmouth leading the all-time series 34-33-4. Holy Cross has posted victories in each of the last four years, but prior to that Dartmouth had won two straight and six out of eight games in the series. For games played in Hanover, Dartmouth holds a 21-18-3 advantage against the Crusaders, but Holy Cross has gone 18-14-3 since the opening of Memorial Field. 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, 34-33-4
In Hanover: Dartmouth leads, 21-18-3
At Memorial Field: Holy Cross leads, 18-14-3
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, four games
Tom Gilmore vs. Dartmouth: 4-0
Buddy Teevens vs. Holy Cross: 0-8
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
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 against Brown, Randolph hit on 41 of 54 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. During the previous contest at Yale, he completed a 41 of 63 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns, while leading two 90-yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Over the course of the last two games, Randolph broke and then tied the school single-game record for completions, which he had set himself by connecting on 34 passes at Lafayette on Oct. 21, 2006. Through five games played this season, he has hit on 162 of 252 passes for 1,574 yards and 14 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 643 of 1,033 passes for 7,415 yards and 63 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 (.622) is the second-best in school history. In addition, Randolph's 12 career 300-yard passing games are the second most in Holy Cross history, while his three 400-yard passing games are 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 9-6 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, despite standing just 1-2 so far this year. The 9-6 mark over the last five years includes a 4-0 record against Dartmouth, a 3-0 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 102-135-9 (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
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 caught a pass, including seven players with at least nine receptions. Senior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has posted 23 catches for a team-best 307 yards and five touchdowns, while sophomore wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) has added 19 receptions for 206 yards and one score. Sophomore wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has totaled 16 catches for 193 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught 16 passes for 159 yards. In addition, senior wide receiver Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has 15 receptions for 129 yards and one score, junior wide out Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has caught 14 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown, junior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) has posted nine catches for 101 yards and one score, and senior wide out Danny Bluth (Seal Beach, Calif.) has one reception for four yards.
Offense Puts Up Points
The Holy Cross offense is off to a fast start this year, averaging 34.6 points and 428.2 total yards per game. The Crusaders have hit the 40-point mark twice so far this season, scoring 42 points against Massachusetts and recording 41 points against Brown. Last year, Holy Cross averaged 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 1991.
Partain Gets His Kicks
Senior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is off to a strong start this season, hitting all 23 of his extra point attempts and four out of six field goal attempts. Dating back to last season, Partain has now made 73 consecutive extra points, breaking the school record which had been held by Anthony Pignio with 58 straight extra points made from 1991-1993. During last week's victory over Brown, he made field goals of 43 and 46 yards, while adding five extra points for a total of 11 points. 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 121 points, making 16 of 20 field goals and 73 of 73 extra points.
The Last Meeting With Dartmouth
Dominic Randolph accounted for 313 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, leading Holy Cross to a 41-15 victory over Dartmouth at Fitton Field on October 13, 2007. Randolph completed 24 of 35 passes for 298 yards and two scores, while rushing twice for 15 yards and another touchdown. The Crusaders opened the scoring at the 3:01-mark of the first quarter on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Randolph to Ryan Maher, before Dartmouth tied the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter with a 10-yard scoring run by Tom Bennewitz. Holy Cross would come back with touchdowns on its next two possessions, with Terrance Gass scoring on a one-yard run and Mike Kielt adding a 12-yard touchdown run. Matt Partain then kicked a 49-yard field goal on the last play of the second quarter to make the score 24-7 at the break. Partain's kick set a record for the longest field goal in Holy Cross history, breaking the mark of 48 yards set by Billy Young against Lafayette in 1986. The Crusaders continued to control the game in the third quarter, adding two more touchdowns to increase their lead to 38-7. Randolph would score on a nine-yard run, then throw a four-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Harrison. The Big Green scored their final points early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard pass from Alex Jenny to Brian Evans, before Partain concluded the scoring with a 21-yard field goal. Defensively, Ryan Stewart posted seven tackles and two tackles for loss, while Adam Sadowski added five tackles and a sack.
Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing attack so far this season, running for 567 yards with eight rushing touchdowns. Senior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) leads the team with 59 carries for 274 yards and five touchdowns, in addition to posting a team-best 24 receptions for 144 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 214 rushing yards on 42 carries, and catching 12 passes for 73 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 Dartmouth game, Gass and Kielt have combined for 2,494 rushing yards and 36 total touchdowns during their collegiate careers.
Offensive Line Continues Strong
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason for the team's success on offense so far this season. Through five games played, the line has allowed the Crusaders to average 34.6 points and 428.2 total yards per game. The line has paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 113.4 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 314.8 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has allowed just eight sacks in five games this year, while attempting 255 passes (just one sack for every 32.9 times the team dropped back to pass). Senior center Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.), senior guard Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and senior tackle Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) have all started every game for the Crusaders so far this season. Junior tackle Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) has started the last four contests for the Crusaders, while junior guard Rob Petrosino (Bogota, N.J.) has been in the starting lineup for the last three games.
Rodriguez Leads Team In Tackles
For the second straight season, junior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez (Peoria, Ariz.) is leading Holy Cross in tackles. He has totaled 27 tackles through five games played, including 19 solo stops, one sack and three tackles for loss. Rodriguez has also broken up three passes this year and recovered one fumble. His top game so far in 2008 came at Harvard, when he recorded 10 total tackles and a sack for eight yards. Last season, Rodriguez posted a team-high 69 total tackles in nine games, including 51 solo stops and two tackles for loss. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 97 total tackles with five tackles for loss.
McDermott & Jenkins Lead Special Teams
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 fifth 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 9.0 yards per return. As a team, the Crusaders currently ranks second in the Patriot League in kickoff returns (22.5 yards/return) and stand third in punt returns (9.0 yards/return).
Brown & Randolph Named
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).
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.
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Four Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Oct. 11. As a team, Holy Cross stands second in the nation in first downs, fifth in passing yards and eighth in rushing defense. The rankings:
Category Rank Player/Team Avg. Completions 1 Dominic Randolph 32.4 First Downs 2 Holy Cross 24.8 Passing Yards 2 Dominic Randolph 314.8 5 Holy Cross 314.8 Total Offense 3 Dominic Randolph 320.4 14 Holy Cross 428.2 Interceptions 5 Kyle Mushaweh 0.8 Kickoff Returns 5 Brett McDermott 32.0 21 Holy Cross 22.5 Points Responsible For 5 Dominic Randolph 20.4 Rushing Defense 8 Holy Cross 76.4 Time of Possession 11 Holy Cross 33:11 Scoring 16 Holy Cross 34.6 Third Down Defense 25 Holy Cross 31.8 Passes Defended 36 Kyle Mushaweh 1.3 Punt Returns 41 Josh Jenkins 9.0 Pass Efficiency 47 Dominic Randolph 130.3
Crusaders Among Patriot League
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. 11. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph leads the league in passing yards (314.8 yards/game) and total offense (320.4 yards/game), while standing fourth in pass efficiency (130.3 rating). Sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins ranks third in punt returns (9.0 yards/return) and fourth in all-purpose yards (115.2 yards/game), while senior placekicker Matt Partain stands first in extra point percentage (100.0 percent), second in scoring (7.0 points/game) and fourth in field goals (0.8 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) and fourth in receptions (4.8 catches/game); senior wide receiver Jon Brock stands third in scoring (6.0 points/game) and fifth in receptions (4.6 catches/game); senior strong safety Daryl Brown stands third in interceptions (0.4 picks/game); and senior punter Mike Holloway (Alexandria, Va.) is fourth in punting (36.4 yards/punt). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (34.6 points/game), turnover margin (+0.2 turnovers/game), passing offense (314.8 yards/game) and total offense (428.2 yards/game); while standing second in rushing defense (76.4 yards/game) and kickoff returns (22.5 yards/return); and ranking third in net punting (33.0 yards/punt) and punt returns (9.0 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 350-166-27 (.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 marks the 113th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 578-465-54, good for a .552 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
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 five 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).
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).
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 25-24, including a 22-16 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.
Scouting The Big Green
Dartmouth enters this week's game with an overall record of 0-4 on the season, including an 0-2 mark in the Ivy League. The Big Green has been defeated by Colgate (34-20), New Hampshire (42-6), Pennsylvania (23-10) and Yale (34-7) so far in 2008. Junior quarterback Alex Jenny has completed 84 of 151 passes for 814 yards and three touchdowns with six interceptions this year, while senior tailback Milan Williams has rushed 60 times for 222 yards and one score. Sophomore wide out Tim McManus is the top receiver for Dartmouth, with 20 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, the Big Green is led by senior strong safety Ian Wilson with 41 tackles and two tackles for loss. Buddy Teevens is in the fourth year of his second stint as Dartmouth's head coach, with an overall record of 33-49-2. Teevens' career record stands at 67-126-2, including five seasons at Tulane (1992-1996) and three years at Stanford (2002-2004).
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 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'.
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.
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 (Woburn, Mass.) caught two touchdown passes at Yale, and has now totaled 13 catches for 156 yards on the year ... Sophomore cornerback Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) is tied for the team lead with 27 total tackles so far this season, including a career-high nine total tackles in the UMass game ... 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).