Holy Cross Set To Close Out 2007 Season Against Colgate
Nov. 12, 2007
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (6-4, 3-2 PL) vs. Colgate (7-3, 4-1 PL)
Date: November 17, 2007
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
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
Colgate Radio: WKXZ 99.3 FM, Oneonta, N.Y.; Eric Malanoski, play-by-play; Steve Stilwell, color
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 36-28-5
Last Meeting: Colgate 29, Holy Cross 28; November 11, 2006; Hamilton, N.Y.
The Series With Colgate
This will be the 70th meeting between the Crusaders and the Raiders on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 36-28-5. Colgate has won six straight and nine out of the last 10 games in the series, but prior to that Holy Cross had posted 14 consecutive victories over the Raiders. For games played in Worcester, the Crusaders hold a 23-16-2 advantage against Colgate, but the Raiders have won five in a row. The schools first met on November 3, 1917, with Colgate posting a 21-0 victory in Utica, N.Y.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 36-28-5
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 23-16-2
At Fitton Field: Holy Cross leads, 23-16-2
Current Win Streak: Colgate, six games
Tom Gilmore vs. Colgate: 0-3
Dick Biddle vs. Holy Cross: 9-2
Holy Cross has 17 seniors who will be playing in their final regular season home game at Fitton Field against Colgate. The members of the Holy Cross senior class are cornerback Seun Bayode (Tampa, Fla.), linebacker Dana Buglione (Vestal, N.Y.), defensive tackle Will Collins (Shrewsbury, Mass.), strong safety Kent Flanders (Atlanta, Ga.), cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.), defensive end Doug Graiser (Kennesaw, Ga.), free safety Obi Green (The Colony, Texas), wide receiver Thomas Harrison (Wilmington, N.C.), linebacker Mark Kelliher (Whitman, Mass.), tight end Nate Langelier (Oxnard, Calif.), wide receiver Justin Maher (Milford, Conn.), wide receiver Ryan Maher (Boca Raton, Fla.), tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.), quarterback Brian McSharry (Abington, Mass.), offensive tackle Dan Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.), cornerback Demetrick Perkins (Maplewood, N.J.) and defensive end Adam Sadowski (Tucson, Ariz.). These 17 players will be recognized prior to the start of the game. The Crusader seniors have led the team to a 19-13 record over the last three seasons, good for the school's most victories in a three-year period since 1991-1993.
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 348-165-27 (.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 20-23 at home, with a 3-2 mark so far in 2007. With a victory over Colgate this week, Holy Cross would post a winning record at home for the second straight year, after going 3-2 at Fitton Field in 2006.
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) continues to be an excellent leader for the Holy Cross offense this season. In 10 games played this year, Randolph has completed 268 of 440 attempts for 3,163 yards and 27 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. On Nov. 3 at Fordham, he completed 32 of 53 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns. In the previous game at Bucknell, Randolph connected on 30 of 43 attempts for 363 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a huge game at Brown, completing 29 of 37 attempts for 404 yards and six touchdowns, while setting new career highs for passing yards and touchdown passes. Two of his scoring passes against Brown came in the fourth quarter, after Brown had come back to tie the score at 34-34. Some of Randolph's other top performances in 2007 came against Lehigh (22 of 32 for 375 yards and three scores), Dartmouth (24 of 35 for 298 yards and two touchdowns), Georgetown (22 of 33 for 302 yards and two touchdowns), Harvard (29 of 55 for 339 yards and four touchdowns) and Massachusetts (32 of 62 for 296 yards and two scores). 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 452 of 739 passes for 5,400 yards and 46 scores. Still in just his second year as a starter, Randolph already ranks fifth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, fifth in career completions, fifth in career passing yards and fifth in career pass attempts, while his career completion percentage (.612) is the second-best in school history. With one game remaining in the 2007 season, he already broken the school single season records for completions (268) and pass attempts (440), while standing second on the Crusader single season lists for touchdown passes (27) and passing yards (3,163). In addition, his nine career 300-yard passing games are the third most in Holy Cross history.
Maher Makes Big Catches
Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher continues to show why he is one of the top wide outs in the nation. Through 10 games played this year, Maher has totaled a team-best 69 receptions for 820 yards and 10 touchdowns. In the Fordham game, he totaled seven receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown. Previously at Lehigh, Maher led the team with nine receptions for a career-best 165 yards and a score. Earlier in the season at Brown, he caught six passes for 110 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Some of Maher's other top performances this season have come against Bucknell (six catches, 88 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns), Georgetown (five receptions for 83 yards and a score), Dartmouth (seven receptions for 71 yards and a score), Harvard (nine catches for 75 yards and a touchdown) and Massachusetts (11 receptions for 85 yards). Last year, he led the team and the 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 21 consecutive games, while posting three or more receptions in 18 straight contests. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 142 catches for 1,755 yards and 16 touchdowns. Maher currently ranks sixth all-time at Holy Cross in career receptions and touchdown catches, and seventh in career receiving yards.
Offensive Line Continues Strong
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 135.6 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 324.6 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has allowed only 14 sacks in 10 games this year, while attempting 455 passes (just one sack for every 33.5 times the team drops back to pass). 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 and junior Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) at the tackle positions. All five of those players have started every game so far this season.
The Last Meeting With The Raiders - Colgate 29, Holy
Mike Kielt ran 15 times for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Colgate 29-28 at Andy Kerr Stadium on November 11, 2006. After a scoreless first quarter, Colgate drove into Holy Cross territory, before Casey Gough forced a fumble, which Adam Sadowski recovered at the seven-yard line. The Crusaders then marched 93 yards on seven plays, with Matt Fanning catching a 35-yard touchdown pass from Dominic Randolph to make the score 7-0. The Raiders had the ball in Holy Cross territory again, before Chris Nielsen knocked the ball from the hand of Mike Saraceno, and Dan Adams recovered at the 30-yard line. The Crusaders would convert on the turnover once again, as Randolph threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Justin Maher. But before the end of the half, Colgate made the score 14-8, as Saraceno threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Ty Henry, then Jordan Scott ran for the two-point conversion. Holy Cross increased its lead to 21-8 early in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by Kielt, before the Raiders came back with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Saraceno to Erik Burke. Brian Billman then recovered a fumble on the Colgate four-yard line, setting up a four-yard touchdown run from Kielt. But on the opening play of the fourth quarter, Saraceno ran 23 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-22. The Raiders then took the lead with 8:25 left in the fourth quarter, when Scott ran three yards for a touchdown. Holy Cross had one last chance to win the game, but Mike DeSantis' 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked with 5:36 left. Randolph completed 18 of 42 passes for 268 yards on the day, while Fanning had a team-best four catches for 81 yards. Saraceno led Colgate by hitting on 19 of 31 passes for 289 yards, in addition to running for 17 yards. Defensively, Adams totaled 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and an interception, while Kyle Mushaweh added 15 tackles and a pass breakup.
Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide
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 51 catches for 688 yards and six touchdowns. Junior wide out Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has added 49 receptions for 639 yards and four scores, while junior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has brought in 41 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught six passes for 52 yards, senior wide out Justin Maher has three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown and sophomore wide receiver Mike Frawley (Glen Mills, Pa.) had three catches for 15 yards. Last season, eight different Holy Cross wide receivers caught at least one pass.
Offense Continues To Put Up Points
Holy Cross is currently enjoying one of the best offensive seasons in school history. Through nine contests, the Crusaders are currently averaging 36.8 points and 460.2 yards per game. The scoring mark would be the second-best in school history, behind only the undefeated 1987 team which averaged 46.5 points per game. Holy Cross has also scored over 40 points five times this 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.
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. Through 10 games played so far this year, he has posted 57 total tackles with six tackles for loss, two interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and five pass breakups, while returning 15 kickoffs for 372 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 recorded 204 tackles, nine interceptions and 26 pass breakups. He has also totaled 1,742 yards and a touchdown on 69 career kickoff returns, to rank second all-time at Holy Cross in career kickoff return yards and career kickoff return average (25.2 yards per return).
Defense Holds Down The Opposition
The Holy Cross defense has been solid through 10 games played this season, holding its opponents to 24.4 points, 18.4 first downs and 365.3 yards per game. The Crusaders have been even more impressive against Patriot League opponents, allowing just 17.2 points, 14.8 first downs and 279.2 yards per contest in conference action. Holy Cross has also forced 22 total turnovers this season (eight interceptions and 14 fumbles), good for an average of 2.2 takeaways per game. The 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 were 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.
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 Nov. 10. As a team, Holy Cross stands third in passing yards, fifth in total offense and 10th in scoring. The rankings:
Category Rank Player/Team Avg. Completions 2 Dominic Randolph 26.8 Passing Yards 2 Dominic Randolph 316.3 3 Holy Cross 324.6 Total Offense 4 Dominic Randolph 326.8 5 Holy Cross 460.2 Fewest Penalty Yards 5 Holy Cross 36.8 Points Responsible For 6 Dominic Randolph 18.6 Fewest Penalties 8 Holy Cross 4.7 Scoring 10 Holy Cross 36.8 44 Matt Partain 7.7 Receptions 13 Ryan Maher 6.9 44 Thomas Harrison 5.1 Third Down Conversions 14 Holy Cross 45.1 Receiving Yards 22 Ryan Maher 82.0 48 Thomas Harrison 68.8 Turnover Margin 23 Holy Cross +0.8 Pass Defense 26 Holy Cross 179.8 Pass Efficiency 28 Dominic Randolph 137.9 Kickoff Returns 37 Casey Gough 24.8 Field Goals 44 Matt Partain 1.0 Punt Returns 49 Josh Jenkins 8.4
Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing attack in 2007, running for 135.6 yards per game with 17 rushing touchdown. Junior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) currently leads the team in rushing with 541 yards and six touchdowns on 90 carries this season, in addition to catching 24 passes for 262 yards and three scores. Gass' top game so far this season came at Bucknell, when he ran for a career-high 125 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while catching three passes for 70 yards and another score. Some of his other top performances this year have been against Lehigh (117 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns), Brown (109 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns), Dartmouth (12 carries for 76 yards and a score), Harvard (88 yards from scrimmage) and UMass (81 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown). Sophomore tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) is also enjoying a strong season with 367 yards and six scores on 73 carries, to go along with 16 receptions for 150 yards. In the Georgetown game, Kielt led the team with 13 carries for 70 yards and two scores, in addition to catching two passes for 29 yards. His other top games in 2007 have been against Dartmouth (92 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown) and Brown (91 yards from scrimmage).
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 22-21, including a 19-13 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 Win Turnover Battle
In 10 games played so far this season, Holy Cross forced its opponents to commit 22 turnovers, while giving the ball away just 14 times. The Crusaders have recovered 14 fumbles on the year, in addition to posting eight interceptions. In the Lehigh game, Holy Cross forced a total of six turnovers (three interceptions and three fumbles), good for its most takeaways in a game since Nov. 2, 2002, when Bucknell turned the ball over to the Crusaders six times. Junior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh (Woodbury, Conn.) leads the team with three interceptions on the year, including one which he returned for a touchdown. Senior cornerback Casey Gough also has three takeaways this season, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. On the offensive side of the ball, the Crusaders have thrown nine interceptions and lost just five fumbles. Holy Cross had a streak of 297 consecutive offensive plays without a turnover earlier this season, spanning five games.
Partain Gets His Kicks
Junior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is enjoying an outstanding season for the Crusaders. Through 10 games played, he has hit 10 of 12 field goal attempts and connected on all 47 of his extra point tries, to lead the team in scoring with 77 points. In the victory at Lehigh, Partain made one field goal and eight extra points, good for the second-most made extra points in school history. Previously against Dartmouth he scored 11 points (five extra points and two field goals), including a 49-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. That 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. Earlier this season, Partain kicked a 40-yard field goal against Yale, and a 37-yarder at Brown. He also scored 12 points in both the Georgetown and Brown games, and his current streak of 47 straight extra points made is the second-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.
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 Nov. 10. Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph currently leads the league in passing yards (316.3 yards/game) and total offense (326.8 yards/game), and ranks second in pass efficiency (137.9 rating). Senior wide out Ryan Maher leads in the league in receptions (6.9 catches/game) and receiving yards (82.0 yards/game), while standing third in scoring (6.6 points/game). Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison ranks third in the conference in both receiving yards (68.8 yards/game) and receptions (5.1 catches/game), while junior wide receiver Brett McDermott is fourth in the conference in both receiving yards (63.9 yards/game) and receptions (4.9 catches/game). In addition, junior placekicker Matt Partain ranks first in extra points (100.0 percent), first in field goals (1.0 made/game) and second in scoring (7.7 points/game); junior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh is third in interceptions (0.3 picks/game); senior cornerback Casey Gough stands third in kickoff returns (24.8 yards/return); junior tailback Terrance Gass ranks fourth in rushing (54.1 yards/game); freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) is fourth in punt returns (8.4 yards/return); and junior wide receiver Jon Brock stands fifth in receptions (4.1 catches/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in total offense (460.2 yards/game), scoring offense (36.8 points/game), passing offense (324.6 yards/game), turnover margin (+0.8 turnovers/game) and pass efficiency (136.2 rating); while standing second in pass defense (179.8 yards/game) and pass efficiency defense (116.4 rating); and ranking third in punt returns (9.0 yards/return).
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 575-462-54, 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.
Scouting The Raiders
Colgate stands 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the Patriot League this year, and enters this week with a four-game winning streak. The Colgate offense is led by junior tailback Jordan Scott, who has rushed for 1669 yards and 17 touchdowns on 370 carries. Junior quarterback Alex Relph is also enjoying a solid season, completing 141 of 233 passes for 1914 yards and 12 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, in addition to rushing for 118 yards and a score. Senior wide out Erik Burke is the top receiver for the Raiders, with 51 catches for 811 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior linebacker Mike Gallihugh leads the Colgate defense with 117 tackles on the year, including nine tackles for loss. Dick Biddle is now in his 12th season as the Raiders' head coach, and has posted an overall record of 95-45. Biddle served as Colgate's defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach, and also spent time as an assistant at Navy, Minnesota and Virginia Tech.
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 six 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. 3 Fordham WNBC-TV4.4 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 cornerback Casey Gough, senior free safety Obi Green and junior quarterback Dominic Randolph are serving as Holy Cross' tri-captains this season ... Junior cornerback Kyle Mushaweh recorded the first two interceptions of his collegiate career in the Lehigh game, returning one of them for a touchdown ... The Crusaders posted a 3-1 mark against Ivy League foes this season, and now stand 8-4 against the Ivy League under Tom Gilmore ... Senior tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.) has 10 catches for 84 yards this season, including a 12-yard touchdown reception in the victory over Georgetown ... 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 played 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.