Crusaders Set To Open 2009 Campaign Against Georgetown
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: #25 Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0 PL) vs. Georgetown (0-0, 0-0 PL)
Date: September 5, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Unofficial Live Statistics: Click Here
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, Worcester
Georgetown Radio: WGTB 92.3 FM, Washington
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 14-7
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 38, Georgetown 14, September 27, 2008, Washington, D.C.
The Series With Georgetown
This will be the 22nd meeting between the Crusaders and the Hoyas on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 14-7. The Crusaders have won their last nine games against Georgetown, and have been victorious in 11 of the last 13 meetings. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross owns a 7-4 advantage in the series, including four straight wins and five victories in the last six meetings. The last win for the Hoyas in the series came on Sept. 11, 1999, when they posted a 34-16 victory at Fitton Field. Since Georgetown became a member of the Patriot League in 2002, the Hoyas have an 0-7 mark against the Crusaders.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 14-7
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 7-4
At Fitton Field: Holy Cross leads, 7-4
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, nine games
Tom Gilmore vs. Georgetown: 5-0
Kevin Kelly vs. Holy Cross: 0-3
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
Holy Cross will start its 114th season of intercollegiate football with the Georgetown game. The Crusaders have always been excellent on opening day, posting a record of 67-37-9 in their season debuts. Even with losses to UMass in each of the last two years, and Holy Cross stands 5-4 on opening day during the current decade. Since the beginning of the 1980 season, Holy Cross owns an 18-10-1 mark in its opener. The Crusaders also have an all-time record of 76-29-7 in their opening home game of the season. Holy Cross has a 7-5 record in home openers over the last 12 years.
Holy Cross Set To Open Another
Year In The Patriot League
Holy Cross will begin its 24th season of play in the Patriot League when it faces Georgetown on Sept. 5. The Crusaders own an all-time mark of 15-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, including last year's 38-14 victory over the Hoyas. 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 69-58 (.543) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).
Randolph Leads Crusader
Senior Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) will be in his fourth season as Holy Cross' starting quarterback, and is one of the favorites to win the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in the NCAA football championship subdivision. Randolph threw for at least 300 yards in each of his last eight games in 2008, including three 400-yard performances. In 11 games played last season, he hit on 340 of 520 passes for 3,838 yards and 34 touchdowns. Randolph set new Holy Cross single-season records for passing yards, total offense (3,917 yards), completions and pass attempts, while tying the mark for touchdown passes. He now owns the top two spots on the single-season lists for both completions and pass attempts.
Randolph Attacks Record Book
Over the course of his collegiate career, senior quarterback Dominic Randolph has completed 821 of 1,301 passes for 9,679 yards and 83 scores, while amassing 9,984 yards of total offense. He enters the Georgetown game in second place all-time at Holy Cross in career passing yards, just 19 yards behind Jeff Wiley (9,698 yards from 1985-1988). During the 2008 finale at Colgate, Randolph broke the school career record for yards of total offense, which had been held by Wiley (9,877 yards). Earlier in 2008 against Fordham, he broke the school career records for touchdown passes (72 by Tom Ciaccio from 1988-1991) and pass attempts (1,208 by Wiley), while in the 2008 game with Bucknell, he broke the school career record for completions (723 by Wiley). Randolph's career completion percentage of .631 is also the best in school history, while 18 career 300-yard passing games and five 400-yard passing games are both the most-ever by a Crusader.
Offensive Line Returns Four Starters
Holy Cross returns four starters to an offensive line which was a key reason why the Crusaders ranked among the top teams in the nation in both total offense and scoring last season. The line paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 106.5 yards per game in 2008, while also providing pass protection which allowed the Crusaders to throw for 348.9 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross allowed only 16 sacks in 11 games last year, while attempting 523 passes (just one sack for every 33.7 times the team dropped back to pass). Returning starters for the Crusaders include senior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) at center, senior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and senior Rob Petrosino (Bogota, N.J.) at the guard spots, and senior Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) at one tackle position. Each of those four returnees started at least nine games last season, with both Jones and Poole earning All-Patriot League honors. The final tackle spot will be manned by junior Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.), who started the first two games in 2008, before missing the remainder of the season due to injury.
DiMichele & Wright Look To Lead Holy Cross
Junior cornerback Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) and senior cornerback Michael Wright (Fort Washington, Md.) both enjoyed strong seasons in the Holy Cross defensive backfield in 2008. DiMichele finished third on the team with 58 total tackles last season, including 53 solo stops and two tackles for loss. He also ranked second on the team with 10 pass breakups, while recording a pair of interceptions. Wright earned second team All-Patriot League honors, after leading the team with 12 pass breakups last year. In addition, he recorded one interception and 34 total tackles, including two tackles for loss.
Offense Puts Up Points
The Holy Cross offense enjoyed another outstanding season in 2008, averaging 34.4 points and 455.4 total yards per game. The Crusaders also averaged 348.9 passing yards per game last season, the second-most in school history behind only the 1987 team which averaged 358.4 yards through the air. In addition, Holy Cross hit the 40-point mark three times last year, scoring 44 points at Dartmouth, 42 points against Massachusetts and 41 points against Brown. The Crusaders also had an outstanding year offensively in 2007, averaging 35.9 points and 463.4 yards per game.
The Last Meeting - Holy Cross 38, Georgetown 14
Dominic Randolph completed 25 of 39 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns, to lead Holy Cross to a 38-14 victory over Georgetown at the Multi-Sport Field. Randolph also rushed for a score, and finished the game with 294 yards of total offense. Holy Cross opened the scoring at the 11:41-mark of the first quarter, on a one-yard touchdown run by Randolph. Later in the first period, the Crusaders increased their lead to 14-0 on a 14-yard scoring pass from Randolph to Brett McDermott at the 3:38-mark. Georgetown scored its first points of the game midway through the second quarter, when a tipped pass was intercepted by Nick Parrish and returned 95 yards for a touchdown. But the Crusaders came back to score 10 more points before halftime, increasing their lead to 24-7. Terrance Gass had a 12-yard touchdown run, then Matt Partain added a 40-yard field goal. Holy Cross scored another touchdown early in the third quarter on an 11-yard pass from Randolph to Luke Chmielinski. The Hoyas scored the game's next points early in the fourth quarter, when Parrish picked off another deflected pass and brought it back 31 yards for a touchdown. But the Crusaders responded on their next possession, putting the game away with an 11-yard scoring pass from Randolph to Jon Brock. Gass finished the game with 135 yards on 24 carries, while McDermott led all receivers with five catches for 39 yards. Georgetown's James Brady hit on 15 of 30 passes for 128 yards, but was intercepted three times. The Crusader defense forced five total turnovers on the day, while allowing just 199 yards of total offense. Kyle Mushaweh led the way with three interceptions, while Andrew Cialino had a team-best eight tackles.
Lamkin & Rodriguez Among
Senior linebacker Sean Lamkin (Jenks, Okla.) and senior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez (Peoria, Ariz.) have been two of the top players on the Holy Cross defense, and both were named second team All-Patriot League in 2008. Lamkin led the team with 71 total tackles in 11 games played last year, including 56 solo stops, six tackles for loss and one sack. He also broke up two passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble last season. Over the course of his collegiate career, Lamkin has now totaled 95 tackles with 10 tackles for loss. Rodriguez finished 2008 ranked second on the team with 68 tackles in 11 games played, including 49 solo stops, four sacks and eight tackles for loss. He also broke up four passes last year, forced a fumble and recovered one fumble. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Rodriguez has now totaled 138 total tackles with 10 tackles for loss.
Crusaders Return An Abundance
Of Experienced Wide Receivers
Despite the graduation of two of its top receivers from a year ago, Holy Cross looks to once again have a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game. Junior wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) is the top returning receiver on the squad, after posting 35 catches for 329 yards in 2008. Senior wide receiver Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) was also very productive last year, totaling 30 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, junior wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) posted 27 catches for 310 yards and three touchdowns a year ago, while junior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) added 24 receptions for 258 yards and one score, and senior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) totaled 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns.
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 353-166-27 (.671). 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 25-24 at home, with a 4-1 mark in 2008. Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in each of the last three years, including marks of 3-2 at Fitton Field in 2006 and 4-2 in 2007.
Holy Cross Picked First In
Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2009 Crusaders have been picked to finish in first place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, Holy Cross senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and linebacker Mark Leggiero of Lafayette was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Randolph Named Team
Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph will serve as Holy Cross' team captain during the 2009 football season, as announced by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. Randolph, who was one of three captains during the 2007 campaign and one of two captains in 2008, becomes the first player in school history to serve as a team captain for three seasons. Only 10 other players in the history of Holy Cross football had previously served as a captain for two years. This will also mark the first time since the 1967 season that the Crusaders will have just one player serving as team captain.
Crusaders Bring In Preseason
Several Holy Cross players have earned preseason accolades heading into the 2009 campaign. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was named a second team All-American by both The Sports Network and Phil Steele's 2009 College Football Preview. In addition, several other players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2009 College Football Preview. Randolph was joined on the first team by senior offensive lineman Aaron Jones, senior offensive lineman Chris Poole, senior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez, senior offensive lineman Chris Smith and senior defensive back Michael Wright. Senior defensive lineman Alex Carson (Atlanta, Ga.), junior defensive back Anthony DiMichele, junior kick returner Josh Jenkins and senior offensive lineman Rob Petrosino were all selected to the second team.
Crusaders Look To Post Another
In 2009, the Crusaders are looking to post a winning record for the fifth straight year. In 2008, Holy Cross finished the season with an overall record of 7-4, marking the third consecutive year in which it has posted seven victories. The Crusaders previously went 7-4 in both 2006 and 2007, and their 21-12 mark over the last three seasons is its best in a three-year span since the 1990, 1991 and 1992 squads went a combined 26-6-1. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 27-17 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. This marks the first time the Crusaders have posted four straight winning seasons since finishing with a winning mark in seven straight years from 1986-1992.
Crusaders Among Patriot League
Several Holy Cross players ranked at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories during the 2008 season. Quarterback Dominic Randolph led the league in passing yards (348.9 yards/game), total offense (356.1 yards/game) and pass efficiency (142.4 rating). Wide out Jon Brock ranked second in receptions (5.5 catches/game), third in scoring (7.1 points/game) and third in receiving yards (84.3 yards/game), while senior placekicker Matt Partain stood first in extra point percentage (98.0 percent), second in scoring (7.6 points/game) and second in field goals (1.1 made/game). In addition, wide receiver Brett McDermott led in the league in kickoff returns (26.4 yards/return); strong safety Daryl Brown was second in interceptions (0.3 picks/game); and wide receiver Josh Jenkins ranked third in punt returns (6.3 yards/return). As a team, Holy Cross led the league in scoring offense (34.4 points/game), passing offense (348.9 yards/game) and total offense (455.4 yards/game); while standing third in pass efficiency (141.6 rating), net punting (33.7 yards/punt), rushing defense (115.4 yards/game) and kickoff returns (20.6 yards/return).
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is entering his sixth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore currently owns an overall record of 30-25, including a 27-17 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. He has led Holy Cross to winning records in four straight seasons, including 7-4 marks in 2006, 2007 and 2008, along with winning streaks of six games (in 2008) and five games (in 2006). Two of Gilmore's players, Dominic Randolph (2007 and 2008) and Steve Silva (2005), have been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, with Silva also 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.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2009 campaign will mark the 114th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter the year with an overall record of 583-466-54, good for a .553 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.
Scouting The Hoyas
Georgetown is coming off a 2008 season during which it posted an overall record of 2-8 and an 0-5 mark in the Patriot League. Junior quarterback Keerome Lawrence led the team by rushing for 392 yards and three scores last year, in addition to completing 56 of 103 passes for 481 yards with three touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sophomore quarterback James Brady also saw a good deal of action in 2008, hitting on 75 of 142 passes for 690 yards and three touchdowns with six interceptions, while rushing for 22 yards. Defensively, junior linebacker Nick Parrish led Georgetown with 73 total tackles and nine tackles for loss. Head coach Kevin Kelly is in his fourth season at the helm of the Hoyas' program, posting an overall record of 5-27. Prior to his time at Georgetown, Kelly spent four years as the linebackers and special teams coach at Navy.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2009 will air on The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 40th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 24th 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 10th 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 2009 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2009 campaign:
Sept. 19 vs. Harvard: WCTR-TV3
Oct. 24 vs. Colgate: WCTR-TV3
Nov. 7 at Lehigh: Service Electric
Nov. 14 vs. Lafayette: WCTR-TV3 / Lafayette Sports Network
The Holy Cross Football
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 2009 Holy Cross home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision.The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $6.95 per game. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, visit ‘www.GoHolyCross.com'.
Holy Cross placed 25th in the Sports Network preseason national rankings, marking its first appearance in the poll since 2002 ... The Crusaders were picked as the No. 13 team in the nation and the top team in the Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2009 College Football Preview. Holy Cross was also ranked No. 18 in the nation by Athlon and No. 21 by Lindy's ... Ten different Crusaders posted over 20 receptions in 2008. Prior to last season, Holy Cross never had more than seven players with 20 catches in the same year ... Holy Cross' four losses last season came by a total combined margin of just eight points. Prior to this last, the Crusaders had never lost four games by a field goal or less in the same season. The last time Holy Cross lost three times by a field goal or less came in 1980, when they dropped three one-point contests to Harvard (14-13), Connecticut (18-17) and Boston College (27-26) ... For only the third 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, Northeastern and Sacred Heart).