#23 Holy Cross To Battle #25 Harvard On Saturday
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: #23 Holy Cross (2-0, 1-0 PL) vs. #25 Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: September 19, 2009
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
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; Click Here for Internet Broadcast
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Harvard Radio: WWZN 1510 AM, Boston
Series Record: Harvard leads, 38-22-2
Last Meeting: Harvard 25, Holy Cross 24; September 19, 2008; Cambridge, Mass.
The Series With Harvard
This will be the 63rd meeting between the Crusaders and the Crimson on the gridiron, with Harvard leading the all-time series 38-22-2. The Crimson have won 10 of the last 12 games in the series, but were defeated by Holy Cross 31-28 the last time they came to Worcester (in 2007). For all games played at Fitton Field, the Crimson hold a 7-5 lead in the series, with five straight wins prior to 2007. Holy Cross' Tom Gilmore stands 1-4 against Harvard as a head coach, to go along with an 8-8 record against the Crimson as an assistant coach (at Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth and Lehigh), and a 2-2 mark as a player (at Pennsylvania).
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Harvard leads, 38-22-2
In Worcester: Harvard leads, 7-5
At Fitton Field: Harvard leads, 7-5
Current Win Streak: Harvard, one game
Tom Gilmore vs. Harvard: 1-4
Tim Murphy vs. Holy Cross: 11-3
In Overtime: Harvard leads, 1-0
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 10-6 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, including a 2-2 mark last season. The 10-6 mark over the last five years includes a 5-0 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 103-135-9 (30-20-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 34-34-4 vs. Dartmouth, 22-38-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Senior Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) is now 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. In two games so far this year, he has completed 56 of 94 attempts for 688 yards and four touchdowns. In the season opener against Georgetown, Randolph hit on 36 of 56 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns. Then against Sacred Heart, he threw for 274 yards and two scores, while rushing for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, Randolph threw for at least 300 yards in each of his last eight games, 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 in 2008. 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 877 of 1,395 passes for 10,367 yards and 87 scores, while amassing 10,753 yards of total offense. During the Georgetown game, he broke the Holy Cross and Patriot League records for career passing yards, while becoming the first player in school or conference history to throw for over 10,000 career yards. Last season, Randolph broke the Holy Cross career records for completions, pass attempts, touchdown passes and yards of total offense. In addition, his career completion percentage of .629 in the best in school history, while his 19 career 300-yard passing games and six 400-yard passing games are both the most-ever by a Crusader. Randolph enters the Sacred Heart game ranked 17th all-time in NCAA football championship subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) history in touchdown passes, 19th in passing yards and 20th in total offense.
Bellomo & Houghton Provide Solid Combination At
Sophomore tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) and freshman tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) have both played well in the opening two games of the season. Bellomo ranks third on the team with eight receptions for 87 yards, in addition to rushing for 65 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Last season, Bellomo rushed for 150 yards on 39 attempts, while catching four passes for 37 yards. Houghton leads the team with 132 rushing yards and a score on 17 carries this year, and also has two catches for 23 yards. Houghton's 52 rushing yards in the season opener against Georgetown were the most by a Holy Cross player in his collegiate debut since Gideon Akande ran for 87 yards on eight carries against Georgetown in 2002.
DiMichele, Johnson & Wright Lead Crusader
Junior strong safety Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.), junior free safety Alex Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and senior cornerback Michael Wright (Fort Washington, Md.) have all been playing well in the Holy Cross defensive backfield this season. DiMichele leads the team with 16 total tackles on the year, with three pass breakups and one interception. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 88 tackles, 13 pass breakups and three interceptions. Johnson has recorded 10 solo tackles so far in 2009, in addition to posting two pass breakups and a forced fumble. His three-year career totals at Holy Cross now include 60 tackles and eight pass breakups. Wright has recorded 12 solo tackles, a team-high four pass breakups and one interception on the season. A second team All-Patriot League selection in 2008, he has now totaled 55 tackles, 17 pass breakups and two interceptions during his collegiate career.
Experienced Wide Receivers Shine In Passing
Holy Cross once again has a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game, as five different wide receivers have caught at least four passes so far this season. Junior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) leads the way with 14 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) is also off to a strong start, catching 10 passes for 131 yards and two scores. In addition, junior wide out Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has totaled seven receptions for 118 yards, senior wide receiver Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has posted seven catches for 48 yards and junior wide receiver Rob Koster (Bellerose, N.Y.) has caught four passes for 44 yards. Overall, the Crusaders have 10 different players with at least one reception on the season.
The Last Meeting With Harvard
The Crusader defense forced four turnovers, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated by Harvard 25-24 at Harvard Stadium on Sept. 19, 2008. The Crusaders led by 12 points in the fourth quarter, before the Crimson rallied to score 13 unanswered points down the stretch. Harvard took a 3-0 lead at the 7:39-mark of the first quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Patrick Long. The Crusaders came right back to go in front 7-3 just over three minutes later, when Dominic Randolph threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Jon Brock. Harvard was then able to cut the Holy Cross lead to 7-6 before the end of the first quarter, on another 29-yard Long field goal. Early in the second quarter, Matt Partain hit a 24-yard field goal to increase the lead to 10-6. On the Crimson's next possession, Michael Wright intercepted a pass which he returned to the Harvard 18-yard line, putting the Crusaders back into position to score. Seven plays later, Terrance Gass had a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 17-6 at halftime. Andrew Cialino and Daryl Brown both posted interceptions during the third quarter, but Holy Cross was unable to convert on the turnovers. Then, early in the fourth quarter, Harvard's Chris Pizzotti threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Marco Iannuzzi to make the score 17-12. The Crusader special teams would force the fourth turnover of the day later in the fourth quarter, when Ty Shaw recovered a fumble on a punt return at the Crimson 26-yard line. That play set up a one-yard scoring run by Randolph, giving Holy Cross a 24-12 advantage. But Harvard refused to go away, and Pizzotti scored on a pair of one-yard touchdown runs to give the Crimson the lead, 25-24 with 1:42 left to play.
Lamkin, Rodriguez Rack Up Tackles
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 over the last few years, and both were named second team All-Patriot League in 2008. In two games played so far this season, Lamkin has totaled 10 tackles with two tackles for loss and an interception. He recorded seven tackles with his first career interception against Georgetown, then had three tackles in the Sacred Heart game. Over the course of his collegiate career, Lamkin has now totaled 105 tackles with 12 tackles for loss. Rodriguez has posted 12 total tackles and three pass breakups so far in the 2009 campaign. He recorded a team-high eight solo tackles and two pass breakups against Georgetown, then had four tackles against Sacred Heart. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Rodriguez has now totaled 150 total tackles with 10 tackles for loss.
Offense Puts Up Big Numbers
The Holy Cross offense has opened the 2009 season with a pair of impressive performances. In the Sacred Heart game, the Crusaders totaled 52 points, their highest total since scoring 59 points at Lehigh in 2007. Holy Cross also played well against Georgetown, recording 519 yards of total offense. In 2008, the Crusaders averaged 34.4 points and 455.4 total yards per game. Holy Cross also totaled 348.9 passing yards per game a year ago, 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.
Offensive Line Paves The Way For Success
Holy Cross returns four starters to an offensive line which looks to be one of the most dominating units in the Patriot League in 2009. So far this season, the line has paved the way for the Crusaders to average 36.0 points and 497.5 total yards per contest. The starters on the Holy Cross line are senior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) at center, senior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and junior Mike Bernazzani (Whitman, Mass.) at guard, and senior Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) and junior Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.) at tackle. All told, the offensive linemen on Holy Cross' roster have combined for 99 career starts. A year ago, Jones was named first team All-Patriot League and Poole earned second team All-Patriot League honors. During the 2008 season, the line paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 106.5 yards per game, 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).
Crusaders Among Patriot League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Sept. 12. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph leads the league in passing yards (344.0 yards/game) and total offense (384.5 yards/game), while standing third in pass efficiency (130.8 rating) and fifth in scoring (6.0 points/game). Junior kicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) ranks first in field goals (1.5 made/game), first in punting (43.1 yards/punt) and fourth in scoring (9.0 points/game), while junior wide out Luke Chmielinski stands second in receptions (7.0 catches/game) and fifth in receiving yards (84.5 yards/game). In addition, junior wide out Freddie Santana leads the league in punt returns (8.6 yards/return); freshman tailback Eddie Houghton stands fourth in rushing (66.0 yards/game); senior wide receiver Bill Edger ranks fifth in scoring (6.0 points/game); while junior strong safety Anthony DiMichele, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin and senior cornerback Michael Wright are all tied for fourth in interceptions (0.5 picks/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in passing offense (344.0 yards/game), total offense (497.5 yards/game), scoring offense (36.0 points/game) and net punting (35.4 yards/punt); while standing second in total defense (264.0 yards/game), scoring defense (14.0 points/game), rushing defense (62.5 yards/game), pass efficiency defense (89.7 rating) and punt returns (11.0 yards/return); and ranking third in rushing offense (153.5 yards/game).
Defense Dominates Georgetown
The Holy Cross defense turned in an outstanding performance on Sept. 5 in the 20-7 victory over Georgetown. The Crusaders allowed only seven points, seven first downs and 169 total yards on the day. After the Hoyas scored a touchdown on their opening possession, Holy Cross held Georgetown to just 104 total yards and no points over the final 55:50 of play. At one point during the second and third quarters, the Crusaders held the Hoyas without a first down for five straight possessions. The seven points, seven first downs and 169 total yards were all the fewest allowed by the Holy Cross defense since Sept. 22, 2007, when they defeated Georgetown 55-0.
Holy Cross Picked First In Patriot League Preseason
The 2009 Crusaders were 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.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is now in his sixth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore currently owns an overall record of 32-25, including a 29-17 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.
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 355-166-27 (.672). 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 27-24 at home, with a 2-0 mark so far in 2009. Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in each of the last three years, going 3-2 in 2006, 4-2 in 2007 and 4-1 in 2008.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning
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.
Randolph Named Team Captain
Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph is serving 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.
Scouting The Crimson
Harvard is coming off a 2008 campaign in which it posted a 9-1 overall record and shared the Ivy League title with a 6-1 mark in conference games. The Crimson return two of their top rushers from last season, in junior tailback Gino Gordon (119 carries for 578 yards and five touchdowns) and senior tailback Cheng Ho (33 carries for 173 yards and two scores). Senior wide out Matt Luft is Harvard's top returning receiver, after catching 53 passes for 875 yards and five touchdowns in 2008. The Crimson defense, which allowed just 17.8 points and 299.3 yards per game last season, will be led by junior free safety Collin Zych. Last season, Zych totaled 72 tackles, three tackles for loss and six pass breakups. Head coach Tim Murphy is in his 16th season at the helm of the Harvard program, where he has a record of 97-52. Murphy's career record stands at 129-97-1, including five seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati and two years as head coach at Maine.
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 through the Worcester Pike website. 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 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 through SportsJuice.
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, click here.
Junior kicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) leads the team in scoring so far this season with 18 points, making all nine of his extra point attempts and three field goals. Dornfried has also averaged 43.1 yards on eight punts this year ... Senior linebacker Anthony Campbell (New Albany, Ohio) recorded two quarterback sacks among his four total tackles against Georgetown. That marked the second multi-sack game of Campbell's career, after he had previously posted two sacks in the 2008 victory at Lafayette ... 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 ... 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).