September 19, 2009

#23 Holy Cross Defeats #25 Harvard 27-20

Video: Holy Cross-Harvard Highlights

WORCESTER, Mass. - Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) accounted for 334 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, as the 23rd-ranked Holy Cross football team posted a 27-20 victory over 25th-ranked Harvard at Fitton Field. Randolph completed 25 of 39 passes for 293 yards and two scores, in addition to leading the team in rushing with 41 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Holy Cross improves to 3-0 overall with the win, opening the year with three straight wins for the first time since 2000. Harvard begins it campaign at 0-1.

The Crimson opened the game by marching 79 yards in 10 plays to take a 6-0 lead on a five-yard touchdown pass from Collier Winters to Gino Gordon. Patrick Long's extra point attempt was wide right. Later in the first quarter, the Crusaders claimed their first lead on a 21-yard scoring strike from Randolph to senior wide receiver Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.), going in front 7-6. Holy Cross then increased its advantage to 14-6 in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Randolph.

After leading by eight points at halftime, sophomore tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) scored on a 10-yard run early in the third quarter, and the Crusaders were up 20-6 after a missed extra point. But Harvard refused to go away, and Gordon scored on a two-yard run just over four minutes later to make the score 20-13.

Early in the fourth quarter, Holy Cross increased its lead to 27-13 on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Randolph to freshman wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.). The Crusader defense looked to have Harvard on the ropes on its next possession, but the Crimson converted on a fourth-and-14 play with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Winters to Chris Lorditch, making the score 27-20.

Harvard would get the ball back one more time with 3:41 remaining, but senior defensive end Nicholas MacDonald (Lackawanna, N.Y.) sacked Winters to force a fumble, which senior linebacker Andrew Cialino (Medford, N.J.) recovered on the Crimson 28-yard line. After Randolph carried twice to pick up a first down, the Crusaders were able to run out the clock and claim the victory.

Holy Cross if off next week, and will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 3, when it travels to Northeastern for a 1:00 p.m. game.