19th-Ranked Crusaders Travel To Brown On Saturday
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: #19 Holy Cross (4-0, 1-0 PL) vs. Brown (1-2, 0-1 Ivy)
Date: October 10, 2009
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Place: Brown Stadium (20,000), Providence, R.I.
Live Video Streaming: B2 Networks
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
Brown Radio: WPRV 790 AM, Providence, R.I.
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 31-20-3
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 41, Brown 34; October 11, 2008; Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Brown
This will be the 55th meeting between the Crusaders and the Bears on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 31-20-3. The Crusaders have defeated the Bears in each of the last three seasons, but prior to that the teams had not played since 1995. Overall, Holy Cross has won nine of the last 11 games in the series. For games played in Providence, the Bears hold a 14-13-1 advantage, but Holy Cross leads 13-12-1 at Brown Stadium. The teams first met on Oct. 1, 1898, with Brown posting a 19-0 victory in Providence.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 31-20-3
In Providence: Brown leads, 14-13-1
At Brown Stadium: Holy Cross leads, 13-12-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, three games
Tom Gilmore vs. Brown: 3-0
Phil Estes vs. Holy Cross: 0-3
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 11-6 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, including a 1-0 record so far this season. The 11-6 mark over the last five years includes a 5-0 record against Dartmouth, a 3-0 mark against Brown, a 2-4 record against Harvard and a 1-2 mark against Yale. The Crusaders' all-time record against the Ivy League stands at 104-135-9 (30-20-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 34-34-4 vs. Dartmouth, 23-38-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).
Randolph Attacks Record Book
Over the course of his collegiate career, senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) has completed 918 of 1,458 passes for 10,965 yards and 94 scores, while amassing 11,421 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 .630 in the best in school history, while his 20 career 300-yard passing games and six 400-yard passing games are both the most-ever by a Crusader. Randolph enters this week's game ranked 10th all-time in NCAA football championship subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) history in touchdown passes, 13th in passing yards and 14th in yards of total offense. He also owns the all-time FCS record with his current streak of 33 games in which he has thrown for at least 200 yards.
Crusaders Get Off To Fast Start
If Holy Cross can defeat Brown, it would start the season 5-0 for the first time since the 1991 campaign. In 1991, the Crusaders won all of their games, finishing the year with a perfect 11-0 record. This season's 4-0 start is the best by Holy Cross during Tom Gilmore's tenure as head coach. Previously, the best start by the Crusaders under Gilmore came in 2005, when they opened 2-0 with wins over Sacred Heart (56-21) and Georgetown (48-6). Overall, this year marks the 20th time in school history in which Holy Cross has started a season with at least four straight victories. The Crusaders have opened 11-0 twice (1987 and 1991), 10-0 once (1986), 8-0 once (1983), 7-0 twice (1945 and 1984), 6-0 three times (1925, 1926 and 1932), 5-0 seven times (1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1955, 1978 and 1989) and 4-0 four times (1935, 1952, 1982 and 2009).
Experienced Wide Receivers Shine In Passing Game
Holy Cross once again has a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game, as five different wide receivers have caught at least eight passes so far this season. Junior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) leads the way with 21 catches for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) is also off to a strong start, catching 14 passes for 247 yards and two scores. In addition, junior wide out senior wide receiver Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has totaled 10 receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns, Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has posted nine catches for 148 yards and a score, and junior wide receiver Rob Koster (Bellerose, N.Y.) has caught eight passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the Crusaders have 10 wide receivers and 16 total players with at least one reception on the season.
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Senior Dominic Randolph 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 four games so far this year, he has completed 97 of 157 attempts for 1,286 yards and 11 touchdowns, while ranking second on the team in rushing with 151 yards and three scores on 31 carries. During last week's victory over Northeastern, Randolph completed 16 of 24 attempts for 305 yards and five scores. Previously against Harvard, he hit on 25 of 39 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 41 yards and a score. Randolph also played well against Sacred Heart (274 yards and two touchdowns, 64 rushing yards and two scores) and Georgetown (36 of 56 for 414 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.
Offense Puts Up Big Numbers
The Holy Cross offense has opened the 2009 season with some impressive performances. The Crusaders have averaged 35.2 points and 446.8 yards of total offense per game on the year. Holy Cross has thrown for 322.5 yards per game this season, while averaging 124.2 yards per contest on the ground. The Crusaders have hit the 40-point mark twice already this season, scoring 52 points against Sacred Heart and 42 points at Northeastern. The 52 points against Sacred Heart were Holy Cross' highest total since scoring 59 points at Lehigh in 2007. 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.
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 38 total tackles on the year, with four pass breakups and one interception. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 110 tackles, 14 pass breakups and three interceptions. Johnson has recorded 18 solo tackles so far in 2009, in addition to posting four pass breakups and a forced fumble. His three-year career totals at Holy Cross now include 68 tackles and 10 pass breakups. Wright has recorded 17 total tackles, a team-high six pass breakups and one interception on the season. A second team All-Patriot League selection in 2008, he has now totaled 60 tackles, 19 pass breakups and two interceptions during his collegiate career.
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 four games of the season. Bellomo leads the team 162 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries, in addition to catching 16 passes for 136 yards. Last season, Bellomo ran for 150 yards on 39 attempts, while catching four passes for 37 yards. Houghton ranks third on the team with 149 rushing yards and a score on 23 carries this year, and also has three catches for 31 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.
Offensive Line Paves The Way For Success
Holy Cross has a number of experienced players along the offensive line, where it looks to have 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 35.2 points and 446.8 total yards per contest. The line has allowed Holy Cross to thrown for 322.5 yards per game in 2009, and has allowed just five sacks while the team has attempted 159 passes (just one sack for every 32.8 times the team dropped back to pass). 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 109 career starts. A year ago, Jones was named first team All-Patriot League and Poole earned second team All-Patriot League honors.
The Last Meeting With Brown
Dominic Randolph connected on 41 of 54 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns, to lead Holy Cross to a 41-34 victory over Brown at Fitton Field on Oct. 11, 2008. The Crusaders jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a one-yard run by Terrance Gass and a 57-yard scoring pass from Randolph to Jon Brock. Brown came back to score its first points with Michael Dougherty throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Sewall. Holy Cross made the score 21-7 before the end of the first quarter, when Randolph found Brock with another scoring strike, this one for 33 yards. Dougherty threw his second touchdown pass early in the second quarter, finding Trevan Samp for 13 yards. The Crusaders came right back down the field, and Randolph tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Santana. The Bears would not go away, and Dougherty threw a 22-yard scoring pass to Colin Cloherty to cut the lead to 28-21. Then, on the last play of the second quarter, Matt Partain booted a 46-yard field goal to make the score 31-21. Partain kicked his second field goal early in the third quarter (from 43 yards out) to put Holy Cross up 34-21. Brown's Robert Ranney then kicked a pair of field goals, one late in the third quarter and another early in the fourth, cutting the Crusader lead to 34-27. But Randolph came back to throw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Bill Edger, to make the score 41-27. The Bears added a touchdown with just over a minute to go on a 64-yard pass from Dougherty to Sewall, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, and Holy Cross ran out the clock.
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 34-25, including a 31-17 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. Gilmore has also led the Crusaders to a pair of victories over ranked opponents - 13-10 over No. 10 Lehigh on Oct. 8, 2005, and 27-20 over No. 25 Harvard on Sept. 19, 2009. 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.
Rodriguez Racks Up Tackles
Senior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez (Peoria, Ariz.) has been one of the top players on the Holy Cross defense over the last few years, and was named second team All-Patriot League in 2008. This season, Rodriguez has posted 22 total tackles and three pass breakups in four games. His top game so far in 2009 came against Georgetown, when he recorded a team-high eight solo tackles with two pass breakups. Rodriguez also posted five tackles in both the Harvard and Northeastern games. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Rodriguez has now totaled 160 total tackles with 10 tackles for loss.
Crusaders Among 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 Oct. 3. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph ranks second in the league in passing yards (321.5 yards/game) and total offense (359.2 yards/game), while standing third in pass efficiency (149.9 rating). Junior kicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) stands first in the conference in field goals (1.0 made/game), second in punting (40.8 yards/punt) and third in scoring (7.0 points/game), while junior wide out Luke Chmielinski ranks fourth in receiving yards (71.2 yards/game) and fifth in receptions (5.2 catches/game). In addition, junior wide out Freddie Santana leads the league in punt returns (8.1 yards/return); junior free safety Alex Johnson stands fourth in kickoff returns (22.3 yards/return); while senior linebacker Sean Lamkin (Jenks, Okla.) is fourth in interceptions (0.3 picks/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (35.2 points/game), pass efficiency defense (109.9 rating) and punt returns (10.6 yards/return); while standing second in passing offense (322.5 yards/game) and net punting (36.1 yards/punt); and ranking third in scoring defense (17.2 points/game), total offense (446.8 yards/game), total defense (306.8 yards/game), rushing defense (95.2 yards/game) and pass efficiency (148.8 rating).
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 356-166-27 (.673). 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 28-24 at home, with a 3-0 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.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2009 campaign marks the 114th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 587-466-54, good for a .555 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2009 season, Holy Cross' 583 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.
Defense Dominates The Opposition
The Holy Cross defense has played extremely well during the first four games of the 2009 season. The Crusaders have allowed their opponents to score just 17.2 points per game, while giving up only 306.8 total yards per contest. Holy Cross' top performance so far came 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.
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 31-17 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 Bears
Brown enters this week's game with an overall record of 1-2 on the season, and an 0-1 mark in the Ivy League. The Bears opened the season with losses to Stony Brook (21-20) and Harvard (24-21), before defeating Rhode Island (28-20) last week. Junior quarterback Kyle Newhall has led the Brown offense by completing 68 of 112 passes for 662 yards this season, with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. Senior wide out Buddy Farnham has a team-best 23 receptions for 256 yards and three scores, while junior tailback Zach Tronti has rushed for 193 yards on 53 carries. Defensively, the Bears are led by senior free safety Chris Perkins who has totaled 21 tackles and one fumble recovery on the season. Head coach Phil Estes is in his 12th season at the helm of the Brown program, and owns a career record of 67-45. Estes has led the Bears to three Ivy League titles, during the 1999, 2005 and 2008 seasons, and was named the 2005 New England Coach of the Year.
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.
Senior center Chris Smith has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame to the top scholar-athlete in the nation ... Freshman wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made his first collegiate reception a memorable one, as it went for a 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the victory over Harvard ... Junior kicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) leads the team in scoring so far this season with 21 points, making 12 of 13 extra point attempts and three field goals. Dornfried has also averaged 40.8 yards on 13 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 ... Holy Cross was picked to finish in first place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors, while senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year ... 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).