Football Set To Face Dartmouth On Homecoming Weekend
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: #25 Holy Cross (4-1, 1-0 PL) vs. Dartmouth (0-4, 0-2 Ivy)
Date: October 17, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
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
Dartmouth Radio: WFRD 99.3 FM, Hanover, N.H.
Series Record: Tied, 34-34-4
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 44, Dartmouth 26; October 18, 2008; Hanover, N.H.
The Series With Dartmouth
This will be the 73rd meeting between the Crusaders and the Big Green on the gridiron, with the all-time series tied at 34-34-4. Holy Cross has posted victories in each of the last five years, but prior to that Dartmouth had won two straight and six out of eight games in the series. For games played in Worcester, the Crusaders hold a 14-13-1 advantage, including wins in both 2005 and 2007. The schools first met on Oct. 3, 1903, with the Big Green posting an 18-0 victory in Hanover.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Tied, 34-34-4
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 14-13-1
At Fitton Field: Holy Cross leads, 14-13-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, five games
Tom Gilmore vs. Dartmouth: 5-0
Buddy Teevens vs. Holy Cross: 0-9
In Overtime: Holy Cross 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 11-7 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, including a 1-1 record so far this season. The 11-7 mark over the last five years includes a 5-0 record against Dartmouth, a 3-1 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 104-136-9 (30-21-3 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 956 of 1,511 passes for 11,376 yards and 98 scores, while amassing 11,870 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 .633 in the best in school history, while his 21 career 300-yard passing games and seven 400-yard passing games are both the most-ever by a Crusader. Randolph enters this week's game ranked ninth all-time in NCAA football championship subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) history in touchdown passes, 11th in passing yards and 11th in yards of total offense. He also owns the all-time FCS record with his current streak of 34 games in which he has thrown for at least 200 yards, and is just two scoring strikes away from becoming only the ninth player in FCS history with 100 career touchdown passes.
Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy On The Line This
The Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy has been presented annually to the most outstanding player in Holy Cross' Homecoming game since 1965. It is given in memory of Johnny Turco (Class of 1952), a former star halfback and a member of the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame. There has only been one player who has won the honor two times in his career (Joe Segreti, in 1988 and 1990). The only active player to have won the Turco Memorial Trophy is quarterback Dominic Randolph, who completed 29 of 55 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns in the 31-28 victory over Harvard in 2007, including a 40-yard scoring pass with 19 seconds remaining to win the game.
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 13 passes so far this season. Junior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) leads the way with 30 catches for 402 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) is also off to a strong start, catching 16 passes for 262 yards and two scores. In addition, junior wide out Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has totaled 16 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown, senior wide receiver Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has posted 14 catches for 123 yards and three scores, and junior wide receiver Rob Koster (Bellerose, N.Y.) has caught 13 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, the Crusaders have 10 wide receivers and 16 total players with at least one reception on the season.
Holy Cross In Homecoming Games
The Crusaders have posted an all-time record of 30-29-1 in Homecoming games. Holy Cross had won three straight games on Homecoming weekend, before suffering a 45-42 loss to Massachusetts last season. The Crusaders previously won 11 straight games on Homecoming Weekend from 1982-1992, but then went through a 12-year stretch from 1993-2004 during which they were just 2-10. Prior to the 2005 season, the Crusaders had dropped three straight contests on Homecoming weekend. This year's game will mark the 17th time Holy Cross has faced Dartmouth in its Homecoming game. The Crusaders stand 12-4 all-time against the Big Green on Homecoming weekend, with eight straight victories. The last Homecoming meeting between the schools came in 2001, when Holy Cross won 49-17.
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 five games so far this year, he has completed 135 of 210 attempts for 1,697 yards and 15 touchdowns, in addition to leading the team in rushing with 189 yards and three scores on 39 carries. During last week's game at Brown, Randolph connected on 38 of 53 passes for 411 yards and four touchdowns, while directing two fourth quarter scoring drives to tie the game at 31-31. Previously at Northeastern, he completed 16 of 24 attempts for 305 yards and five scores. Earlier in the season, Randolph also played well against Harvard (25 of 39 for 293 yards and two touchdowns, 41 rushing yards and a score), Sacred Heart (274 passing yards and two touchdowns, 64 rushing yards and two scores) and Georgetown (36 of 56 for 414 yards and two touchdowns). In 2008, 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.
Offense Puts Up Big Numbers
The Holy Cross offense has opened the 2009 season with some impressive performances. The Crusaders have averaged 34.4 points and 450.4 yards of total offense per game on the year. Holy Cross has thrown for 340.2 yards per game this season, while averaging 110.2 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 22 solo tackles so far in 2009, in addition to posting four pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. His three-year career totals at Holy Cross now include 72 tackles and 10 pass breakups. Wright has recorded 24 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 67 tackles, 19 pass breakups and two interceptions during his collegiate career.
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 34.4 points and 450.4 total yards per contest. The line has allowed Holy Cross to thrown for 340.2 yards per game in 2009, and has allowed just six sacks while the team has attempted 212 passes (just one sack for every 36.3 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 114 career starts. A year ago, Jones was named first team All-Patriot League and Poole earned second team All-Patriot League honors.
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 five games of the season. Bellomo ranks second on the team with 178 yards and three touchdowns on 42 carries, in addition to catching 20 passes for 158 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.
The Last Meeting With Dartmouth
Mike Kielt scored four touchdowns and totaled 195 total yards from scrimmage, to lead Holy Cross to a 44-26 win over Dartmouth at Memorial Field on Oct. 18, 2008. The Big Green opened the scoring at the 6:46-mark of the first quarter, as Foley Schmidt hit a 37-yard field goal. The Crusaders answered on the following drive as Kielt scored on a 39-yard run. A second Schmidt field goal, from 42 yards, brought the score to 7-6. Early in the second quarter, Dominic Randolph found Jon Brock in the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown. Kielt's second touchdown of the day, from five yards out, gave Holy Cross a 20-6 advantage with 5:08 left in the second quarter, and the Crusaders closed out the scoring for the half on a 29-yard Matt Partain field goal. The Big Green cut into the lead in the third quarter, when Alex Jenny hit Tim McManus with a 25-yard scoring strike. But Kielt would add two more touchdowns, on a 41-yard pass from Randolph and an eight-yard run, making the score 37-13. The Big Green scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one on Jenny's second touchdown pass to McManus, and another on a fumble recovery in the end zone. The Crusaders closed out their scoring on a one-yard Randolph scoring run. Randolph hit on 33 of 45 attempts for 391 yards, while Brock caught six passes for 105 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony DiMichele had seven tackles and two interceptions.
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 34-26, including a 31-18 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 34 total tackles and four pass breakups in four games. During last week's game at Brown, he led the team with 12 total tackles and a pass breakup. Previously against Georgetown, Rodriguez recorded a team-high eight solo tackles with two pass breakups. He also posted five tackles in both the Harvard and Northeastern games. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Rodriguez has now totaled 172 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. 10. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph leads the league in passing yards (339.4 yards/game), total offense (377.2 yards/game) and pass efficiency (151.0 rating), while junior wide out Luke Chmielinski ranks second in both receiving yards (80.4 yards/game) and receptions (6.0 catches/game). In addition, junior wide out Freddie Santana leads the league in punt returns (8.5 yards/return); junior free safety Alex Johnson stands fourth in kickoff returns (21.9 yards/return) and fifth in interceptions (0.2 picks/game); junior strong safety Anthony DiMichele is fourth in interceptions (0.3 picks/game); and senior cornerback Michael Wright ranks fifth in interceptions (0.2 picks/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (34.3 points/game), rushing defense (85.0 yards/game), passing offense (340.2 yards/game), pass efficiency (150.2 rating), punt returns (10.8 yards/return) and net punting (36.5 yards/punt); while standing second in total offense (450.4 yards/game).
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 587-467-54, good for a .554 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.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
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 31-18 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 Big Green
Dartmouth enters this week's game with an overall record of 0-4 on the season, including an 0-2 mark in the Ivy League. The Big Green has been defeated by Colgate (34-15), New Hampshire (44-14), Pennsylvania (30-24) and Yale (38-7) so far in 2008, and is currently on a 16-game losing streak dating back to 2007. Senior quarterback Alex Jenny has completed 57 of 101 passes for 548 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions this year, but left last week's game at Yale in the second quarter due to injury. Sophomore tailback Nick Schwieger has rushed 80 times for 283 yards and one score, while sophomore tight end John Gallagher has caught a team-best 13 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, the Big Green is led by senior strong safety Tony Pastoors with 35 tackles and sophomore cornerback J.B. Andreassi with 31 tackles and one sack. Buddy Teevens is in the fifth year of his second stint as Dartmouth's head coach, with an overall record of 33-59-2. Teevens' career record stands at 67-132-2, including five seasons at Tulane (1992-1996) and three years at Stanford (2002-2004).
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.
Holy Cross won its first four games of the 2009 season, marking the 20th time in school history the Crusaders have opening with at least four straight victories ... 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).