Football Set To Open 2010 Season Against Howard On Saturday

Mike Bernazzani

Complete Release in PDF Format

Video: Coach Gilmore with Charter TV3's Andy Lacombe

Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: #25 Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0 PL) vs. Howard (0-0, 0-0 MEAC)
Date: September 4, 2010
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; Dave Bolduc, sidelines
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Gordie Lockbaum, color; Click Here to Listen
Holy Cross Student Radio: WCHC 88.1 FM, Worcester
Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record:
First Meeting

The Series With Howard
This will be the first meeting between the Crusaders and the Bison on the gridiron. It will also mark the first time Holy Cross has ever faced a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Howard stands 1-2 all-time against current members of the Patriot League (0-1 against Bucknell and 1-1 against Georgetown), in addition to posting a 2-6 mark against former Patriot League member Towson. The Bison's last game against a Patriot League foe came on Sept. 26, 2009, when Howard posted a 14-11 victory at Georgetown.

For Openers
Holy Cross will start its 115th season of intercollegiate football with the Howard game. The Crusaders have always been excellent on opening day, posting a record of 68-37-9 in their season debuts. Following last season's 20-7 victory over Georgetown, Holy Cross stands 6-4 on opening day over the last decade. Since the beginning of the 1980 season, Holy Cross owns an 19-10-1 mark in its opener. The Crusaders also have an all-time record of 77-29-7 in their opening home game of the season. Holy Cross has an 8-5 record in home openers over the last 13 years.

Holy Cross Looks To Defend Patriot League Title
During the 2010 campaign, the Crusaders will look to win the Patriot League championship for the seventh time in school history. Holy Cross is the reigning conference champion, after clinching the 2009 title with a 28-26 victory over Lafayette to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. The Crusaders' six Patriot League championships (all of them outright) have come in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2009. Holy Cross is tied for the most championships in conference history, behind only Lehigh with eight titles. Last season, Holy Cross won five Patriot League games for just the fourth time in school history. The Crusaders previously went 5-1 in 2008, while posting 5-0 conference records in 1990 and 1991. Heading into its 25th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 74-59 (.556) in conference action.

Lamkin Returns At Linebacker
Senior linebacker Sean Lamkin (Jenks, Okla.) will return to the Holy Cross lineup this season, after missing most of the 2009 campaign due to injury. A second team All-Patriot League selection in 2008, Lamkin played in just three games last year before suffering a season-ending injury. During his limited time on the field in 2009, he recorded 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception. Previously in 2008, Lamkin totaled 71 tackles, including 56 solo stops, six tackles for loss and one sack. He also broke up two passes, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in 2008. Over the course of his collegiate career, Lamkin has now totaled 107 tackles with 12 tackles for loss

DiMichele & Johnson Look To Lead Holy Cross Secondary
Senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) and senior free safety Alex Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) both enjoyed outstanding seasons in the Holy Cross defensive backfield in 2009. DiMichele was a first team All-Patriot League and third team All-America selection, after finished the year ranked second on the team with 82 total tackles, including 70 solo stops. He also totaled two interceptions, five pass breakups, five tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Over the course of his collegiate career, DiMichele has now totaled 154 tackles, 15 pass breakups and four interceptions. Johnson earned second team All-Patriot League honors in 2009, after recording 55 total tackles with five pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. His three-year career totals at Holy Cross now include 105 tackles and 11 pass breakups.

Offense Puts Up Big Numbers
The Holy Cross offense enjoyed another outstanding season in 2009, averaging 32.2 points and 433.6 total yards per game. The Crusaders averaged 314.9 passing yards per game last season, in addition to rushing for 118.7 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross hit the 40-point mark four times last year, scoring 52 points against Sacred Heart, 42 points against both Colgate and Northeastern, and 41 points against Fordham. The 52 points against Sacred Heart were Holy Cross' highest total since scoring 59 points at Lehigh in 2007. The Crusaders also had an outstanding year offensively in 2008, averaging 34.4 points and 455.4 yards per game. Holy Cross also totaled 348.9 passing yards per game in 2008, the second-most in school history behind only the 1987 team which averaged 358.4 yards through the air.

Crusaders Return An Abundance Of Experienced Wide Receivers
Holy Cross looks to once again have a number of outstanding weapons in the passing game this season, as six of its top eight wide receivers return this fall. Senior wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) leads the way after catching a team-best 63 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns in 2009. Senior wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) is also coming off a strong year, in which he had 46 catches for 601 yards and a team-high eight scores. Both Chmielinski and Santana were named second team All-Patriot League for their performances in 2009. In addition, senior wide out Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) totaled 49 receptions for a team-best 818 yards and five touchdowns, senior wide receiver Rob Koster (Bellerose, N.Y.) caught 19 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns, and junior wide out Charles McCall (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) added 14 catches for 124 yards and a score, and sophomore wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished with five receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the Crusaders return 11 different players who caught a pass last season.

Ohimor Plays Big On Defensive Front
Senior defensive end Mude Ohimor (Stoughton, Mass.) looks to once again be a major force for the Crusaders in the trenches. A first team All-Patriot League selection in 2009, he led all Holy Cross defensive linemen with 34 tackles last season. Ohimor also ranked fourth in the Patriot League with seven sacks and seventh with nine tackles for loss, both marks which were the best on the team. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now played in 32 games with 19 starts, totaling 59 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

Offensive Line Returns Two Starters
Holy Cross returns two 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. In 2009, the line paved the way for the Crusaders to average 32.2 points and 433.6 total yards per contest. The line allowed Holy Cross to throw for 314.9 yards per game last year, and gave up only 16 sacks while the team attempted 488 passes (just one sack for every 31.5 times the team has dropped back to pass). Returning starters for the Crusaders include senior Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.) at left tackle and senior Mike Bernazzani (Whitman, Mass.) at left guard. McCabe was named second team All-Patriot League last season and has played in 25 career games with 14 starts, while Bernazzani has seen action in 16 career games with seven starts.

Dornfried & Lemieux Get Their Kicks
Senior placekicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) and senior punter Don Lemieux (Gardner, Mass.) are both coming off strong seasons for the Crusaders. Dornfried was named first team All-Patriot League in 2009, after scoring 61 point by hitting seven of nine field goals and 40 of 41 extra points. He also saw some action at punter, averaging 40.8 yards on 13 kicks. Lemieux earned second team All-Patriot League honors last year, after averaging 38.4 yards on 25 punts and 61.3 yards on 71 kickoffs. He was also the back-up placekicker for the Crusaders, hitting one field goal and all 10 of his extra point attempts.

Schneider Shines At Tight End
Junior tight end Alex Schneider (Inner Grove Heights, Minn.) developed into a key part of the Holy Cross passing game last season, and earned second team All-Patriot League honors. Schneider finished the season ranked fourth on the team with 33 receptions for 275 yards, while his six touchdown catches were the second-most on the squad. He ranked second among Patriot League tight ends in both receptions and receiving yards, and finished the season with a streak of 10 straight games with at least one catch. Schneider's top performance in 2009 came at Villanova in the NCAA playoffs, when he caught seven passes for 52 yards and two 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 359-166-27 (.675). 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. Since 2000, the Crusaders have posted a record of 31-24 at home, with a 6-0 mark in 2009. Holy Cross has posted a winning record at home in each of the last four seasons, and is coming off its first perfect season at Fitton Field since 1991 (when it went 4-0). Before 2009, the Crusaders last won six games at home in 1988, when they also went 6-0.

Holy Cross Picked Fourth In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2010 Crusaders have been picked to finish in fourth place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, Holy Cross senior defensive end Mude Ohimor was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year, and quarterback Greg Sullivan of Colgate was chosen as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

2010 Patriot League Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Colgate (6) 46
2. Lafayette (2) 36
3. Lehigh (3) 35
4. Holy Cross (1) 34
5. Bucknell 17
6. Georgetown 12

DiMichele, Lamkin & Santana Named Team Captains
Holy Cross will have three captains during the 2010 football season. Senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin and senior wide receiver Freddie Santana were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. These three players will take over the leadership role from Dominic Randolph, who served as the Crusaders' captain during the 2009 season.

Bellomo & Houghton Provide Solid Combination At Tailback
Junior tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) and sophomore tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) look to once again share the load carrying the ball for the Crusaders in 2010. Bellomo ranked second on the team in rushing last season with 442 yards and four touchdowns on 91 carries, in addition to catching 32 passes for 251 yards. He rushed for over 50 yards five times last year, including a career-high 91 yards against Dartmouth. Over the course of his collegiate career, Bellomo has run for 592 yards on 130 attempts, while catching 36 passes for 288 yards. Houghton ranked third on the team with 389 rushing yards and five scores on 68 carries last year, and also had 10 catches for 78 yards. Houghton's 52 rushing yards in the 2009 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.

Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2010, the Crusaders are looking to post a winning record for the sixth straight year. In 2009, Holy Cross finished the season with an overall record of 9-3, marking only the ninth time the school history the team has won at least nine games. The Crusaders previously went 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and their 30-15  mark over the last four seasons is its best in a four-year span since going 36-7-1 from 1989-1992. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 36-20 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. This marks the first time the Crusaders have posted five straight winning seasons since finishing with a winning mark in seven straight years from 1986-1992.

Crusaders Among League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players ranked at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories at the conclusion of the 2009 season. Quarterback Dominic Randolph led the league in total offense (354.7 yards/game), while standing second in passing yards (314.7 yards/game) and fourth in pass efficiency (146.3 rating). Placekicker Rob Dornfried ranked first in extra point percentage (97.6 percent), second in field goals (0.7 made/game) and third in scoring (6.1 points/game), while wide out Luke Chmielinski stood fifth in the league in both receiving yards (67.2 yards/game) and receptions (5.3 catches/game). In addition, wide out Freddie Santana ranked second in punt returns (7.5 yards/return); free safety Alex Johnson stood fourth in kickoff returns (22.1 yards/return); and wide receiver Bill Edger was fourth in receiving yards (68.2 yards/game). As a team, Holy Cross led the league in scoring offense (32.2 points/game), punt returns (9.5 yards/return) and net punting (35.0 yards/punt); while standing second in total offense (433.6 yards/game), passing offense (314.9 yards/game) and pass efficiency defense (124.0 rating).

Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore was selected as the 2009 Patriot League Coach of the Year, marking the second time he has earned the honor in the last four seasons (he was previously chosen in 2006). Last year, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 9-3, the Patriot League championship and a trip to the NCAA playoffs. Also a finalist for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Award, he is now in his seventh season as head coach at Holy Cross. Gilmore currently owns an overall record of 39-28, including a 36-20 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. He has led Holy Cross to winning records in five 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 and 2009). Two of Gilmore's players, Dominic Randolph (2007, 2008 and 2009) 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 four victories over ranked opponents, three of which came in 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.

Holy Cross Has Four Preseason All-America Selections
Four different Crusaders have been chosen as preseason All-Americans heading into the 2010 campaign. Senior defensive end Mude Ohimor was honored by two organizations, as he was selected as a second team All-American by College Sporting News and a third team All-American by Phil Steele's 2010 College Football Preview. In addition, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin was named a first team All-American by the FCS Senior Scout Bowl, senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele earned second team All-America honors from the Sports Network and senior wide receiver Bill Edger was selected as a third team All-American by College Sporting News.

Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2010 College Football Preview. The first team included senior strong safety Anthony DiMichele, senior placekicker Rob Dornfried, senior offensive tackle Mike McCabe, senior defensive end Mude Ohimor and junior linebacker Jimmy Thomas (Severn, Md.). Junior tailback Matt Bellomo, senior wide receiver Luke Chmielinski, senior free safety Alex Johnson, senior linebacker Sean Lamkin, senior punter Don Lemieux, senior kick returner Freddie Santana, junior tight end Alex Schneider, junior center Sean Whited (Canton, Ohio) were all selected to the second team.

Tradition Of Excellence
The 2010 campaign will mark the 115th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter the year with an overall record of 592-469-54, 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 six 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.

Football Legends Ring Of Fame Inductions Set For October 2
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross will honor six former football standouts this fall, as the inaugural class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Fame. Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Edmund Murphy (Class of 1943), Bill Osmanski (Class of 1939), Vince Promuto (Class of 1960) and John Provost (Class of 1975) will all be honored in a ceremony at the 2010 homecoming game against Fordham on Oct. 2, and receive permanent recognition at Fitton Field. Only former Crusader football players who have been elected to the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame are eligible for this honor, which will become an annual event each fall.

Scouting The Bison
Howard is coming off a 2009 season in which it posted an overall record of 2-9, and finished in last place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 0-8 mark in league games. Sophomore Jarad Dorsey is projected to be the starting quarterback for the Bison, after completing three of six passes for nine yards and rushing 10 times for 30 yards in limited action last year. Sophomore running back Charles Brice is the top returning rusher for Howard with 93 yards on 56 carries, while junior wide out Willie Carter returns after leading the team with 46 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns a year ago. On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore linebacker Keith Pough totaled 57 tackles with 13 tackles for loss in 2009, while senior linebacker Jermell Ellis is coming off a season in which he recorded 47 tackles with four tackles for loss. The Bison are led by head coach Carey Bailey, who owns a 7-26 record in three seasons at Howard. Bailey previously spent time as an assistant coach at Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Virginia Military Institute and West Virginia.

Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2010 will air on WTAG 580 AM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 41st season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 25th year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standouts Tom Kelleher and Gordie Lockbaum will serve as the color commentators for selected games this season. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at ''. 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 six games shown on live television during the 2010 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2010 campaign:

Sept. 4 vs. Howard: WCTR-TV3
Oct. 2 vs. Fordham: WCTR-TV3
Oct. 23 vs. Colgate: Time Warner
Nov. 6 vs. Lehigh: Service Electric
Nov. 13 vs. Lafayette: Lafayette Sports Network
Nov. 20 vs. Bucknell: WCTR-TV3

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. To listen, click here.

Crusader Vision
Live video streaming of all 2010 Holy Cross regular season home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Stretch Internet, is available for $8.95 per game. A package including all five home games is also available for $34.95. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.

Quick Hits
Holy Cross is ranked 25th in the nation heading into the 2010 season in both the Sports Network / poll and the FCS coaches' poll ... The Crusaders were picked as the No. 14 team in the nation by the Sporting News ... The 2009 Holy Cross football team received an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate Public Recognition Award, for posting multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all football squads in the nation. That marked the third straight season Holy Cross was honored.