WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) completed 27 of 37 passes for a career-high 289 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing for 75 yards and a score on 12 carries, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 36-31 victory over Fordham at Fitton Field on Homecoming Weekend. Following the contest, Taggart received the Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Crusaders' Homecoming Game. Holy Cross improves to 2-3 on the season with the victory, while the Rams fall to 2-3 overall.
The Crusaders opened the scoring on a one-yard run by Taggart at the 9:04-mark of the first quarter. Fordham came back to put the next 14 points on the board, with a six-yard touchdown pass from Blake Wayne to Stephen Skelton and an 11-yard scoring run by Wayne, and led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Holy Cross opened the second quarter with a 41-yard field goal from senior placekicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.), before regaining the lead on a 26-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kevin Watson (Belle Mead, N.J.) to senior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.). The Crusaders then increased their advantage to 23-14 on a 17-yard touchdown run by sophomore tailback Sam Auffant (Hampton, N.H.). The Rams were able to trim the lead to 23-21 at halftime, as Wayne threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Skelton with just 11 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Crusaders opened the third quarter with an 80-yard touchdown drive, culminating with a one-yard scoring run by sophomore tailback Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario). After Fordham's Patrick Murray kicked a 39-yard field goal, Taggart tossed an 11-yard scoring strike to junior tight end Alex Schneider (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) early in the fourth quarter to make the score 36-24. The Rams put their final points on the board with a six-yard touchdown run by Carlton Koonce with 3:59 remaining, before Holy Cross picked up two first downs on its final possession to run out the clock.
Edger finished the game with eight receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown, while Auffant totaled 51 rushing yards and one score on 11 carries. Defensively, junior cornerback Chandler Fenner (Virginia Beach, Va.) totaled six solo tackles with a sack and a forced fumble.
Wayne led Fordham by completing 19 of 30 attempts for 242 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 108 yards and a score on 20 carries.
The Crusaders return to action next Saturday, Oct. 9, when they play host to Brown at 1:00 p.m.