EASTON, Pa. – Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) accounted for 245 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, as the Holy Cross football team posted a 37-27 victory over Lafayette at Fisher Stadium. Taggart completed 15 of 31 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 10 times for 41 yards and two scores. Holy Cross improves to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League with the win, while Lafayette falls to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
The Leopards opened the scoring at the 10:01-mark of the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ryan O'Neil to Mark Layton. The Crusaders came back with a 27-yard field goal by senior placekicker Rob Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) on their next drive. The score remained 7-3 until late in the second quarter, when Lafayette lined up to attempt a 42-yard field goal. But after a bad snap, the ball was fumbled and junior cornerback Cav Koch (Dallas, Texas) scooped it up and ran 68 yards for a Holy Cross touchdown.
Early in the third quarter, a Taggart pass was deflected into the hands of sophomore wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.), resulting in a 32-yard score to increase the Crusaders' lead to 16-7. The Leopards came back with a 52-yard touchdown pass from O'Neil to Layton, before a one-yard scoring run by Taggart put Holy Cross up 23-13 at the end of the third quarter.
Lafayette finished its next drive with nine-yard scoring strike from O'Neil to Greg Stripe, but a two-yard touchdown pass from Taggart to Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) made it a 10-point game once again (30-20). The Leopards scored one more touchdown with 2:38 to play on a 16-yard pass from O'Neil to Kevin Doty, making the score 30-27. But after senior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) recovered an onside kick, Taggart ran 30 yards for a touchdown with just 1:39 on the clock to conclude the scoring.
Santana finished the day with a team-best five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore running back Sam Auffant (Hampton, N.H.) rushed 16 times for 69 yards. Defensively, junior linebacker Ricky Otis (Cleves, Ohio) had a team-high 17 tackles with one tackle for loss, and senior linebacker Sean Lamkin (Jenks, Okla.) added seven tackles and two quarterback sacks.
Holy Cross returns to action next Saturday, Nov. 20, when it plays host to Bucknell at 12:30 p.m., in its final game of the 2010 season.