Holy Cross To Face Harvard On Homecoming Weekend
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-1, 1-0 PL) vs. Harvard (0-0, 0-0 Ivy)
Date: September 17, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Television: Charter TV3, 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
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
Series Record: Harvard leads, 39-23-2
Last Meeting: Harvard 34, Holy Cross 6; September 18, 2010; Cambridge, Mass.
The Series With Harvard
This will be the 65th meeting between the Crusaders and the Crimson on the gridiron, with Harvard leading the all-time series 39-23-2. The Crimson have won 11 of the last 14 games in the series, but two of Holy Cross' victories during that time have come in the last four seasons (31-28 in 2007 and 27-20 in 2009). For all games played at Fitton Field, the Crimson hold a 7-6 lead in the series, although the Crusaders have been victorious in the last two contests. Holy Cross' Tom Gilmore stands 2-5 against Harvard as a head coach, to go along with an 8-8 record against the Crimson as an assistant coach (at Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth and Lehigh), and a 2-2 mark as a player (at Pennsylvania).
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Harvard leads, 39-23-2
In Worcester: Harvard leads, 7-6
At Fitton Field: Harvard leads, 7-6
Current Win Streak: Harvard, one game
Tom Gilmore vs. Harvard: 2-5
Tim Murphy vs. Holy Cross: 12-4
In Overtime: Harvard 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 13-9 against Ivy League foes under Gilmore's direction, even though it was only 1-2 last season. The 13-9 mark over the last seven years includes a 6-1 record against Dartmouth, a 4-1 mark against Brown, a 2-5 record against Harvard and a 1-2 mark against Yale. The Crusaders' all-time record against the Ivy League stands at 106-138-9 (31-21-3 against Brown, 6-2 vs. Columbia, 0-5 against Cornell, 35-35-4 vs. Dartmouth, 23-39-2 against Harvard, 3-2 vs. Pennsylvania, 3-7 against Princeton and 4-27 vs. Yale).
Holy Cross In Homecoming Games
The Crusaders have posted an all-time record of 32-29-1 in Homecoming games. Holy Cross has won five of its last six games on Homecoming weekend, including a 36-31 victory over Fordham 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 fourth time the Crusaders have faced Harvard in their Homecoming game. In the previous Homecoming meetings between the schools, Holy Cross won in 2007 (31-28), while Harvard was victorious in 1999 (25-17) and 2003 (43-20).
Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy On The Line This Week
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 are only two players who have won the honor two times in their careers (Joe Segreti in 1988 and 1990, and Dominic Randolph in 2007 and 2009). Last season, quarterback Ryan Taggart (Bedford, Texas) won the Turco Memorial Trophy following the 36-31 victory over Fordham. Taggart completed 27 of 37 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown against the Rams, in addition to rushing for 75 yards and a score on 12 carries.
Crusaders In The Patriot League
Now in its 26th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 78-61 (.558) in conference action. The Crusaders won their last conference championship in 2009, clinching the title with a 28-26 victory over Lafayette to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs. Holy Cross' six Patriot League championships (all of them outright) have come in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 2009. The Crusaders are tied for the second-most championships in conference history, behind only Lehigh with nine titles. In 2009, 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.
Taggart Shines At Quarterback
Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart is in his second year as the starter for the Crusaders in 2011. In two games played so far this year, he has connected on 36 of 60 attempts for 469 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Last week against Colgate, he completed 13 of 16 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing for a score. Previously against Massachusetts, Taggart hit on 23 of 44 attempts for 246 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 15 yards and a score on nine carries. Last year, he connected on 185 of 317 passes for 1,899 yards and 14 touchdowns, in addition to ranking second on the team in rushing with 284 yards and five scores on 85 carries. During last season's victory at Lafayette, Taggart completed 15 of 31 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing 10 times for 41 yards and two scores. Against Lehigh in 2010, he hit on 17 of 31 attempts for 178 yards and a touchdown. Taggart also played well at Colgate last year, totaling 98 passing yards and 35 rushing yards, including a game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Some of his other top performances last season came against Brown (19 of 29 for 196 yards and two scores), Fordham (27 of 37 for 289 yards and a touchdown, plus 75 rushing yards and a score) and Howard (17 of 29 for 186 yards and three touchdowns). During his career with the Crusaders, Taggart has now completed 223 of 379 passes for 2,371 yards and 17 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 320 yards and seven scores on 100 carries.
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 364-168-27 (.675). From Oct. 11, 2008-Oct. 9, 2010, Holy Cross had a streak of 13 straight victories at home. The Crusaders had a perfect 6-0 mark at Fitton Field in 2009, and finished the 2010 campaign with a winning record at home for the fifth straight season. 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).
The Last Meeting With Harvard
Harvard quarterback Andrew Hatch completed 20 of 25 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns, to lead the Crimson to a 34-6 victory over Holy Cross at Harvard Stadium on Sept. 18, 2010. Harvard began the scoring at the 8:26-mark of the first quarter, on a 26-yard field goal by David Mothander. The Crimson then increased their lead to 10-0 later in the quarter on a four-yard touchdown run by Gino Gordon. In the second quarter, Hatch threw a 26-yard scoring pass to Marco Iannuzzi and Mothander added a 24-yard field goal to make the score 20-0 at halftime. Hatch tossed an eight-yard scoring strike to Chris Lorditch in the third quarter, then hit Lorditch again with a 43-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to make the score 34-0. The Crusaders concluded the scoring later in the fourth quarter, with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Watson to Freddie Santana. The Holy Cross defense was led by Roman SanDoval with 11 total tackles, while Anthony DiMichele added 10 total tackles. On the offensive side of the ball, Alex Schneider had a team-best six receptions for 48 yards.
Trio Of Seniors Lead Linebackers
Senior linebacker C.J. Martin (Plano, Texas), senior linebacker Ricky Otis (Cleves, Ohio) and senior linebacker Jimmy Thomas (Severn, Md.) are once again key parts of the Holy Cross defense in 2011. Otis currently ranks second on the team with 19 tackles so far this season, including two tackles for loss. He totaled 10 tackles with two tackles for loss in the season opener against Massachusetts, then added nine tackles in the victory over Colgate. Last season, Otis led the team with 108 total tackles and earned first team All-Patriot League honors, despite missing two games due to injury. He reached double-figures in tackles six times in 2010, including a career-high 17 tackles at Lafayette. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Otis now has 154 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and two pass breakups. Martin has made 10 tackles in two games this season, with a high of six tackles against Massachusetts in the season opener. He ranked second on the team with 95 total tackles last year, including 61 solo stops and two tackles for loss. Martin recorded double-digit tackles four times in 2010, with a high of 18 tackles at Massachusetts. Over the course of his collegiate career, Martin has now recorded 138 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions and three pass breakups. Thomas ranks fourth on the team with 15 tackles so far this year, with two tackles for loss and an interception. During last week's victory over Colgate, he had 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown. Thomas previously recorded 35 tackles with five tackles for loss in 2010, after totaling 67 tackles, nine tackles for loss and four sacks in 2009. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Thomas now has 119 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Holy Cross Draws Huge Crowd For Season Opener
During the season-opening game against Massachusetts on Sept. 1, a total of 15,942 fans showed up at Fitton Field. That marked the largest home attendance for the Crusaders since Oct. 20, 1990, when a crowd of 17,848 was on hand to watch Holy Cross defeat Lehigh 34-22. The Crusaders have played in front of numerous home crowds of over 25,000 in their history, prior to the stadium renovation in 1986 which reduced the seating capacity to 23,500. The largest unofficial attendance at Fitton Field was 27,000 for the Holy Cross-Brown game on Nov. 11, 1938.
Offensive Line Returns Three Starters
Holy Cross returns three starters to an offensive line which looks to be one of the most dominating units in the Patriot League this year. In two games played so far this season, the line has paved the way for the Crusaders to average 26.5 points and 362.0 total yards per game. Holy Cross has also allowed only one sack, while attempting 61 passes this year. Returning starters for the Crusaders include senior Mike McCabe (Watertown, Conn.) at left tackle, senior Sean Whited (Canton, Ohio) at center and junior Kyle Pedretty (Dunedin, Fla.) at right tackle. McCabe has been named All-Patriot League in each of the last two seasons, and has played in 38 career games with 27 starts. Whited has started 10 times with 14 career games played, and Pedretty has played in 13 career games with 13 starts. Those three have been joined in the starting lineup by senior Andrew Jameson (Brockton, Mass.) at right guard and junior Casey Bessemer (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) at left guard.
Fenner Leads Secondary
Senior cornerback Chandler Fenner (Virginia Beach, Va.) is once again among the top defensive backs in the Patriot League in 2011. In two games played so far this year, Fenner has recorded eight tackles and a team-high five pass breakups. He totaled four tackles and a career-high three pass breakups against Massachusetts in the season opener, then had four tackles and two pass breakups in the win over Colgate. Last season, Fenner earned first team All-Patriot League honors after playing in all 11 games with 10 starts. He ranked fifth on the team and 29th in the Patriot League with 58 total tackles, including 51 solo stops, one quarterback sack and two tackles for loss. Fenner also recorded four pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Fenner has now totaled 98 tackles, two forced fumbles and nine pass breakups in 35 games played.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2011, Holy Cross will attempt to finish with a winning record for the seventh year in a row. The Crusaders concluded the 2010 season with an overall mark of 6-5, after going 9-3 in 2009 (marking only the ninth time in the school history the team has won at least nine games). Holy Cross previously went 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and its 36-20 mark over the last five seasons is its best in a five-year span since going 39-15-1 from 1989-1993. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and has an overall mark of 42-25 since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. This marks the first time the Crusaders have posted six straight winning seasons since finishing with a winning mark in seven straight years from 1986-1992.
Schneider Shines At Tight End
Senior tight end Alex Schneider (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) will once again be a key part of the Holy Cross passing game in 2011. During last week's victory over Colgate, Schneider caught one pass for 11 yards. In 11 games played last season, he ranked fourth on the team with 30 receptions for 217 yards and a score. During the 2010 victory over Fordham, Schneider totaled four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. An All-Patriot League selection in each of the last two years, Schneider finished the 2009 campaign 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 in 2009, and finished the 2009 season with a streak of 10 straight games with at least one catch. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Schneider has now totaled 64 catches for 503 yards and seven touchdowns.
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Five Crusaders are ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 10. As a team, Holy Cross ranks first in the nation in fourth down conversions, while standing third in both fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards. The rankings:
|Fourth Down Conversions||1||Holy Cross||100.0|
|Solo Tackles||2||Tom Mannix||9.5|
|Fewest Penalties||3||Holy Cross||3.0|
|Fewest Penalty Yards||3||Holy Cross||22.5|
|Passes Defended||6||Chandler Fenner||2.5|
|Passing Defense||9||Holy Cross||129.5|
|Scoring Defense||12||Holy Cross||15.5|
|Punt Return Coverage||12||Holy Cross||1.7|
|Points Responsible For||17||Ryan Taggart||15.0|
|Total Tackles||20||Tom Mannix||10.5|
|Forced Fumbles||22||Tom Mannix||0.5|
|Passing Yards||26||Ryan Taggart||234.5|
|Pass Efficiency||29||Ryan Taggart||142.2|
|Total Offense||31||Ryan Taggart||249.0|
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 Sept. 10. Senior quarterback Ryan Taggart leads the way by ranking second in the league in passing yards (234.5 yards/game), third in both total offense (249.0 yards/game) and pass efficiency (142.2 rating), and fifth in scoring (6.0 points/game). Senior linebacker Jimmy Thomas stands second in the conference in interceptions (0-5 picks/game), sophomore cornerback Andrew Zitnik (Warren, Ohio) is fourth in kickoff returns (21.2 yards/return) and sophomore tailback Reggie Woods (Bowie, Md.) ranks fifth in rushing (52.5 yards/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in passing defense (129.5 yards/game); while standing second in scoring defense (15.5 points/game), total defense (316.5 yards/game), passing offense (234.5 yards/game), pass efficiency defense (114.7 rating) and net punting (34.5 yards/punt); and ranking third in total offense (362.0 yards/game) and pass efficiency (139.8 rating).
Offense Has Efficient Day
The Holy Cross offense turned in an outstanding all-around performance during last Saturday's 37-7 victory over Colgate. The Crusaders totaled 403 yards from scrimmage on just 52 plays, good for an average of 7.8 yards per play. Holy Cross also scored points on five of its six possessions during the first three quarters of the game, with four touchdowns and one field goal. The only drive during that time on which the Crusaders did not score was a one-play possession at the end of the first half, after taking over at their own nine-yard line with just 41 seconds remaining before the intermission. In addition, Holy Cross did not attempt any punts during the entire game. That marked the first time the Crusaders did not punt since Oct. 31, 2009, at Fordham (a 41-27 Holy Cross victory in which neither team punted).
McCabe, Otis & Tolzien Named Team Captains
Holy Cross will have three captains during the 2011 football season. Senior offensive tackle Mike McCabe, senior linebacker Ricky Otis and senior quarterback Mark Tolzien (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) 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 Anthony DiMichele, Sean Lamkin and Freddie Santana, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2010 season.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2011 campaign marks the 116th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 600-474-54, good for a .556 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2011 season, Holy Cross' 599 all-time victories ranked as the 16th 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.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Tom Gilmore is in his eighth season as the head football coach at Holy Cross in 2011. In 2009, 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 currently owns an overall record of 46-34 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 43-26 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. Gilmore has led the Crusaders to winning records in six 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 Picked Third In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2011 Crusaders have been picked to finish in third place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, tailback Nate Eachus of Colgate was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while linebacker Mike Groome of Lehigh was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||2010 Record||Points|
|1.||Lehigh (8)||10-3 / 6-0 PL||58|
|2.||Colgate (6)||7-4 / 4-2 PL||55|
|3.||Holy Cross||6-5 / 4-2 PL||38|
|4.||Lafayette||2-9 / 1-5 PL||36|
|5.||Georgetown||4-7 / 2-4 PL||19|
|6.||Bucknell||1-10 / 1-5 PL||16|
Holy Cross Has Three Preseason All-America Selections
Three different Crusaders have been chosen as preseason All-Americans heading into the 2011 campaign. Senior linebacker Ricky Otis was honored by two organizations, as he was selected as a second team All-American by the FCS Senior Scout Bowl and an honorable mention All-American by the Beyond Sports Network. In addition, senior cornerback Chandler Fenner was named a second team All-American by the FCS Senior Scout Bowl and senior linebacker C.J. Martin was selected as an honorable mention All-American by the FCS Senior Scout Bowl.
Football Legends Ring Of Fame Inducts Second Class
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross honored four former football standouts on Sept. 1, as the second class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. George Connor (1942-1943), Bruce Kozerski (1980-1983), Jon Morris (1961-1963) and Joe Wilson (1970-1972) were honored in a ceremony prior to the UMass game, and received 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 is an annual event each fall. In 2010, the inaugural class in the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Fame included, 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).
Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2011 College Football Preview. The first team included senior cornerback Chandler Fenner, senior linebacker Ricky Otis and senior tight end Alex Schneider. Junior tailback Sam Auffant (Hampton, N.H.), junior strong safety Tom Mannix (Kenilworth, N.J.), senior linebacker C.J. Martin, senior offensive tackle Mike McCabe, senior defensive end Ryan McGinn (West Chester, Pa.), junior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior center Sean Whited were all selected to the second team. In addition, Otis, sophomore wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) and sophomore defensive back Andrew Zitnik were all selected to the College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists. Otis is a candidate for the Football Championship Subdivision Linebacker Award, while Fess and Zitnik are both up for the Football Championship Subdivision Kickoff Returner Award.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2011 will air on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 42nd season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 26th 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 by clicking here. 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 five games shown on live television during the 2011 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2011 campaign:
Sept. 1 vs. Massachusetts: CBS Sports Network
Sept. 17 vs. Harvard: Charter TV3
Oct. 15 vs. Dartmouth: Charter TV3
Nov. 5 at Lehigh: Service Electric
Nov. 12 vs. Lafayette: 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, and can be heard by clicking here.
Live video streaming of several 2011 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. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.
Scouting The Crimson
Harvard is coming off a 2010 campaign in which it posted a 7-3 overall record and tied for second in the Ivy League title with a 5-2 mark in conference games. The Crimson offense is led by senior quarterback Collier Winters, who completed 86 of 141 passes last season for 892 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions, despite missing five games due to injury. Senior wide out Adam Chrissis led the team in receiving last season with 40 catches for 481 yards and a touchdown, while junior tailback Treavor Scales is Harvard's top returning rusher after totaling 520 yards and three scores on 87 carries in 2010. The Crimson defense, which allowed just 18.7 points and 308.9 yards per game last season, will be led by senior defensive tackle Josue Ortiz. Last season, Ortiz totaled 54 tackles, eight quarterback sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Head coach Tim Murphy is in his 18th season at the helm of the Harvard program, where he has a record of 111-58. Murphy's career record stands at 143-103-1, including five seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati and two years as head coach at Maine.
After not playing in any games last season, sophomore wide out Jon Smith (Matawan, N.J.) leads the team in receiving with seven catches for 83 yards through two games this year ... Junior strong safety Tom Mannix currently leads the team with 21 total tackles on the season, including 19 solo stops ... Sophomore tailback Reggie Woods leads the team in rushing with 105 yards on 24 carries through two games played ... In three of the last four years, the Holy Cross football team has 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.