WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross defense allowed only 191 yards of total offense and 10 first downs on the day, as the Crusader football team posted a 13-6 victory over Bucknell at Fitton Field. Holy Cross also intercepted two passes on the afternoon, in addition to sacking the quarterback three times. The Crusaders improve to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in the Patriot League with the victory, while Bucknell falls to 1-4 on the season and 0-2 in the conference.
Junior linebacker Scotty O'Donoghue (Tampa, Fla.) led the Crusader defense with six tackles, a pass breakup and a blocked punt. Junior defensive tackle Matthew Boyd (Dallas, Texas) added five tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss, while senior linebacker Roman SanDoval (Allison Park, Pa.) finished with five tackles and a sack. The Holy Cross offense was led by sophomore quarterback Steven Elder (San Antonio, Texas), who completed 19 of 35 passes for 205 yards in his first career start.
Bucknell drove into Holy Cross territory on the first drive of the game, before sophomore cornerback Ben Coffaro (Cincinnati, Ohio) intercepted a Brandon Wesley pass to end the threat. The defenses then dominated play until the middle of the second quarter, when the Crusaders drove 90 yards in 13 plays before junior placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) kicked an 18-yard field goal. Holy Cross would hold onto that 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
On the opening possession of the second half, the Crusaders went 65 yards in 11 plays with senior tailback Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) scoring on a one-yard run to make it a 10-0 game. Later in the third quarter, a blocked punt by O'Donoghue set up a 22-yard Macomber field goal, and Holy Cross led 13-0.
Early in the fourth quarter, Evan Byers intercepted a pass for Bucknell, and four plays later Sean Cobelli kicked a 22-yard field goal to put the Bison on the board. An interception by Matthew Steinback on the Crusaders' next possession again gave Bucknell a short field, and Cobelli kicked a 44-yard field goal to make the score 13-6.
The Bison would get the ball back with 5:21 left to play, but a key sack by junior defensive end Mike Tucker (Chester Springs, Pa.) on third down ended that drive. Bucknell then had one last possession in the closing minutes, before sophomore free safety Logan Silver (Eugene, Ore.) intercepted a pass with 1:33 remaining to put the game away.
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when it travels to Colgate for a 1:00 p.m. game.