Crusaders Defeated By Wagner, 31-30

Erik Wachter

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  Wagner running back Dominique Williams had 23 carries and five catches for 227 total yards and two touchdowns as the Seahawks came back from a 13 point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge out the Holy Cross football team, 31-30, on Saturday afternoon at Hameline Field. Senior linebacker Erik Wachter (Whitehouse Station, N.J.) made a career-high 20 tackles and added a forced fumble and fumble recovery, but it was not enough as Wagner quarterback Nick Doscher threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Cody Morgan with 18 seconds remaining to tie the game, 30-30. David Lopez added the extra point to down the Crusaders in heartbreaking fashion. Holy Cross falls to 1-9 on the season while the Seahawks improve to 7-3.

Sophomore quarterback Steven Elder (San Antonio, Texas) entered the game halfway through the second quarter and hit on 16 of 25 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown. Senior running back Eddie Houghton (Toronto, Ontario) led Holy Cross with 96 yards on 23 rushes and a touchdown while junior wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) tallied 101 yards on six catches. Houghton also added two receptions for 45 yards. Doscher threw for 55 yards on five of 12 passes for Wagner and added eight rushes for 50 yards.

Wagner opened the game with a 75-yard drive that resulted in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Doscher to Anthony Carrington. The Crusaders responded with a 20-yard field goal by junior placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) to cut the Seahawks' lead to 7-3. Late in the second quarter, Williams took a five-yard run into the end zone to increase the Wagner lead to 14-3. The Crusaders answered with a three-yard touchdown run by Houghton but Wagner maintained a 14-10 lead at halftime.

The Crusaders scored to open the third quarter with a four-yard strike from Elder to senior wide receiver Gerald Mistretta (Brooklyn, N.Y.), giving Holy Cross its first lead of the game, 17-14. After a three-and-out on defense, senior Matt Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) increased the lead to 24-14 on a 22-yard touchdown run. On the second play of the next Wagner drive, Wachter hit Doscher to cause a fumble and recovered the ball on the 10 yard line, resulting in a 27-yard field goal by Macomber to widen the gap to 27-14. The Seahawks answered with a 33-yard field goal by Lopez near the end of the third quarter and Macomber added Holy Cross' final points of the game on a 22-yard kick with 12:46 remaining in the fourth quarter to make the score 30-17.

The Seahawks cut the lead to 30-24 on a 10-yard touchdown reception by Williams before recovering a fumble deep in their defensive end that resulted in the Seahawks drive beginning at the Holy Cross 34 yard line, after a penalty on the return. Morgan caught the ball in the end zone on the ninth play of the drive to set Wagner up for the 31-30 victory.

Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 17, when it travels to Georgetown for its season finale at 1:00 p.m.