Football To Face #5 Towson In Home Opener
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-1, 0-0 PL) vs. #5 Towson (1-0, 0-0 CAA)
Date: September 7, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader Vision
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM & 94.9 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Click Here to Listen
Unofficial Live Statistics: Presto Sports Primetime
The Series With Towson
This will be the eighth meeting between the Crusaders and the Tigers on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 4-3. Towson won the last two meetings in the series in 2003 (30-13) and 2002 (42-10), after the Crusaders took four of the first five games between the schools. The teams first met on Sept. 13, 1997, in Towson, Md. The Tigers prevailed 27-7 on the field in that contest, but the Crusaders were later awarded a forfeit victory a few weeks later due to Towson's use of an ineligible player. All seven of the schools' previous meetings came when Towson was a member of the Patriot League.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 4-3
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 2-1
At Bulldog Stadium: Holy Cross leads, 2-1
Current Win Streak: Towson, two games
Tom Gilmore vs. Towson: 0-0
Rob Ambrose vs. Holy Cross: 0-0
Crusaders Set For Home Opener
Holy Cross is now in its 118th season of intercollegiate football. The Crusaders have been impressive in their opening home game of the season, posting an all-time mark of 78-31-7. Holy Cross has a 9-7 record in home openers over the last 16 years, but has lost two straight. Following last week's 17-16 loss at Bryant, the Crusaders now stand at 69-39-9 in their season debuts overall, including a 20-12-1 record since the beginning of the 1980 season.
Holy Cross To Hold Annual Kids' Day
The Holy Cross football team will hold its annual Price Chopper Kids' Day during the contest with Towson on Sept. 7. The Crusaders will hold a free pregame clinic for kids aged 13 and under beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Fitton Field. The first 150 kids to the clinic will receive a free Kids' Day t-shirt, compliments of Price Chopper. In the event of rain, the pregame clinic will be moved to the Holy Cross Field House (no cleats or black soled shoes will be permitted in the Field House). Youth cheerleaders are also welcome, as the Holy Cross cheerleading team will hold a clinic as well. For the Towson game, all kids aged 17 and under will be admitted for only $1.00.
SanDoval Set For Final Year
Fifth-year senior linebacker Roman SanDoval (Allison Park, Pa.) looks to once again be among of the top players on the Holy Cross defense this year. In the season opener at Bryant, he tied for the team lead with seven solo tackles. Last year, SanDoval totaled 75 tackles, including three sacks and five tackles for loss. During last year's Fordham game, he posted 11 tackles with one pass breakup. Earlier in 2012 at Lafayette, SanDoval recorded nine tackles with a quarterback sack and a pass breakup. A few of his other top games last year came against Colgate (13 total tackles), Bucknell (five tackles and a quarterback sack), Dartmouth (career-high 14 total tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack) and New Hampshire (team-high 13 tackles with one tackle for loss). In 2011, he recorded 15 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss in the first three games, before missing the remainder of the season due to injury. Over the course of his collegiate career, SanDoval now has 137 total tackles, four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Raymond Heads Up Return Game
Sophomore wide receiver Kalif Raymond (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was the top kickoff and punt returner for the Crusaders during the 2012 season, and earned first team All-Patriot League honors. Raymond returned 32 kickoffs for 777 yards and a touchdown last year (good for an average of 24.3 yards per return), in addition to bringing back 19 punts for 101 yards. During the 2012 game at Lafayette, he returned a kickoff 80 yards for his first career touchdown. Earlier last season at Colgate, Raymond brought back eight kickoffs for 178 yards, to place third on the all-time Holy Cross single-game list for kickoff return yards. He also totaled a career-best 191 all-purpose yards at Harvard in 2012, to earn Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors. Raymond missed last week's game at Bryant due to injury.
Fess Looks For Another Big Season
Senior wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) is once again among the top players on the Holy Cross offense this year. In the season opener at Bryant, he caught four passes for 48 yards. Last year, Fess led the team with 80 catches for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games played. His 80 total receptions on the year were the second-most ever by a Crusader in a single season, behind only Ari Confesor's 90 catches in 2003. During last season's Wagner game, he led the team with six receptions for 101 yards. Earlier last year against Lehigh, Fess caught 10 passes for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also played well against Fordham in 2012, posting eight receptions for a career-high 139 yards and two scores. A few of Fess' other top performances last season came against Georgetown (10 receptions for 60 yards), Lafayette (nine catches for 93 yards), Colgate (10 receptions for 100 yards) and New Hampshire (10 receptions for 85 yards). In 2011, he earned second team All-Patriot League honors after ranking second on the team with 45 receptions for 417 yards and two scores. Fess has now totaled 138 catches for 1,366 yards and six touchdowns during his collegiate career. He currently ranks eighth all-time at Holy Cross in career receptions, and needs 53 catches this year to break the all-time school record.
Holy Cross Attempts To Post Another Winning Season
In 2013, the Crusaders will attempt to finish with a winning record for the eighth time in a nine-year span. The Crusaders had a streak of seven straight winning seasons snapped last year, when they went just 2-9 overall. The Crusaders concluded the 2010 and 2011 seasons with identical marks of 6-5, after going 9-3 in 2009 (marking only the ninth time in school history the team has won at least nine games). Holy Cross previously went 7-4 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and its 42-25 mark from 2006-2011 was its best in a six-year span since going 42-23-1 from 1989-1994. Holy Cross also posted a winning record in 2005 (6-5), and had an overall mark of 48-30 from 2005-2011. Prior to that seven-year run, the last time the Crusaders posted a winning mark in seven straight seasons was from 1986-1992.
The Quarterback Combo
Junior quarterbacks Steven Elder (San Antonio, Texas) and Ryan Laughlin (Glen Mills, Pa.) give the Crusaders a pair of experienced options under center. During the season opener at Bryan, Elder completed 23 of 41 attempts for 309 yards and a touchdown. Last season, he led the team by hitting on 106 of 173 attempts for 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns. A few of Elder's top games in 2012 came against Wagner (16 of 25 for 234 yards and a touchdown), Lehigh (12 of 17 for 133 yards and two scores) and Colgate (24 of 39 for 313 yards and two touchdowns). Laughlin took just one snap last week at Bryant, rushing once for one yard. A year ago, he completed 81 of 132 passes for 752 yards and six scores, while ranking third on the team in rushing with 144 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries. Laughlin's top performances last season came against Lehigh (17 of 27 for 203 yards and two touchdowns) and Fordham (18 of 28 for 223 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 36 yards and a score on four carries).
Acquah & Tucker Play Well Up Front
Senior defensive end Gary Acquah (Bronx, N.Y.) and senior outside linebacker Mike Tucker (Chester Springs, Pa.) are both playing key roles along the Holy Cross defensive front this year. Acquah made five tackles in the season opener at Bryant, after being named second team All-Patriot League last year. He finished the 2012 season with 54 total tackles, two sacks and seven tackles for loss. A few of Acquah's top games last year were against New Hampshire (career-high 10 tackles, pass breakup, blocked extra point), Lafayette (eight tackles) and Harvard (seven tackles). In 2011, he led all Holy Cross defensive linemen with 40 total tackles, including two sacks and three tackles for loss. Over the course of his collegiate career, Acquah has now totaled 99 tackles, four sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Tucker totaled 28 tackles last year, with a team-best nine tackles for loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. In 2011, he recorded 27 tackles and a pass breakup, while leading the team with nine sacks and earning second team All-Patriot League honors. Tucker posted a career-high three sacks at Bucknell in 2011, while making a career-best seven tackles with two sacks in the victory over Harvard. During his Holy Cross career, Tucker has now totaled 59 tackles, 11 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
The Last Meeting With Towson
Towson's Mikal Lundy carried the ball 13 times for 138 yards and a touchdown, to lead the Tigers to a 30-13 victory over Holy Cross at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Oct. 11, 2003. Towson opened the scoring at the 6:35-mark of the first quarter on a five-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Melzi to Will Marcus. In the second quarter, Lundy broke off a 71-yard scoring run to put the Tigers up 14-0. The Crusaders put their first points on the board with a 52-yard touchdown pass from John O'Neil to Gideon Akande, but a 34-yard scoring strike from Melzi to James Byroads late in the quarter put Towson up 20-7 at halftime. The Tigers would increase their lead to 30-7 in the third quarter, with a three-yard Matt Romeo touchdown run and a 39-yard Stephan Toth field goal. Holy Cross then concluded the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 17-yard scoring strike from Brian Schiller to Ari Confesor. Akande led the Crusader offense with five receptions for 85 yards and a score, to go along with five rushes for 45 yards and two kickoff returns for 59 yards. Ben Koller totaled a game-high 13 tackles for the Holy Cross defense, while Darran Davis added eight tackles with a quarterback sack. Tony Lumpkin led the Towson defense with 11 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and four tackles for loss.
Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years, but went just 1-5 at home in 2012. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 368-174-27 (.670). 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 2011 campaign with a winning record at home for the sixth 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).
Football Legends Ring Of Honor Inductions Set For Sept. 21
The athletic department at the College of the Holy Cross will honor three former football standouts on Sept. 21, as the fourth class of the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. Tom Greene (Class of 1959), Dave Quehl (Class of 1976) and Johnny Turco (Class of 1952) will all be honored in a ceremony prior to the Monmouth game, and receive 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. Individuals who have previously been inducted into the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor include Ronnie Cahill (Class of 1940), George Connor (Class of ex1946), Gill Fenerty (Class of 1986), Bruce Kozerski (Class of 1984), Gordie Lockbaum (Class of 1988), Pat McCarthy (Class of 1963), Jon Morris (Class of 1964), Edmund Murphy (Class of 1943), Bill Osmanski (Class of 1939), Vince Promuto (Class of 1960), John Provost (Class of 1975), Jeff Wiley (Class of 1989) and Joe Wilson (Class of 1973).
Macomber Steps Up In Kicking Game
Senior John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) is once again handling all of the kicking duties for Holy Cross this year. In the season opener at Bryant, he averaged 44.7 yards on six punts, while making one field goal and one extra point. In 2012, Macomber earned second team All-Patriot League honors as both a placekicker and a punter. He ranked second on the team with 55 points scored last year, hitting 10 of 13 field goal attempts (including a long of 46 yards) and 25 of 26 extra points. Macomber also averaged 40.9 yards on 62 punts in 2012, with a long of 59 yards and 23 kicks downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. In addition, he averaged 62.4 yards on 47 kickoffs with 21 touchbacks last year. Macomber led the team in scoring during the 2011 season with 56 points, hitting 12 of 15 field goals and 20 of 26 extra points. He also led the Patriot League in field goal percentage, while his 12 field goals made tied the school single-season record. Over the course of his career as a Crusaders, Macomber has now made 23 of 30 field goals and 46 of 54 extra points, for a total of 115 points scored. His 23 career field goals made currently rank sixth all-time at Holy Cross.
Crusaders In The Patriot League
Looking ahead to its 28th season of play in the Patriot League, Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 83-67 (.553) 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 10 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.
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Ten Crusaders are ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Aug. 31. As a team, Holy Cross stands second in the nation in fourth down conversion defense and sixth in punt returns. The rankings:
|Category||Rank||Player / Team||Avg. / Pct.|
|Punt Returns||1||Kyle Toulouse||44.0|
|Fourth Down Defense||2||Holy Cross||25.0|
|Passes Defended||2||Matt Bhaya||4.0|
|Tackles For Loss||4||Sam Jones||3.0|
|Passing Yards||9||Steven Elder||309.0|
|Total Offense||16||Steven Elder||294.0|
|Field Goals Made||18||John Macomber||1.0|
|Kickoff Coverage||21||Holy Cross||15.0|
|Scoring Defense||24||Holy Cross||17.0|
|Solo Tackles||26||Sam Jones||7.0|
|Kickoff Returns||29||Kyle Toulouse||22.0|
|Receiving Yards||31||Gabe Guild||98.0|
|All-Purpose Yards||40||Kyle Toulouse||132.0|
|Pass Efficiency||48||Steven Elder||112.8|
Three Starters Return To Lead Offensive Line
Holy Cross returns three starters to an offensive line which looks to become one of the top units in the Patriot League this year. In 2012, the line paved the way for the Crusaders to average 21.2 points and 343.5 total yards per game. The line also allowed only 26 sacks last year while the team attempted 392 passes. Returning starters for the Crusaders include senior Blake Berresford (Montoursville, Pa.) at right tackle, fifth-year senior Casey Bessemer (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) at left guard and fifth-year senior Kyle Pedretty (Dunedin, Fla.) at left tackle. Bessemer has started 22 consecutive games for Holy Cross, and has played in 33 contests during his collegiate career. Pedretty has played in 23 career games with 22 starts, while Berresford has started in all 13 of his career games played. Those three are expected to be joined in the starting lineup by senior Jay Knighton (Pottstown, Pa.) at center and junior Ryan Schnieber (Cincinnati, Ohio) at right guard.
Tradition Of Excellence
The 2013 campaign marks the 118th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 607-487-54, good for a .552 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2012 season, Holy Cross' 607 all-time victories ranked as the 14th 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.
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 Aug. 31. Senior wide out Kyle Toulouse leads the conference in both all-purpose yards (132.0 yards/game) and punt returns (44.0 yards/return), while standing third in kickoff returns (22.0 yards/return) and fourth in scoring (6.0 points/game). Junior quarterback Steven Elder ranks first in passing yards (309.0 yards/game), second in pass efficiency (112.8 rating) and second in total offense (294.0 yards/game), while freshman tailback Gabe Guild (Overland Park, Kan.) stands first in receptions (7.0 catches/game), second in receiving yards (98.0 yards/game) and fourth in all-purpose yards (110.0 yards/game). In addition, senior kicker John Macomber is first in both punting (44.7 yards/punt) and field goals (1.0 made/game), senior wide out Nate Stanley (Euclid, Ohio) ranks fourth in both receptions (6.0 catches/game) and receiving yards (75.0 yards/game), junior wide out Tyler Artim (Whitehall, Pa.) stands fourth in scoring (6.0 points/game) and fifth in receiving yards (71.0 yards/game), freshman wide receiver Jake Wieczorek (Cumming, Ga.) is second in punt returns (11.5 yards/return), and sophomore strong safety Matt Bhaya (Haddonfield, N.J.) and junior cornerback Ben Coffaro (Cincinnati, Ohio) are tied for first in interceptions (1.0 picks/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in passing offense (309.0 yards/game) and net punting (37.3 yards/punt); stands second in total offense (306.0 yards/game), pass efficiency (112.8 rating), kickoff returns (22.0 yards/return) and punt returns (27.8 yards/return); and ranks third in scoring offense (16.0 points/game).
Acquah & Fess Named Captains
Holy Cross will have two captains during the 2013 football season. Senior defensive end Gary Acquah and senior wide receiver Mike Fess were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. These three players have taken over the leadership role from Tom Mannix, Gerald Mistretta, Roman SanDoval and Sean Whited, who served as the Crusaders' captains during the 2012 season.
Head Coach Tom Gilmore
A two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (in 2006 and 2009), Tom Gilmore is now in his 10th season as the head football coach at Holy Cross in 2013. He has guided the Crusaders to an overall record of 53-48 during his time at Holy Cross, including a 50-40 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. In 2009, Gilmore led the Crusaders to an overall record of 9-3, the Patriot League championship and a trip to the NCAA playoffs. A finalist for the 2009 Eddie Robinson Award, Gilmore led the Crusaders to winning records in seven straight seasons from 2005-2011, 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 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 2013 Crusaders have been picked to finish in third place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. Holy Cross received a total of 35 points in the poll, to trail only Colgate and Lehigh. The rankings:
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||2012 Record||Points|
|1.||Colgate (8)||8-4 / 6-0 PL||68|
|2.||Lehigh (6)||10-1 / 5-1 PL||56|
|3.||Holy Cross||2-9 / 2-4 PL||35|
|4.||Lafayette||5-6 / 2-4 PL||32|
|5.||Georgetown||5-6 / 2-4 PL||26|
|6.||Bucknell||3-8 / 1-5 PL||15|
Crusaders Earn Six Spots On Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Holy Cross players claimed six spots on the 2013 preseason All-Patriot League team, as selected by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Senior John Macomber was named to the team twice, as both a placekicker and a punter. He was joined on the squad by senior Gary Acquah (defensive line), senior Mike Fess (wide receiver), senior Kyle Pedretty (offensive line) and sophomore Kalif Raymond (return specialist). The Crusaders' six selections to the preseason All-Patriot League team were the most in the conference.
Crusaders Bring In Several Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players have received preseason honors from various organizations heading into the 2013 campaign. Senior wide receiver Mike Fess led the way, being named a second team All-American by USA College Football. Senior placekicker and punter John Macomber was selected to the watch list for the Fred Mitchell Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate placekicker at any level outside of the football bowl subdivision. In addition, Macomber, senior defensive end Gary Acquah and sophomore wide receiver Kalif Raymond were all selected to the College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists for the Football Championship Subdivision. Macomber is a candidate for the Placekicker Award, Acquah is up for the Defensive Lineman Award and Raymond is a candidate for the All-Purpose Performer Award.
Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2013 will air on WTAG 580 AM and 94.9 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 43rd season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 27th year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standouts Tom Kelleher, Gordie Lockbaum and John O'Neill 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 four games shown on live television during the 2013 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2013 campaign:
Oct. 5 vs. Harvard: Charter TV3
Oct. 19 vs. Colgate: CBS Sports Network
Oct. 26 vs. Lafayette: Charter TV3
Nov. 9 at Lehigh: Service Electric
Live video streaming of most 2013 Holy Cross regular season home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader Vision. The package, done in association with Campus Insiders as part of the Patriot League Network, is available free of charge. For details on how to view games through Crusader Vision, click here.
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 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. exclusively on the internet, with archives of all the shows available to those who can not watch live. The show is carried through Crusader Vision free of charge. For more details, click here.
On Social Media
Updates on Holy Cross football can be found through the Holy Cross Athletics pages on the following social media networks:
Facebook: Holy Cross Athletics
Get all the latest news and results on the Holy Cross football team sent directly to your e-mail. To sign up for e-mail alerts, click here.
Scouting The Tigers
Towson enters this week's game ranked No. 5 in the nation by the Sports Network with an overall record of 1-0, after posting a 33-18 victory at Connecticut last week. Junior tailback Terrance West led the Tigers with 156 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries against the Huskies. Senior quarterback Peter Athens also played well last week, completing 13 of 20 passes for 192 yards with one touchdown and one interception. On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Telvion Clark had a team-high 13 tackles with one quarterback sack against Connecticut. Rob Ambrose is now in his fifth season as the Tigers' head coach, and has posted an overall record of 20-26. Ambrose's career record stands at 23-33, including one year as the head coach at Catholic University.
Freshman tailback Gabe Guild led the team with seven receptions for 98 yards at Bryant, in the first game of his collegiate career ... Sophomore strong safety Matt Bhaya made a career-high seven tackles at Bryant last week, with his first career interception and three tackles for loss ... Junior wide receiver Tyler Artim caught four passes for 71 yards in the season opener at Bryant, including the first touchdown catch of his Holy Cross career ... Junior free safety Sam Jones (Canal Winchester, Ohio) tied for the team lead with seven total tackles last week at Bryant, including a career-high three tackles for loss ... Senior defensive end Gary Acquah has been named a candidate for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to enriching the lives of others while contributing to the greater good of their communities ... Four Holy Cross players have returned to the team as fifth-year seniors in 2013: offensive guard Casey Bessemer, offensive guard Billy Lang (Millersville, Md.), offensive tackle Kyle Pedretty and linebacker Roman SanDoval.