Football Scores Late To Defeat Dartmouth, 31-28

Peter Pujals

Video: Fox College Sports Postgame With Peter Pujals

HANOVER, N.H. – Holy Cross senior placekicker John Macomber (Vienna, Va.) hit a 23-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in regulation to help lead the Crusaders to a 31-28 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday evening at Memorial Field. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 2-3 overall, while the Big Green fall to 1-1 on the season.

Holy Cross freshman quarterback Peter Pujals (Glenview, Ill.) went 25-of-37 passing with game-highs of 290 yards through the air and 125 yards rushing to go along with four total touchdowns (two passing and two rushing).

Dartmouth scored the first touchdown of the game at the 3:14 mark of the first quarter, as Dalyn Williams threw a seven-yard screen pass to Kyle Bramble to put the Big Green ahead 7-0. In the second quarter, Dartmouth added another score with 8:35 on the clock, as tailback Dominick Pierre plunged in from one-yard out to put the Big Green on top 14-0.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Crusaders cut the deficit to 14-7. Pujals hit sophomore wide out Kalif Raymond (Lawrenceville, Ga.) on a 20-yard strike in the back corner of the end zone. The score was Raymond's first receiving touchdown of his career, which came with seven seconds left in the first half.

The Crusaders kept up the momentum after the intermission, as Pujals dove in the end zone for a one-yard score with 11:21 on the clock to knot the game at 14-14. During the 10 play, 76-yard drive, Pujals connected with senior wide receiver Mike Fess (Caldwell, N.J.) for 35 yards on a third-and-seven to set up the Crusaders with goal-to-go from the two-yard line. Dartmouth, however, countered on its next possession, as Williams heaved a 24-yard scoring strike to Bo Patterson at the 7:26 mark of the third quarter to give the Big Green the 21-14 lead.

Dartmouth looked to add to its lead late in the third quarter, but a forced fumble recovered by Holy Cross senior linebacker Scotty O'Donoghue (Tampa, Fla.) set up the Crusaders in great field position. Just four plays into the subsequent drive, Pujals connected with freshman wide out Jake Wieczorek (Cumming, Ga.) on a 33-yard score to tie the game at 21-21 (3:42). The Big Green, however, added a touchdown with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, as Williams hit Patterson on a 31-yard strike to give Dartmouth the 28-21 advantage.

Holy Cross again tied the score (28-28), as Pujals scampered for a 58-yard touchdown run at the 14:22 mark of the fourth quarter. Both teams traded possessions over the next eight-plus minutes, before Holy Cross took over with 6:17 left in the fourth quarter. The Crusaders then grinded out a 14 play, 67-yard drive, which ate up 5:13 of clock to set up Macomber's game-winning kick.

Crusader senior linebacker Roman Sandoval (Allison Park, Pa.) had a game-best 12 tackles, while sophomore Matt Bhaya (Haddonfield, N.J.) totaled 10 stops.

Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 5, when it plays host to Harvard in its Homecoming game at 1:00 p.m.