Sept. 6, 2008
WORCESTER, Mass. -- UMass placekicker Armando Cuko hit a 42-yard field goal as time expired, to give the Minutemen a 45-42 victory over the Holy Cross football team at Fitton Field on Homecoming Weekend. The Crusaders open the season at 0-1 with the loss, while UMass improves to 2-0 overall.
Holy Cross opened the scoring at the 0:54-mark of the first quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) to senior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.). The Minutemen came back to tie the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter, with Liam Coen scoring on a one-yard run. The Crusaders regained the lead on a two-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.), before UMass responded with a 26-yard scoring pass from Coen to Jeremy Horne.
Senior wide receiver Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to put Holy Cross back in front, then Randolph tossed an eight-yard scoring pass to sophomore wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) to make the score 28-14 with 1:49 left in the second quarter. But the Minutemen came back to make the score 28-21 before halftime, with Coen and Horne hooking up for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
In the third quarter, UMass scored two straight touchdowns to take its first lead of the game. Tony Nelson scored on a four-yard run, then Coen hit Joe Sanford from 25 yards out to make the score 35-28. Gass then scored his second touchdown of the game on a 21-yard run, tying the score up at 35-35 heading into the fourth quarter.
UMass went back in front on a one-yard scoring run by Nelson, before Randolph again found Santana in the end zone, this time from nine yards out with 2:22 to play, tying the score at 42-42. But the Minutemen were able to come back down the field to set up Cuko's game-winning field goal in the closing seconds.
Randolph completed 28 of 44 passes on the day for 249 yards and three touchdowns, while Gass had a team-best nine receptions for 46 yards. Coen led UMass by hitting on 25 of 37 passes for 395 yards and three scores, and received the Johnny Turco Memorial Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of Holy Cross' Homecoming game.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday, Sept. 19, when they travel to Harvard for a 7:00 p.m. game.