September 19, 2008

Crusaders Fall In Heartbreaker At Harvard, 25-24

Sept. 19, 2008

Final Stats

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Crusader defense forced four turnovers, but it was not enough as the Holy Cross football was defeated by Harvard 25-24 at Harvard Stadium. The Crusaders led by 12 points in the fourth quarter, before the Crimson rallied to score 13 unanswered points down the stretch. Holy Cross falls to 0-2 on the year with the loss, while the Crimson open the season at 1-0.

The Crimson took a 3-0 lead at the 7:39-mark of the first quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Patrick Long. The Crusaders came right back to go in front 7-3 just over three minutes later, when senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.). Harvard was then able to cut the Holy Cross lead to 7-6 before the end of the first quarter, on another 29-yard Long field goal.

Early in the second quarter, senior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) hit a 24-yard field goal to increase the lead to 10-6. On the Crimson's next possession, junior cornerback Michael Wright (Fort Washington, Md.) intercepted a pass which he returned to the Harvard 18-yard line, putting the Crusaders back into position to score. Seven plays later, senior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) had a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 17-6 at halftime.

Harvard moved the ball deep into Holy Cross territory early in the third quarter, before junior linebacker Andrew Cialino (Medford, N.J.) intercepted a pass at the one-yard line to end the drive. Senior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) would add the Crusaders' third interception of the night later in the third quarter. But Holy Cross was unable to convert on the turnovers, and then early in the fourth quarter Harvard's Chris Pizzotti threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Marco Iannuzzi to make the score 17-12.

The Crusader special teams would force the fourth turnover of the day later in the fourth quarter, when senior defensive back Ty Shaw (Aurora, Colo.) recovered a fumble on a punt return at the Crimson 26-yard line. That play set up a one-yard scoring run by Randolph, giving Holy Cross a 24-12 advantage. But Harvard refused to go away, and Pizzotti scored on a pair of one-yard touchdown runs to give the Crimson the lead, 25-24 with 1:42 left to play.

Randolph completed 27 out of 52 passes for 239 yards on the night, while senior wide receiver Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) caught a team-best six passes for 61 yards. Pizzotti hit on 30 of 44 passes for 370 yards to lead the Crimson, while Iannuzzi added 11 catches for 174 yards.

Partain made all three of his extra point attempts in the game, breaking the school record with 59 consecutive extra points made.

Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 27, when it travels to Georgetown for a 1:00 p.m. game.