Oct. 15, 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. - Senior tailback Steve Silva (East Providence, R.I.) set school single-game records with 353 all-purpose yards and 167 punt return yards, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 28-16 victory over Dartmouth at Fitton Field. He broke the old marks of 144 punt return yards (John Provost against Brown in 1974) and 337 all-purpose yards (Gill Fenerty against Columbia in 1983). Holy Cross improves to 5-2 on the season with the victory, while Dartmouth falls to 1-4 with the loss.
The Crusaders opened the scoring in the first quarter, when senior quarterback John O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.) threw a three-yard touchdown pass to senior fullback Gideon Akande (Chicago, Ill.). Holy Cross increased the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter on a six-yard scoring pass from Silva to senior wide receiver Sean Gruber (Richwood, Ky.), then went up 21-0 on a one-yard touchdown run by Silva.
On the final play of the second quarter, Silva then returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown to give the Crusaders a 28-0 lead at the break. His punt return was the longest in school history, breaking the old mark of 85 yards shared by Johnny Turco (against Colgate in 1950) and Provost (against Brown in 1974).
Neither team scored any points in the third quarter, and entering the fourth period the Holy Cross defense had allowed only 91 yards and five first downs. The Big Green rallied for 16 unanswered points to close out the game, but was never able to threaten the Crusader lead. Joshua Cohen threw a pair of touchdown passes for Sam Seiberling and Ryan Fuselier, and Holy Cross took a safety on its final possession to account for Dartmouth's points.
Silva rushed 25 times for 132 yards and score, caught eight passes for 39 yards, brought back six punts for 167 yards and a touchdown, and returned a kickoff for 15 yards.
O'Neil also had a fine game with 132 yards and a score on 15 of 27 passing, while Gruber caught four passes for 57 yards and tied the school career record with his 19th touchdown catch as a Crusader.
Cohen led Dartmouth by completing 25 of 44 passes for 290 yards and two touchdown, but also threw two interceptions and was sacked five times.
Junior linebacker Dan Adams (Springfield, Va.) had a team-high five tackles for the Holy Cross defense, while senior linebacker Matt Dugan (Washington, D.C.) and senior defensive back Kevin Dunn (Gaithersburg, Md.) both intercepted passes.