Oct. 29, 2005
BRONX, N.Y. - Senior tight end Luke Dugan (Maple Plain, Minn.) set career highs with 10 catches and 136 receiving yards, but it was not enough as the Holy Cross football team dropped a close 24-20 game to Fordham at Jack Coffey Field. The Crusaders fall to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League with the loss, while the Rams improve to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
Fordham jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, when Derric Daniels threw an 86-yard touchdown pass to Mike Melvin. The Rams increased their lead to 17-0 in the second quarter on a 12-yard scoring pass from Daniels to Erik Conroy and a 26-yard field goal by Micah Clukey.
But following Clukey's field goal with 33 seconds remaining in the second quarter, junior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.) returned the kickoff 65 yards to the Fordham 21-yard line, giving the Crusaders a chance to get on the board. Holy Cross scored on an 11-yard pass from senior quarterback John O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.) to Dugan to make the score 17-6, but the extra point attempt was blocked.
The Crusaders then came out of the locker room on fire to start the third quarter, with freshman tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns following drives of 61 and 84 yards, putting Holy Cross up 20-17. On their next possession, the Crusaders moved into Fordham territory again, but a pair of penalties forced the drive the stall, giving the ball back to the Rams. Fordham then regained the lead, with Craig Stevens scoring on a one-yard touchdown run.
Holy Cross nearly took the lead again when junior wide receiver Matt Fanning (Marlborough, Mass.) returned a punt 57 yards to the Fordham 40-yard line, but Ram punter Anthony DiFino made a game-saving tackle. The Crusaders fumbled the ball away two plays later, and were unable to move past the Fordham 47-yard line on their final drive in the last minute of the game.
Holy Cross played the contest without three of its regular starters, as senior tailback Steve Silva (East Providence, R.I.), senior fullback Gideon Akande (Chicago, Ill.) and sophomore free safety Obi Green (The Colony, Texas) all missed the game due to injury.
O'Neil completed 20 of 29 passes for 238 yards on the day, while James Prydatko led Fordham with 143 rushing yards on 30 carries. Junior linebacker Chris Nielsen (Center Line, Mich.) led the Crusader defense with 13 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack.
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 12, when it plays host to Lafayette in a 12:30 p.m. game at Fitton Field.