Nov. 19, 2005
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Senior tailback Steve Silva (East Providence, R.I.) rushed 33 times for a career-high 201 yards and four touchdowns, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 51-33 victory over Bucknell at Christy Mathewson Stadium. Silva totaled 247 all-purpose yards on the day, and concludes the 2005 season with 913 rushing yards and 2,134 all-purpose yards. The Crusaders finish the year with an overall record of 6-5 and a 3-3 mark in the Patriot League, posting a winning record for the first time since 2000 and only the second time since 1992. The Bison end the year at 1-10 overall and 0-6 in the Patriot League.
After junior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.) returned the opening kickoff to the Bucknell 32-yard line, Holy Cross needed only 3:13 to take a 6-0 lead, with Silva scoring the touchdown on a four-yard run. After holding the Bison to three downs and out on their opening possession, the Crusaders marched back down the field again, with Silva scoring on a 16-yard run. Senior free safety Kevin Dunn (Gaithersburg, Md.) then intercepted a Dante Ross pass, and on the next play senior quarterback John O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.) threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Thomas Harrison (Wilmington, N.C.) to make the score 20-0.
Bucknell scored its opening points on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Ross to Daniel Zvara, before junior placekicker Mike DeSantis (Belle Mead, N.J.) kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Holy Cross a 23-6 lead after the first quarter. The Crusaders added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, on a one-yard run by Silva and a four-yard pass from O'Neil to junior fullback Frank Herlihy (West Seneca, N.Y.), but the Bison also scored twice to keep the game close at halftime (37-21).
Bucknell cut the Holy Cross lead to 10 points (37-27) at the 3:24 mark of the third quarter on a seven-yard run by Ross, but Gough returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown to put the Crusaders up 44-27. Silva scored his final touchdown on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter, before the Bison added a late touchdown to conclude the scoring.
O'Neil finished the day by completing 17 of 29 passes for 257 yards and a pair of scores, while senior wide receiver Sean Gruber (Richwood, Ky.) had a team-best five catches for 95 yards, and Gough totaled 173 yards on four kickoff returns. Bucknell was led by Kadero Watson with 140 rushing yards on 14 carries, while Kenny Davis added 105 yards on 10 rushes.