Nov. 6, 2004
WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior quarterback John O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.) completed 21 of 33 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 73 yards and another score on six carries, to lead the Holy Cross football team to a 44-13 victory over Marist at Fitton Field on Senior Day. The Crusaders improve to 2-7 on the season with the victory, while the Red Foxes end their year at 3-6.
Senior tailback Steven Silva (East Providence, R.I.) also had an outstanding day, totaling 269 all-purpose yards. He rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, caught five passes for 62 yards, and returned three kickoffs for 86 yards.
The win enabled Holy Cross to avoid its first winless season at home since 1996. It also marked the largest margin of victory for the Crusaders since a 49-17 win over Dartmouth in 2001.
Holy Cross opened the game on fire, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first 7:44 of the game, before Marist even ran an offensive play. The Crusaders took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for a touchdown, with sophomore fullback Francis Herlihy (West Seneca, N.Y.) scoring on a four-yard pass from O'Neil. Sophomore cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.) then recovered an onside kick, setting up a a 32-yard touchdown run by O'Neil. The Red Foxes were then unable to field a squib kick, while Holy Cross junior tight end Matt Lane (Marlboro, Mass.) recovered to set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from O'Neil to senior tight end Luke Dugan (Maple Plain, Minn.).
Silva's two-yard touchdown run, with 9:48 left in the second quarter, padded the Crusaders' cushion to 28-0 before Marist answered with a seven -yard touchdown run from quarterback Brian Kiraly with 4:07 left before the half. Silva's second touchdown with 10:59 left in the third quarter gave Holy Cross a 35-7 lead.
Marist made a second-half comeback attempt with Obo Ehikioya's three-yard touchdown run for the Red Foxes with five minutes left in the third quarter. But Holy Cross junior linebacker Matt Dugan (Washington, D.C.) blocked Bradley Rowe's point-after kick and ran 93 yards untouched for two points and a 37-13 Holy Cross lead.
O'Neil connected with Herlihy on a five-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to close the scoring for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross returns to action next Saturday, November 13, when it travels to Lafayette for a 12:30 p.m. game.