Football To Face Georgetown In Patriot League Opener

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Sept. 17, 2007

Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (1-1, 0-0 PL) vs. Georgetown (0-3, 0-1 PL)
Date: September 22, 2007
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Fitton Field (23,500), Worcester, Mass.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
Georgetown Radio: WGTB 92.3 FM, Washington, D.C.
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 12-7
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 26, Georgetown 13, September 2, 2006, Washington, D.C.

The Series With Georgetown
This will be the 20th meeting between the Crusaders and the Hoyas on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 12-7. The Crusaders have won their last seven games against Georgetown, and have been victorious in nine of the last 11 meetings. For games played in Worcester, Holy Cross owns a 6-4 advantage in the series, including three straight wins and four victories in the last five meetings. The last win for the Hoyas in the series came on Sept. 11, 1999, when they posted a 34-16 victory at Fitton Field. Since Georgetown became a member of the Patriot League in 2002, the Hoyas have an 0-5 mark against the Crusaders.

Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 12-7
In Worcester: Holy Cross leads, 6-4
At Fitton Field: Holy Cross leads, 6-4
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, seven games
Tom Gilmore vs. Georgetown: 3-0
Kevin Kelly vs. Holy Cross: 0-1
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

Holy Cross Set To Open Another Year In The Patriot League
Holy Cross will begin its 22nd season of play in the Patriot League when it faces Georgetown on Sept. 22. The Crusaders own an all-time mark of 13-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, including last year's 26-13 victory over the Hoyas. Holy Cross also stands 7-2 in conference openers over the last nine seasons, with the only losses during that span coming against Lehigh (38-20 in 2003) and Fordham (42-35 in 2004). From 1998 through 2002, the Crusaders won five straight conference openers, against Towson twice (31-24 in 1998; 17-14 in 2000), Georgetown twice (33-7 in 2001; 41-13 in 2002) and Lafayette once (30-12 in 1999). Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 60-55 (.522) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).

Defending The Home Turf
Holy Cross has enjoyed great success at Fitton Field over the years. The Crusaders, who played their first game at Fitton Field in 1903, have posted an all-time home mark of 346-163-27 (.671). Fitton Field is the second-oldest stadium still used for Division I college football, behind only Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania (opened in 1895). Holy Cross' best decade at home occurred from 1980-1989, when the Crusaders recorded a 41-12-1 mark. In the current decade, the Crusaders have posted a record of 18-21 at home, with a 3-2 record in 2006. Last year, Holy Cross posted its first winning record at home since the 2001 team went 3-2.

Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) continues to be an excellent leader for the Holy Cross offense this season. In two games played this year, Randolph has competed 61 of 117 attempts for 635 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Last week against Harvard, he hit on 29 of 55 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning 40-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison (Wilmington, N.C.) with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter. In the season opener at Massachusetts, Randolph completed 32 of 62 attempts for 296 yards and two scores without an interception, in addition to rushing for a touchdown. He set a school single game record for most passing attempts with 62, breaking the old mark of 56 set by Charlie Maloy against the Quantico Marines on Nov. 16, 1952. Last season, Randolph earned third team All-Northeast Region honors after completing 184 of 299 attempts for 2,237 yards and 19 touchdowns with only six interceptions, despite missing two games due to injury. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now hit on 245 of 416 passes for 2,872 yards and 25 scores. Despite playing in just 11 career games, Randolph already ranks sixth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, with his career completion percentage (.589) is the third best in school history.

Maher Makes Big Catches
Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher (Boca Raton, Fla.) continues to show why he is one of the top wide outs in the nation. Through two games played this year, Maher has totaled a team-best 20 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. During last week's victory over Harvard, he had nine catches for 75 yards and a score. In the season opener at Massachusetts, Maher posted 11 receptions for 85 yards. Last year, he led the team and Patriot League in receiving with 69 catches for 797 yards and six touchdowns. Maher also concluded the 2006 campaign ranked ninth in the country in receptions and 32nd in receiving yards. At the end of the 2006 season, he was named to the All-Patriot League first team and the New England Football Writers All-Star team, in addition to being a second team All-Northeast Region selection. Maher has currently caught a pass in 13 consecutive games, while posting three of more receptions in 10 straight contests. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 93 catches for 995 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Last Meeting With Georgetown
Matt Fanning caught six passes for 69 yards and a touchdown, to lead Holy Cross to a 26-13 victory over Georgetown at the Multi-Sport Field on September 2, 2006. Following a scoreless first quarter in which both teams struggled to generate much offense, the Crusaders drove 81 yards on 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead early in the second period. Terrance Gass capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter, with just 1:08 left before the half, Kyle Mushaweh blocked a punt to give Holy Cross the ball at the Georgetown 43-yard line. The Crusaders then needed just six plays to make the score 13-0, with Brian McSharry throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Fanning with just 2.9 seconds remaining before the break. On Georgetown's opening drive of the second half, Dan Adams recovered a fumble at the Hoya 33-yard line, to set up a 39-yard field goal by Mike DeSantis. But Georgetown came back to make the score 16-6 later in the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Ben Hostetler. On their next possession, the Crusaders marched 80 yards on 19 plays, with DeSantis kicking a 26-yard field goal to put Holy Cross back up by 13 points. Mike Kielt then put the game away with an 18-yard touchdown run midway through the final quarter. Georgetown concluded the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Hostetler to Charlie Curtis with less than three minutes left to play. Gass finished the game with 56 yards on 15 carries, while Kielt had 33 yards on 10 rushes. Ryan Maher also had a strong game with seven catches for 62 yards. McSharry, who entered the game in place of injured starter Dominic Randolph, completed 16 of 30 attempts for 181 yards. Adams led the Holy Cross defense with eight tackles, four tackles for loss, an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

Gough Steps Up In The Secondary
Senior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.) is once again among the top defensive backs and kickoff returners in the Patriot League this season. Through two games played so far this season, he has posted six total tackles and one tackle for loss, while returning three kickoffs for 68 yards. In 11 games during the 2006 season, Gough totaled 54 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He was also the Crusaders' top kickoff returner, averaging 21.1 yards on 30 returns. Following the conclusion of the 2006 campaign, Gough was named first team All-Patriot League, while earning second team All-Northeast Region honors. He was previously named second team All-Patriot League in 2005, after posting a team-best three interceptions, 45 tackles, three tackles for loss and six pass breakups. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Gough has now totaled 153 tackles, seven interceptions and 21 pass breakups. He has also totaled 1,438 yards and a touchdown on 57 career kickoff returns, to rank second all-time at Holy Cross in career kickoff return yards and career kickoff return average (25.2 yards per return).

Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide Receiver
In addition to senior Ryan Maher, Holy Cross has shown that it has a number of other weapons in the passing game, as six different wide receivers already have receptions this season. Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison currently ranks second on the team in receiving with 14 caches for a team-best 169 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide out Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has added 12 receptions for 148 yards and a score, while junior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has brought in eight receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. In addition, sophomore wide receiver Mike Frawley (Glen Mills, Pa.) had two catches for eight yards, and senior wide out Justin Maher (Milford, Conn.) has one reception for a 23-yard touchdown. Last season, eight different Holy Cross wide receivers caught at least one pass.

Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Six Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I-AA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 15. As a team, Holy Cross stands third in both passing yards and turnover margin. The rankings:

 

Category              Rank  Player/Team         Avg.
Completions              2  
Dominic Randolph    30.5
Passing Yards            2  Holy Cross         330.0
                         3  
Dominic Randolph   317.5
Receptions               3  
Ryan Maher          10.0
                        19  
Thomas Harrison      7.0
                        38  
Brett McDermott      6.0
Total Offense            4  
Dominic Randolph   329.0
                        22  Holy Cross         428.0
Points Responsible For   6  
Dominic Randolph    21.0
Quarterback Sacks       13  
Bryan Walwyn         1.0
Turnover Margin         21  Holy Cross          +1.0
Fewest Penalty Yards    23  Holy Cross          40.5
Receiving Yards         33  
Thomas Harrison     84.5
                        44  
Ryan Maher          80.0
                        50  
Brett McDermott     74.0
Passed Defended         35  
Kyle Mushaweh        1.5

Crusaders Among League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players are currently ranked at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Sept. 15. Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph currently leads the league in both passing yards (317.5 yards/game) and total offense (329.0 yards/game), and stands third in pass efficiency (112.9 rating). Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher leads the conference in receptions (10.0 catches/game) and ranks fourth in receiving yards (80.0 yards/game), while senior wide out Thomas Harrison stands second in the league in both receptions (7.0 catches/game) and receiving yards (84.5 yards/game), and junior wide receiver Brett McDermott is fourth in the conference in receptions (6.0 catches/game) and fifth in receiving yards (74.0 yards/game). In addition, junior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is tied for first in extra points (100.0 percent), senior cornerback Casey Gough ranks fourth in kickoff returns (22.7 yards/return), junior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) stands fifth in interceptions (0.5 picks/game) and freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) is fifth in punt returns (2.7 yards/return). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in total offense (428.0 yards/game), scoring offense (30.5 points/game), passing offense (330.0 yards/game) and turnover margin (+1.0 turnovers/game).

Crusaders Have Three Captains
The Holy Cross football team has three captains for the 2007 season. Senior cornerback Casey Gough, senior free safety Obi Green (The Colony, Texas) and junior quarterback Dominic Randolph were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. Gough, who was also one of four captains during the 2006 campaign, becomes only the 10th player in school history to serve as a team captain for more than one season. Previous two-year captains were George Connor (1905-1906), Raymond Lynch (1916-1917), Thomas Lamb (1969-1970), Craig Cerratani (1977-1978), Ed Kutschke (1985-1986), John Aloisi (1998-1999), David Puloka (1999-2000), Brian Hall (2001-2002) and Steve Silva (2004-2005).

Tradition Of Excellence
The 2007 campaign marks the 112th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 570-459-54, good for a .551 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Holy Cross' 569 all-time victories ranked as the 15th most among all Division I-AA schools. Holy Cross has had 31 first team All-America selections, sent 69 players on to professional football, won five Lambert Cups, claimed five Patriot League championships, and was named the Division I-AA Team of the Year in 1987. The Crusaders also played in the 1946 Orange Bowl, losing to host Miami on the game's final play.

Head Coach Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore is in his fourth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore enters this week's game with an overall record of 17-18, as the Crusaders have won 17 of his last 30 games. Last year he led Holy Cross to an overall record of 7-4, including a five-game winning streak (the longest by the Crusaders since the 1991 season). In 2005, Gilmore guided Holy Cross to an overall record of 6-5, with tailback Steve Silva earning first team All-America honors. On Oct. 8, 2005, Gilmore led the Crusaders to their first victory over a ranked team since 2000, with a 13-10 win at No. 10 Lehigh. Prior to his time at Holy Cross, Gilmore served as an assistant coach at Lehigh (2000-2003), Dartmouth (1992-1999), Pennsylvania (1986, 1990-1991) and Columbia (1987-1989). An Academic All-American at Pennsylvania, Gilmore graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in computer mathematics. He was the Ivy League Player of the Year as a senior and helped lead the Quakers to four consecutive Ivy League titles.

Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players earned preseason accolades heading into the 2007 campaign. Senior Casey Gough was named the No. 3 cornerback in the nation by The Sports Network, and also earned preseason All-America honors from both The Sports Network (second team) and College Sporting News (third team). Junior Dominic Randolph was listed as the No. 13 quarterback in the country by The Sports Network, and also received preseason Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors from Street & Smith's 2007 College Football Yearbook. In addition, several players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2007 College Football Preview. Gough was joined on the first team by senior wide receiver Ryan Maher, while Randolph was chosen to the second team along with senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison, junior running back Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.), senior offensive lineman Dan Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.), senior defensive lineman Adam Sadowski (Tucson, Ariz.) and junior offensive lineman Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.).

Crusaders Dominate Turnover Battle
In two games played so far this season, Holy Cross forced its opponents to commit four turnovers, while giving the ball away only two times. The Crusaders have recovered three fumbles on the year, in addition to posting one interception. Senior wide receiver Ryan Maher leads the team with a pair of fumble recoveries, both of which came while playing on the punt coverage team. Sophomore cornerback John Myrick (Dayton, Ohio) has added one fumble recovery, while junior strong safety Daryl Brown has one interception. On the offensive side of the ball, the Crusaders have thrown just one interception and lost just one fumble.

Holy Cross Picked Fourth In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2007 Crusaders have been picked to finish in fourth place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, quarterback Sedale Threatt of Lehigh has been named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and linebacker Mike Gallihugh of Colgate was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Rank  School (1st place votes)    2006 Record  Points
  1.  Lafayette (6)              6-6 / 5-1 PL      63
  2.  Lehigh (5)                 6-5 / 5-1 PL      62
  3.  Colgate (1)                4-7 / 3-3 PL      52
  4.  Holy Cross (2)             7-4 / 4-2 PL      50
  5.  Bucknell                   6-5 / 3-3 PL      31
  6.  Fordham                    3-8 / 1-5 PL      21
  7.  Georgetown                 2-9 / 0-6 PL      15

Scouting The Hoyas
Georgetown enters this week's game with an overall record of 0-3 and an 0-1 mark in the Patriot League. The Hoyas have opened the season by dropping contests against Stony Brook (35-28), Lafayette (28-7) and Yale (28-14). Senior quarterback Matt Bassuener leads the Hoya offense, completing 64 of 90 passes for 538 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, in addition to rushing for 72 yards. Senior fullback Kyle Van Fleet has rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries, while senior wide out Brent Craft and sophomore slotback Charlie Houghton are tied for the team lead with 13 receptions each. Defensively, senior quarterback Kevin Cherepski leads Georgetown with 26 total tackles. Head coach Kevin Kelly is in his second season at the helm of the Hoyas' program, where he has posted an overall record of 2-12. Prior to his time at Georgetown, Kelly spent four years as the linebackers and special teams coach at Navy.

Crusaders On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2007 will air on WTAG 580 AM, the true sports leader for the city of Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 38th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 22nd year covering the Crusaders on the radio. Former Holy Cross standout Tom Kelleher, who earned first team All-New England honors while leading the undefeated 1987 team in rushing, is in his eighth year as the color commentator. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at `www.sportsjuice.com'. In addition, WCHC 88.1 FM, the Holy Cross student station, will carry a number of games this year.

Holy Cross On Television
The Crusaders are scheduled to have five games shown on live television during the 2007 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2007 campaign:

 

Date      Opponent   Television Outlet
Sept. 15  Harvard    WCTR-TV3
Sept. 29  Yale       CN8
Oct. 13   Dartmouth  WCTR-TV3
Oct. 20   Lehigh     Service Electric
Nov. 10   Lafayette  CSTV / Lafayette Sports Network

The Holy Cross Football Show
Every Tuesday during the season, head coach Tom Gilmore will be joined by Bob Fouracre for the Holy Cross Football Show. The show airs live from 1:00-1:30 p.m. exclusively on the internet, with archives of all the shows available to those who can not listen in live. The show is carried free of charge at `www.sportsjuice.com'.

Quick Hits
With last week's victory over Harvard, Holy Cross won its Homecoming game for the third straight season, improving its all-time Homecoming record to 30-28-1 ... The Crusaders also won their home opener for the second time in the last three years with the victory over the Crimson, Holy Cross' all-time mark in home openers now stands at 76-28-7. In season openers, the Crusaders are 66-37-9 all-time, following the loss at Massachusetts ... Holy Cross' victory over Harvard was its first since 2000, and its first over the Crimson at Fitton Field since 1992 ... Holy Cross was picked as the No. 25 team in the nation by Street & Smith's 2007 College Football Yearbook, in addition to being selected as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League. The Crusaders were also ranked 25th in the country by Phil Steele's 2007 College Football Preview, which named Holy Cross and Lehigh co-favorites in the conference. Holy Cross was the only Patriot League team ranked in the Top 25 by either publication ... For the first time since joining the Patriot League in 1986, Holy Cross is scheduled to play all of its non-conference games against opponents from New England (Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Massachusetts and Yale).