Holy Cross Heads To Georgetown For Patriot League Opener

Sept. 22, 2008

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Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (0-2, 0-0 PL) vs. Georgetown (1-2, 0-1 PL)
Date: September 27, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Multi-Sport Field (2,500), Washington, D.C.
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.worcesterpike.com, internet
Georgetown Radio: WGTB 92.3 FM, Washington
Series Record: Holy Cross leads, 13-7
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 55, Georgetown 0, September 22, 2007, Worcester, Mass.

The Series With Georgetown
This will be the 21st meeting between the Crusaders and the Hoyas on the gridiron, with Holy Cross leading the all-time series 13-7. The Crusaders have won their last eight games against Georgetown, and have been victorious in 10 of the last 12 meetings. For games played in Washington, Holy Cross owns a 6-2 advantage in the series, including four straight wins and five victories in the last six 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 0-6 mark against the Crusaders.

Series Quick Facts
Overall: Holy Cross leads, 13-7
In Washington: Holy Cross leads, 6-2
At Multi-Sport Field: Holy Cross leads, 1-0
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, eight games
Tom Gilmore vs. Georgetown: 4-0
Kevin Kelly vs. Holy Cross: 0-2
In Overtime: Holy Cross leads, 1-0

Crusaders Winning Turnover Battle
Holy Cross is once again among the top teams in the nation when it comes to turnover margin. Last week at Harvard, the Crusaders forced four total turnovers while giving the ball away only two times. Through two games played this season, Holy Cross has now taken the ball away five times, and given it away just twice. Since the beginning of the 2005 campaign, Holy Cross is now plus-29 in turnovers, forcing their opponents to cough up the ball 73 times, while giving the ball away only 44 times. During both the 2005 and 2007 seasons, the Crusaders led the Patriot League in turnover margin with a plus-11 mark in each campaign. Holy Cross also ranked seventh in the nation in turnover margin in 2005, while placing 17th in the country in 2007. In addition, the Crusaders had a streak of 297 consecutive offensive plays without a turnover last season from Sept. 29, 2007 to Oct. 27, 2007 (spanning five games).

Holy Cross Set For League Opener
Holy Cross will begin its 23rd season of play in the Patriot League when it faces Georgetown on Sept. 27. The Crusaders own an all-time mark of 14-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, including last year's 55-0 victory over the Hoyas. Holy Cross also stands 8-2 in conference openers over the last 10 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 64-57 (.522) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).

Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Senior Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) is now in his third season as Holy Cross' starting quarterback, and is one of 16 players on the current watch list for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in the NCAA football championship subdivision. Through two games played this season, he has hit on 55 of 96 passes for 488 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception. Last year, Randolph completed 297 of 482 attempts for 3,604 yards and 30 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. He set new school single-season records for completions, pass attempts and total offense (3,741 yards), while ranking second on the Holy Cross single-season lists for passing yards and touchdown passes, third for completion percentage (61.6 percent) and fourth for pass efficiency (141.6 rating). Over the course of his collegiate career, Randolph has now hit on 536 of 877 passes for 6,329 yards and 53 scores. He already ranks fourth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, fourth in career passing yards, fourth in career completions and fifth in career pass attempts, while his career completion percentage (.617) is the second-best in school history. In addition, Randolph's 10 career 300-yard passing games are the third most in Holy Cross history, while his two 400-yard passing games are tied for the most-ever by a Crusader.

Offense Puts Up Points
The Holy Cross offense is off to a fast start this year, averaging 33.0 points and 342.0 total yards per game. In 2007, the Crusaders enjoyed one of their best offensive seasons in recent history, averaging 35.9 points and 463.4 yards per game. The 35.9 points per game were the best mark since the 1989 squad averaged 36.0 points per contest, while the 463.4 yards were the school's best since the 1991 team averaged 467.1 yards per contest. Holy Cross also scored over 40 points five times last year, including four consecutive games from October 6-27. Prior to that, the Crusaders had not scored 40 points in four straight contests since the 1991 season, when they did it against Brown (42-28), Lehigh (43-42), Lafayette (48-14) and Bucknell (42-6). The school record for most consecutive 40 points games is nine, set in 1987.

Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide Receiver
Through two games played this season, Holy Cross showed that it has a number of weapons in the passing game, as seven different wide receivers have at least two receptions. Senior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has posted eight catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore wide out Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has added six receptions for 70 yards and two scores. Senior wide receiver Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has totaled seven catches for 69 yards, and sophomore wide receiver Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) has caught four passes for 44 yards. In addition, sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) had four receptions for 44 yards, junior wide out Nick Cole (Tuscon, Ariz.) has caught four passes for 24 yards and junior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) has posted two catches for 43 yards.

The Last Meeting With The Hoyas
Dominic Randolph completed 22 of 33 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, to lead Holy Cross to a 55-0 victory over Georgetown at Fitton Field on Sept. 22, 2007. The Crusader defense held the Hoyas to just 65 yards of total offense on the day, while posting its third shutout in four seasons. Holy Cross opened the scoring on its first possession of the game, when Josh Jenkins ran 17 yards for a touchdown on a reverse. The Crusaders found the end zone again the next time they had the ball, with Mike Kielt scoring on a one-yard run. Matt Partain then added a 21-yard field goal to make the score 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Holy Cross offensive onslaught continued in the second quarter, with Randolph tossing touchdown passes of 12 yards to Ryan McGuire and 15 yards to Ryan Maher. Partain would add a 26-yard field goal, and Kielt would make his way into the end zone again, from nine yards out, making the score 41-0 at halftime. The Crusaders outgained the Hoyas 439 yards to 33 yards in the first half, while posting 23 first downs to Georgetown's one. Holy Cross added two more touchdowns in the second half to conclude the scoring. Randolph and Brian McSharry both scored on one-yard runs. All told, Holy Cross finished with 614 yards of total offense, its highest total since running up 642 yards against Lafayette in 2001. Defensively, the Crusaders were led by Mark Kelliher with seven total tackles. Marcus Rodriguez added six tackles and a fumble recovery, while Sean Lamkin totaled five tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

Partain Gets His Kicks
Senior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is off to a strong start this season, hitting all nine of his extra point attempts and his only field goal attempts. Dating back to last season, Partain has now made 59 consecutive extra points, breaking the school record which had been held by Anthony Pignio with 58 straight extra points made from 1991-1993. A first team All-Patriot League selection in 2007, Partain hit 12 of 16 field goal attempts and connected on all 50 of his extra point tries a year ago, to lead the team in scoring with 86 points. He tied the school single season record for most field goals made, while becoming the first kicker in Holy Cross history to make all of his extra points with at least 30 attempts. In the 2007 game against Dartmouth, he kicked the longest field goal in school history when he booted a 49-yarder on the final play of the first half. Partain also made eight extra points in the 2007 victory at Lehigh, good for the second-most made extra points in school history. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he has now totaled 98 points, making 13 of 17 field goals and 59 of 59 extra points.

Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground Game
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing so far this season, running for 196 yards with four rushing touchdowns. Senior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) had 15 carries for 40 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to posting a team-best 13 receptions for 74 yards. Last season, Gass led the team in rushing with 563 yards and six touchdowns on 101 carries last season, while catching 27 passes for 318 yards and four scores. Following the conclusion of the 2007 campaign, Gass was named second team All-Patriot League. Senior tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) also played well, leading the team with 106 yards on 16 carries. A year ago, Kielt rushed for 367 yards and six scores on 73 carries, to go along with 16 receptions for 150 yards. Entering the Georgetown game, Gass and Kielt have combined for 2,181 rushing yards and 34 total touchdowns during their collegiate careers.

Offensive Line Continues Strong Play
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason for the team's success on offense so far this season. Through two games played, the line has allowed the Crusaders to average 33.0 points and 342.0 total yards per game. Last year, the line paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 128.2 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 335.2 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross allowed only 14 sacks in 11 games last year, while attempting 497 passes (just one sack for every 36.5 times the team dropped back to pass). Starters for the Crusaders with at least one year of experience include senior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) at center, senior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) at guard, and junior Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) and senior Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) at the tackle positions. Each of those four started all 11 games for Holy Cross last season. The final guard spot is currently being manned by sophomore Mike Bernazzani (Whitman, Mass.)

Holy Cross Picked Second In Patriot League Preseason Poll
The 2008 Crusaders were picked to finish in second place in a preseason poll of the Patriot League's head coaches and sports information directors. In addition, Holy Cross senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and linebacker Andy Romans of Lafayette was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Rank  School (1st place votes)   2007 Record  Points
  1.  Fordham (9)               8-4 / 5-1 PL      68
  2.  Holy Cross (4)            7-4 / 4-2 PL      56
  3.  Colgate (1)               7-4 / 4-2 PL      53
  4.  Lafayette                 7-4 / 4-2 PL      48
  5.  Lehigh                    5-6 / 2-4 PL      35
  6.  Bucknell                  3-8 / 1-5 PL      18
  7.  Georgetown               1-10 / 1-5 PL      16

McDermott & Jenkins Lead Special Teams Success
Senior wide receiver Brett McDermott and sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins have both played key roles in the Crusaders' success of special teams this season. McDermott currently leads the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 42.5 yards per return. In the UMass game, he returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, good for Holy Cross' first kick return for a score since the 2005 season. Jenkins leads the league and stands eighth in the country in punt returns, averaging 17.6 yards per return. As a team, the Crusaders currently lead the Patriot League in punt returns (20.7 yards/return, while standing second in kickoff returns (30.3 yards/return).

Brown & Randolph Named Captains
Holy Cross will have two captains during the 2008 football season. Senior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and senior quarterback Dominic Randolph were named the team's captains by head coach Tom Gilmore following the conclusion of spring practice. Randolph, who was also one of three captains during the 2007 campaign, becomes only the 11th 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), Steve Silva (2004-2005) and Casey Gough (2006-2007).

Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Eight Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Sept. 20. As a team, Holy Cross stands sixth in the nation in third down defense, and 10th in both kickoff returns and punt returns. The rankings:

 

Category              Rank  Player/Team           Avg.
Kickoff Returns          1  
Brett McDermott       42.5
                        10  Holy Cross            26.3
Passes Defended          5  
Michael Wright         2.0
Third Down Defense       6  Holy Cross            22.7
Completions              7  
Dominic Randolph      27.5
Punt Returns             8  
Josh Jenkins          17.6
                        10  Holy Cross            17.6
Turnover Margin         11  Holy Cross            +1.5
First Downs             12  Holy Cross            22.5
Points Responsible For  14  
Dominic Randolph      15.0
Solo Tackles            14  
Anthony DiMichele      6.5
Scoring                 22  
Terrance Gass          9.0
                        24  Holy Cross            33.0
Passing Yards           23  
Dominic Randolph     244.0
Rushing Defense         23  Holy Cross            89.5
Receptions              24  
Terrance Gass          6.5
Total Offense           27  
Dominic Randolph     247.5
All-Purpose Yards       36  
Brett McDermott      140.5
                        47  
Josh Jenkins         130.5
Interceptions           46  
Daryl Brown            0.5
                        46  
Andrew Cialino         0.5
                        46  
Michael Wright         0.5

Crusaders Bring In Preseason Honors
Several Holy Cross players earned preseason accolades heading into the 2008 campaign. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was listed as the No. 3 quarterback in the country by The Sports Network, while being named a second team All-American by both The Sports Network and Consensus Draft Services, and receiving preseason Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors from Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview. In addition, several players were selected preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview. Randolph was joined on the first team by senior wide receiver Brett McDermott, senior tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.), senior defensive back Kyle Mushaweh (Woodbury, Conn.), senior placekicker Matt Partain, senior offensive lineman Chris Poole and senior defensive lineman Bryan Walwyn (Houston, Texas), while senior wide receiver Jon Brock, senior tailback Terrance Gass and junior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez (Peoria, Ariz.) were all selected to the second team.

Crusaders Among Patriot League Leaders
Several Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Sept. 20. Senior tailback Terrance Gass ranks second in the league in scoring (9.0 points/game) and third in receptions (6.5 catches/game), while senior wide receiver Brett McDermott stands first in kickoff returns (42.5 yards/return) and fifth in all-purpose yards (140.5 yards/game). Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph ranks second in the league in passing yards (244.0 yards/game), second in total offense (247.5 yards/game) and fifth in pass efficiency (111.7 rating). In addition, senior placekicker Matt Partain is first in extra point percentage (100.0 percent); sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) stands first in punt returns (17.6 yards/return) and third in kickoff returns (21.5 yards/return); Senior strong safety Daryl Brown, junior linebacker Andrew Cialino (Medford, N.J.) and junior cornerback Michael Wright (Fort Washington, Md.) are all tied for third in interceptions (0.5 picks/game); and senior punter Mike Holloway (Alexandria, Va.) ranks fifth in punting (35.0 yards/punt). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (33.0 points/game), turnover margin (+1.5 turnovers/game) and punt returns (17.6 yards/return); while standing second in passing offense (244.0 yards/game) and kickoff returns (26.2 yards/return).

Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning Season
In 2008, the Crusaders are looking to post a winning record for the fourth straight year. Last season, Holy Cross reached the seven win-mark for the second year in a row. The Crusaders' 14-8 mark in 2006 and 2007 combined is also their best in a two-year span since the 1991 and 1992 squads went a combined 17-5. In addition, Holy Cross has also posted a winning record in each of the last three seasons, going 6-5 in 2005, 7-4 in 2006 and 7-4 in 2007. This marks the best three-year stretch by the Crusaders in 15 years (9-1-1 in 1990, 11-0 in 1991 and 6-5 in 1992).

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 349-166-27 (.669). 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 21-24 at home, with a 4-2 mark in 2007. Last season, Holy Cross posted a winning record at home for the second straight year, after going 3-2 at Fitton Field in 2006.

Tradition Of Excellence
The 2008 campaign will mark the 113th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 576-464-54, good for a .551 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2008 season, Holy Cross' 576 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 now in his fifth season as head coach at the College of the Holy Cross. Gilmore currently owns an overall record of 23-23, including a 20-15 mark since the beginning of the 2005 campaign. He has led Holy Cross to 7-4 records in each of the last two years, with the 2006 team posting 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 On The Radio
All of Holy Cross' games in 2008 will air on The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Holy Cross Hall of Famer Bob Fouracre is in his 39th season calling the play-by-play for Holy Cross football, and his 23rd 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 ninth year as the color commentator. All of the Crusaders' games will also be available free of charge over the internet at `www.worcesterpike.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 four games shown on live television during the 2008 season. Here is a look at Holy Cross' television schedule for the 2008 campaign:

 

Date     Opponent       Television Outlet
Sept. 6  Massachusetts  WCTR-TV3
Oct. 25  Lehigh         WCTR-TV3
Nov. 15  Lafayette      Lafayette Sports Network
Nov. 22  Colgate        Time Warner Cable

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'.

Crusader All-Access
Live video streaming of all 2008 Holy Cross home football games will be available over the internet through Crusader All-Access.The package, done in association with College Sports Television Online, is available for a $9.95 monthly subscription. For details on how to sign up for Crusader All-Access, click here.

The Holy Cross Huddle
The Holy Cross Huddle will air each Friday morning during the football season at 8:35 a.m. on The Pike, WWFX 100.1 FM in Worcester. Hosted by Pike morning personality Bruce Palmer, it will feature a weekly interview with Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore previewing the upcoming game and reviewing the previous week's game.

Scouting The Hoyas
Georgetown enters this week's game with an overall record of 1-2 and an 0-1 mark in the Patriot League. The Hoyas opened the season with a 12-7 victory over Howard, but have dropped their last two games to Lafayette (24-6) and Yale (47-7). Sophomore quarterback Keerome Lawrence has rushed for a team-best 98 yards and one touchdown, in addition to completing 14 of 24 passes for 114 yards with two interceptions. Freshman quarterback James Brady has also seen a good deal of action, hitting on 39 of 73 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, while rushing for 15 yards. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Nick Parrish leads Georgetown with 27 total tackles. Head coach Kevin Kelly is in his third season at the helm of the Hoyas' program, posting an overall record of 4-21. Prior to his time at Georgetown, Kelly spent four years as the linebackers and special teams coach at Navy.

Quick Hits
Holy Cross' two losses to open the season have come by a total margin of just four points. It marks the first time the Crusaders have lost back-to-back games by four points or less since the 1984 season (16-12 to Boston University and 14-13 to New Hampshire) ... Sophomore cornerback Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) leads the team with 16 total tackles so far this season, including a career-high nine total tackles in the UMass game ... Junior linebacker Marcus Rodriguez ranks second on the squad with 12 total tackles, to go along with a sack and fumble recovery ... For only the second 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).