Crusaders Set For First League Road Game At Lehigh
Oct. 15, 2007
Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams: Holy Cross (4-2, 1-0 PL) vs. Lehigh (3-3, 0-1 PL)
Date: October 20, 2007
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Goodman Stadium (16,000), Bethlehem, Pa.
Television: Service Electric Cable; Mike Zambelli, play-by-play; Mike Yadush, color
Holy Cross Radio: WTAG 580 AM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.sportsjuice.com, internet
Lehigh Radio: WEEX 1230 AM, Easton, Pa.; WTKZ 1320 AM, Allentown, Pa.; Matt Kerr, play-by-play; Kody Fedorcha, color
Series Record: Lehigh leads, 12-9-1
Last Meeting: Lehigh 28, Holy Cross 14; October 28, 2006; Worcester, Mass.
The Series With Lehigh
This will be the 23rd meeting between the Crusaders and the Mountain Hawks on the gridiron, with Lehigh leading the all-time series 12-9-1. After a 3-3 tie in the first meeting between the schools on Nov. 8, 1924, Holy Cross won the next seven meetings. Since then, the Mountain Hawks have won 12 out of 14 games, including seven straight from 1998-2004. For contests played in Bethlehem, the teams have split the previous 10 games. The Crusaders came out victorious on their last trip to Goodman Stadium, posting a 13-10 victory on Oct. 8, 2005.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Lehigh leads, 12-9-1
In Bethlehem: Tied, 5-5
At Goodman Stadium: Lehigh leads, 5-4
Current Win Streak: Lehigh, 1 game
Tom Gilmore vs. Lehigh: 1-2
Andy Coen vs. Holy Cross: 1-0
Randolph Leads Crusader Offense
Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) continues to be an excellent leader for the Holy Cross offense this season. In six games played this year, Randolph has competed 158 of 265 attempts for 1,869 yards and 17 touchdowns with just five interceptions. In last week's victory over Dartmouth, he completed 24 of 35 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 15 yards and another score. The previous wee at Brown, he connected on 29 of 37 attempts for 404 yards and six touchdowns, setting new career highs for passing yards and touchdown passes. Two of his scoring passes against Brown came in the fourth quarter, after Brown had come back to tie the score at 34-34. Previously against Georgetown, Randolph completed 22 of 33 attempts for 302 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing five times for 22 yards and another score. He also had a big game against Harvard, hitting 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 a school-record 62 attempts for 296 yards and two scores without an interception, in addition to rushing for a touchdown. 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 342 of 564 passes for 4,106 yards and 36 scores. Despite playing in just 15 career games, Randolph already ranks fifth all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, sixth in career completions, sixth in career passing yards and eighth in career pass attempts, with his career completion percentage (.606) is the second-best in school history.
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 six games played so far this year, he has posted 35 total tackles with five tackles for loss, an interception and three pass breakups, while returning eight kickoffs for 208 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 182 tackles, eight interceptions and 24 pass breakups. He has also totaled 1,578 yards and a touchdown on 62 career kickoff returns, to rank second all-time at Holy Cross in career kickoff return yards and career kickoff return average (25.5 yards per return).
Holy Cross In The Patriot League
Holy Cross began its 22nd season of play in the Patriot League when it defeated Georgetown 55-0 on Sept. 22. The Crusaders now own an all-time mark of 14-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, with victories in each of the last three years. Holy Cross also stands 8-2 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. Holy Cross owns an all-time record of 61-55 (.526) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).
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 six games played this year, Maher has totaled a team-best 41 receptions for 450 yards and six touchdowns. During last week's victory over Dartmouth, he had seven receptions for 71 yards and a score. In the previous game at Brown, Maher caught six passes for 110 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Earlier this year in the victory over Georgetown, he posted five receptions for 83 yards and a score. Maher also had nine catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against Harvard, while making 11 receptions for 85 yards at Massachusetts. 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 17 consecutive games, while posting three of more receptions in 14 straight contests. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has now totaled 114 catches for 1,385 yards and 12 touchdowns.
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 seven different wide receivers already have receptions this season. Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison currently ranks second on the team in receiving with 33 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide out Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has added 31 receptions for 396 yards and two scores, while junior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has brought in 21 receptions for 279 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, senior wide out Justin Maher (Milford, Conn.) has three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown, freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught five passes for 46 yards and sophomore wide receiver Mike Frawley (Glen Mills, Pa.) had two catches for eight yards. Last season, eight different Holy Cross wide receivers caught at least one pass.
The Last Meeting With The Mountain Hawks - Lehigh 28, Holy Cross 14
Dominic Randolph threw for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but it was not enough as Holy Cross was defeated 28-14 by Lehigh in a driving rain storm at Fitton Field on October 28, 2006. Lehigh's Marques Thompson rushed 30 times for 141 yards on the day, and received the Dr. Edward N. Anderson Award as the most outstanding player of the Family Weekend game. The Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, when Matt McGowan rushed two yards for a touchdown to cap a 16-play, 69-yard drive. Lehigh then increased its lead to 14-0 before the end of the first quarter, when Julian Austin recovered a fumble and returned it 21 yards for a score. The Crusaders made the score 14-7 early in the second quarter, when Randolph threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Harrison. But later in the quarter, McGowan scored two more touchdowns, on runs of three yards and one yard, to put the Mountain Hawks up 28-7. With just 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter, the game was delayed for approximately 45 minutes, due to lightning in the area. In the second half, Holy Cross scored the only other points of the game at the 5:16-mark of the fourth quarter, on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Randolph to Ryan Maher. Maher finished the game with eight catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Harrison added six receptions for 91 yards and a score. Defensively, Dan Adams led Holy Cross with 14 total tackles, while Casey Gough added seven tackles. Daynin Blake had a team-high seven tackles for Lehigh.
Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground Game
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing attack in 2007, running for 147.3 yards per game with 11 rushing touchdown. Junior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) currently leads the team in rushing with 282 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries this season, in addition to catching 11 passes for 128 yards and two scores. Gass' top game so far this season came at Brown, when he totaled 109 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Some of his other top performances this year have been against Dartmouth (12 carries for 76 yards and a score), Harvard (88 yards from scrimmage) and UMass (81 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown). Sophomore tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) is also enjoying a strong season with 245 yards and four scores on 43 carries, to go along with 12 receptions for 125 yards. In the Georgetown game, Kielt led the team with 13 carries for 70 yards and two scores, in addition to catching two passes for 29 yards. His other top games in 2007 have been against Dartmouth (92 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown) and Brown (91 yards from scrimmage).
Partain Gets His Kicks
Junior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) is enjoying an outstanding season for the Crusaders. Through six games played, he has hit eight of nine field goal attempts and connected on all 27 of his extra point tries, to lead the team in scoring with 51 points. In last week's victory over Dartmouth, Partain scored 11 points (five extra points and two field goals), including a 49-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. That kick set a record for the longest field goal in Holy Cross history, breaking the mark of 48 yards set by Billy Young against Lafayette in 1986. Earlier this season, Partain kicked a 40-yard field goal against Yale, and a 37-yarder at Brown. He also scored 12 points in both the Georgetown and Brown games, hitting two field goals and six extra points against both the Hoyas and the Bears. Prior to this season, Partain had not attempted any field goals or extra points during his collegiate career, although he did handle kickoff duties for Holy Cross in both 2005 and 2006.
Offensive Line Continues Strong Play
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason why the Crusaders rank among the top teams in the nation in both total offense and scoring. The line has paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 147.3 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 324.2 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has allowed just 10 sacks in six games this year, while attempting 276 passes. Junior Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) is the starting center for Holy Cross, flanked by junior Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and sophomore Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) at the guard spots, and senior Dan Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.) and junior Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) at the tackle positions.
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 348-164-27 (.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 20-22 at home, with a 3-1 mark so far in 2007. Last year Holy Cross went 3-2 at Fitton Field, to post its first winning record at home since the 2001 team went 3-2.
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 573-460-54, good for a .552 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.
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Seven Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA Division I-AA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Oct. 13. As a team, Holy Cross stands fifth in total offense and fourth in passing yards. The rankings:
Category Rank Player/Team Avg. Completions 3 Dominic Randolph 26.3 Total Offense 4 Dominic Randolph 326.8 5 Holy Cross 471.5 Passing Yards 4 Holy Cross 324.2 5 Dominic Randolph 311.5 Points Responsible For 6 Dominic Randolph 20.0 Fewest Penalty Yards 6 Holy Cross 37.3 Fewest Penalties 11 Holy Cross 5.0 Receptions 12 Ryan Maher 6.8 31 Thomas Harrison 5.5 42 Brett McDermott 5.2 Scoring 12 Holy Cross 37.0 30 Matt Partain 8.5 Third Down Conversions 16 Holy Cross 44.7 Field Goals 21 Matt Partain 1.3 Kickoff Returns 26 Casey Gough 26.0 Pass Efficiency 30 Dominic Randolph 136.3 Turnover Margin 30 Holy Cross +0.5 Punt Returns 34 Josh Jenkins 9.0 Receiving Yards 38 Ryan Maher 75.0 44 Thomas Harrison 73.2
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 20-19, including a 17-11 mark since the beginning of the 2005 season. 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 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 Oct. 13. Junior quarterback Dominic Randolph currently leads the league in passing yards (311.5 yards/game), total offense (326.8 yards/game) and in pass efficiency (136.3 rating). Senior wide out Ryan Maher leads in the league in receptions (6.8 catches/game), stands second in receiving yards (75.0 yards/game) and ranks third in scoring (6.0 points/game). Senior wide receiver Thomas Harrison ranks third in the conference in both receiving yards (73.2 yards/game) and receptions (5.5 catches/game), while junior wide receiver Brett McDermott is fourth in the conference in both receptions (5.2 catches/game) and receiving yards (66.0 yards/game). In addition, junior placekicker Matt Partain ranks first in extra points (100.0 percent), first in field goals (1.3 made/game) and second in scoring (8.5 points/game), senior cornerback Casey Gough stands third in kickoff returns (26.0 yards/return), freshman wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) is second in punt returns (9.0 yards/return) and junior tailback Terrance Gass ranks fourth in rushing (47.0 yards/game). As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in total offense (471.5 yards/game), scoring offense (37.0 points/game), passing offense (324.2 yards/game), turnover margin (+0.5 turnovers/game) and pass efficiency (135.7 rating); while standing second in punt returns (10.2 yards/return); and ranking third in total defense (387.0 yards/game).
Crusaders Win Turnover Battle
In six games played so far this season, Holy Cross forced its opponents to commit 10 turnovers, while giving the ball away seven times. The Crusaders have recovered eight fumbles on the year, in addition to posting two interceptions. 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. Six other players have one fumble recovery each, while senior cornerback Casey Gough and junior strong safety Daryl Brown (Stone Mountain, Ga.) both have an interception. On the offensive side of the ball, the Crusaders have thrown five interceptions and lost just two fumbles. Holy Cross has not turned the ball over at all in its last two games.
Defense Shuts Out Georgetown
The Holy Cross defense turned in one of its top performances in recent history in the 55-0 shutout victory over Georgetown on Sept. 22. The shutout was the third by the Crusaders during Tom Gilmore's tenure as head coach, to go along with a 24-0 win at Dartmouth on Oct. 16, 2004, and the 27-0 victory at Marist on Sept. 23, 2006. In addition, Holy Cross held Georgetown to just 65 yards of total offense and only two first downs. The 65 total yards are the fewest by a Crusader opponent since Columbia had only 65 yards on Nov. 1, 1980, while the two first downs are the lowest-ever known total by an opponent. Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Crusaders have now held their opposition to under 300 yards of total offense nine times. With the victory over Georgetown, Holy Cross became the first Patriot League team to record a shutout this season. Through the first six contests of the 2007 campaign, the Crusaders are holding their opponents to 26.3 points, 18.7 first downs and 387.0 yards per 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).
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, senior offensive lineman Dan Nolan, senior defensive lineman Adam Sadowski (Tucson, Ariz.) and junior offensive lineman Chris Smith.
Scouting The Mountain Hawks
Lehigh enters this week's game with an overall record of 3-3 on the season, including an 0-1 mark in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks have lost their last two games, falling at Fordham (28-18) and at Yale (23-7), but do stand 2-1 at home this year. Senior quarterback Sedale Threatt has completed 106 of 210 passes for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns with eight interceptions this season, in addition to rushing for 158 yards and two scores on 55 carries. Freshman tailback Kwesi Kankam leads the team in rushing with 205 yards and three touchdowns on 67 carries, while junior wide out Mike Fitzgerald has a team-best 25 catches for 297 yards. Defensively, the Mountain Hawks are led by junior linebacker Tim Diamond with 61 tackles, three tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. Andy Coen is in his second season as Lehigh's head coach, and owns a career record of 9-8. Prior to taking over as head coach for the Mountain Hawks, Coen spent 10 years as offensive coordinator at both Lehigh and Penn.
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'.
Live video streaming of all 2007 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 Crusaders posted a 3-1 mark against Ivy League foes this season, and now stand 8-4 against the Ivy League under Tom Gilmore ... Senior tight end Ryan McGuire (Woburn, Mass.) has four catches for 32 yards this season, including a 12-yard touchdown reception in the victory over Georgetown ... Sophomore tailback Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) led the team in rushing against Georgetown with 89 yards on 15 carries ... 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 ... Holy Cross was picked to finish fourth in the 2007 Patriot League preseason poll of head coaches and sports information directors, behind Lafayette, Lehigh and Colgate ... For the first time since joining the Patriot League in 1986, Holy Cross played all of its non-conference games against opponents from New England (Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Massachusetts and Yale) ... Holy Cross' victory over Harvard was its first since 2000, and its first over the Crimson at Fitton Field since 1992 ... The Crusaders won their home opener for the second time in the last three years with the victory over the Crimson, improving their all-time mark in home openers to 76-28-7. In season openers, the Crusaders are 66-37-9 all-time, following the loss at Massachusetts.