Crusaders Welcome Lehigh For Family Weekend Clash
Oct. 21, 2008
Game Day Quick Facts
Television: WCTR TV-3, Worcester; Kevin Shea, play-by-play; Andy Lacombe, color
Live Video Streaming: Crusader All-Access, www.goholycross.com
Holy Cross Radio: WWFX 100.1 FM, Worcester; Bob Fouracre, play-by-play; Tom Kelleher, color; www.worcesterpike.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, 12-10-1
Last Meeting: Holy Cross 59, Lehigh 10; Oct. 20, 2007; Bethlehem, Pa.
Series Quick Facts
Overall: Lehigh leads, 12-10-1
In Worcester: Lehigh leads, 7-4-1
At Fitton Field: Lehigh leads, 7-4-1
Current Win Streak: Holy Cross, 1 game
Tom Gilmore vs. Lehigh: 2-2
Andy Coen vs. Holy Cross: 1-1
In Overtime: n / a
Kielt Named Patriot League Offensive Player of the
Holy Cross senior running back Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) has been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, for his performance in Saturday's 44-26 victory over Dartmouth at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H. Against Dartmouth, Kielt had 18 carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 75 yards and another score. He had scoring runs of 39, five and eight yards, and a 41-yard touchdown reception. He helped put the game away for Holy Cross, as he scored two touchdowns in a three minute span late in the third quarter after Dartmouth had pulled to within 10 points of the Crusaders at 23-13. He is the first Crusader to score four touchdowns in a game since Steve Silva accomplished the feat in 2005. For the year, Kielt now leads the Crusaders with 334 yards rushing on 60 carries. He has caught 17 passes for a total of 148 yards. He is the second Crusader to win the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award this year, as senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) earned the honor last week. This is the second time in his career that Kielt has won this award, earning Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against Bucknell in 2006.
The Series With Lehigh
This will be the 24th meeting between the Crusaders and the Mountain Hawks on the gridiron, with Lehigh leading the all-time series 12-10-1. Holy Cross senior running back Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) has been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, for his performance in Saturday's 44-26 victory over Dartmouth at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H. 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 15 games, including seven straight from 1998-2004. For contests played in Worcester, Lehigh holds a 7-4-1 lead in the series, winning seven straight games. Holy Cross has not defeated Lehigh at Fitton Field since Oct. 31, 1992, when it posted a 28-25 win.
Holy Cross On Family Weekend
The Crusaders have posted an all-time record of 27-24-1 in Family Weekend games. Holy Cross has lost six straight and 12 out of its last 13 contests on Family Weekend. Last year, Yale posted a 38-17 victory over the Crusaders. Holy Cross was also defeated by Lehigh in 2006 (28-14), Colgate in 2005 (27-14), Bucknell in 2004 (42-27), Dartmouth in 2003 (24-20) and Lehigh in 2002 (21-12). The last Family Weekend victory came in 2001, when the Crusaders downed Lafayette 63-53. This year's game marks the sixth meeting between Holy Cross and Lehigh on Family Weekend, with the Mountain Hawks leading 3-2. (A complete list of Family Weekend results can be found of page 110 of the Holy Cross media guide.)
Anderson Award On The Line
The Dr. Edward N. Anderson Award is presented annually to the outstanding player in the Family Weekend game, as determined by the working press. The award is sponsored by the Holy Cross Club of Greater Worcester, and was originally awarded to the most outstanding player of the Holy Cross-Massachusetts game. It is presented in honor of former Holy Cross head coach Edward Anderson, who had a 129-67-8 record in 21 seasons as the Crusaders' coach (1933-1938; 1950-1964), and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971. Last season, Yale's Mike McLeod claimed the award, after leading the Bulldogs to a 38-17 victory over the Crusaders. A player from the visiting team has taken home the honor in eight of the last nine seasons, with lone exception coming in 2001. That year, Holy Cross quarterback Brian Hall earned the award, after throwing for 416 yards and five touchdowns in a 63-53 victory over Lafayette. (A complete list of past Anderson Award winners can be found on page 110 of the Holy Cross media guide.)
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. Last week against Dartmouth, Randolph hit on 33 of 45 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns. In the two games previous to Dartmouth, Randolph hit on 41 of 54 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against Brown and 41 of 63 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns, against Yale. The 41 completions set, and then tied, he school single-game record for completions, which he had set himself by connecting on 34 passes at Lafayette on Oct. 21, 2006. Through six games played this season, he has hit on 195 of 297 passes for 1,965 yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions. 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 676 of 1,078 passes for 7,806 yards and 65 scores. He currently ranks third all-time at Holy Cross in career touchdown passes, third in career passing yards, second in career completions and second in career pass attempts, while his career completion percentage (.622) is the best in school history. In addition, Randolph's 13 career 300-yard passing games are most in Holy Cross history, and his three 400-yard passing games are also the most-ever by a Crusader.
Offense Puts Up Points
With 44 points against Dartmouth on Saturday, the Crusaders have now scored 217 points this year -- an average of 36.2 points per game. Only two teams in Crusader history have ever averaged more than 36.0 points per game, the 1987 squad which averaged an amazing 46.5 points per game, and the 1951 team which scored 36.2 points per game. The 1989 Crusaders scored 36.0 points per game, while last year's team finished just shy of that mark, with a scoring average of 35.9 points. The Crusaders have topped 40 points in a game three times this year, after accomplishing the feat five times a year ago. Prior to that, the Crusaders had not scored 40 points in four straight contests since 1991.
Partain's Streak Snapped
Entering the Dartmouth game, senior placekicker Matt Partain (Libertyville, Ill.) had made 73 consecutive extra points, breaking the school record which had been held by Anthony Pignio with 58 straight extra points made from 1991-1993. After converting on his first attempt of the game, Partain's second extra point attempt of the game was blocked, ending his streak at 74. On the year, Partain has hit 28 of his 29 extra point attempts, and five of his eight field goal attempts. In addition to his success on the field, Partain has been named a semifinalist for the 2008 Draddy Trophy as the top scholar-athlete in the nation. 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 129 points, making 17 of 24 field goals and 78 of 79 extra points.
Crusaders Show Outstanding Depth At Wide
Through six games played this season, Holy Cross showed that it has a number of weapons in the passing game, as eight different wide receivers have caught a pass, including seven players with at least 13 receptions. Senior wide receiver Jon Brock (Acworth, Ga.) has posted 29 catches for a team-best 412 yards and six touchdowns, while sophomore wide out Luke Chmielinski (Walpole, Mass.) has added 19 receptions for 206 yards and one score. Sophomore wide receiver Freddie Santana (Staten Island, N.Y.) has totaled 21 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins (Maywood, Ill.) has caught 19 passes for 179 yards. In addition, senior wide receiver Brett McDermott (Mansfield, Mass.) has 17 receptions for 147 yards and one score, junior wide out Nick Cole (Tucson, Ariz.) has caught 15 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown, junior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.) has posted 13 catches for 140 yards and one score, and senior wide out Danny Bluth (Seal Beach, Calif.) has one reception for four yards.
Gass & Kielt Head Up Ground
The Crusader offense has displayed a solid rushing attack so far this season, running for 707 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns. Senior tailback Mike Kielt (Southbury, Conn.) leads the team with 60 carries for 334 yards, while catching 17 passes for 148 yards and one score. All four of his touchdowns came against Dartmouth last week, earning him Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Senior tailback Terrance Gass (Sicklerville, N.J.) leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five, to go along with his 59 carries for 274 yards in five games. Gass also has 24 receptions for 144 yards on the year. His top game so far this year came at Georgetown, when he ran 24 times for a career-high 135 yards and a score. Last season, Gass led the team in rushing with 563 yards and six touchdowns on 101 carries, while Kielt ran for 367 yards and six scores on 73 carries. Entering the Lehigh game, Gass and Kielt have combined for 2,691 rushing yards and 40 total touchdowns during their collegiate careers.
Offensive Line Continues Strong
The Holy Cross offensive line has been a key reason for the team's success on offense so far this season. Through six games played, the line has allowed the Crusaders to average 36.2 points and 445.3 total yards per game. The line has paved the way for Holy Cross to run for 117.8 yards per game, while also providing pass protection which has allowed the Crusaders to throw for 327.5 yards per contest. In addition, Holy Cross has allowed just 10 sacks in six games this year, while attempting 300 passes (just one sack for every 30.0 times the team dropped back to pass). Senior center Chris Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.), senior guard Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.) and senior tackle Mason Olson (Stockton, Calif.) have all started every game for the Crusaders so far this season. Junior tackle Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio) has started the last five contests for the Crusaders, while junior guard Rob Petrosino (Bogota, N.J.) has been in the starting lineup for the last four games.
DiMichele Leads Team In Tackles
Despite starting just three of the Crusaders' first six games, sophomore defensive back Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.) is leading Holy Cross in tackles. He has totaled 34 tackles through six games played, including 24 solo stops, one sack and three tackles for loss. DiMichele has also broken up three passes this year and in the game against Dartmouth he grabbed his first two career interceptions -- both of which led directly to Holy Cross touchdowns. Last season, DiMichele saw action in 10 games in a reserve role, and made six tackles (five solo).
McDermott & Jenkins Lead Special Teams
Senior wide receiver Brett McDermott and sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins have both played key roles in the Crusaders' success on special teams this season. McDermott currently ranks fifth in the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 32.0 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 ranks third in the league in punt returns, averaging 9.0 yards per return. As a team, the Crusaders currently rank second in the Patriot League in kickoff returns (22.5 yards/return) and stand third in punt returns (9.0 yards/return).
Holy Cross In The NCAA Statistics
Three Crusaders are currently ranked among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories, through games of Oct. 18, including Dominic Randolph who leads the nation in total offense. As a team, Holy Cross stands second in the nation in first downs, second in passing yards and seventh in rushing defense. The rankings:
Category Rank Player/Team Avg. Total Offense 1 Dominic Randolph 333.3 8 Holy Cross 445.3 Completions 1 Dominic Randolph 32.5 First Downs 2 Holy Cross 26.0 Passing Yards 2 Dominic Randolph 327.5 3 Holy Cross 327.5 Points Resonsible For 3 Dominic Randolph 20.0 Rushing Defense 7 Holy Cross 74.7 Time of Possession 8 Holy Cross 33:22 Kickoff Returns 9 Brett McDermott 28.7 34 Holy Cross 21.3 Scoring 14 Holy Cross 36.2 3rd Down Defense 25 Holy Cross 32.9 3rd Down Conversion 35 Holy Cross 43.0 Pass Efficiency 38 Dominic Randolph 133.6 46 Holy Cross 132.3 Punt Returns 49 Josh Jenkins 8.4
Crusaders Among Patriot League
Several Holy Cross players rank at or near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories, through games of Oct. 18. Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph leads the league in passing yards (327.5 yards/game) and total offense (333.3 yards/game), while standing third in pass efficiency (133.6 rating). Sophomore wide out Josh Jenkins ranks fourth in punt returns (8.4 yards/return), while senior placekicker Matt Partain leads the league in scoring (7.2 points/game), stands third in extra point percentage (96.6 percent), and fourth in field goals (0.8 made/game). In addition, senior wide receiver Brett McDermott leads the league in kickoff returns (28.7 yards/return); senior wide receiver Jon Brock stands fifth in receptions (4.8 catches/game) and receiving yards (68.7 yards/game).As a team, Holy Cross leads the league in scoring offense (36.2 points/game), passing offense (327.5 yards/game) and total offense (445.4 yards/game); while standing second in rushing defense (74.7 yards/game).
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 350-166-27 (.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 marks the 113th season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders enter this week's game with an overall record of 579-465-54, good for a .552 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.
Crusaders Look To Post Another Winning
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 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).
Holy Cross In The Patriot League
Holy Cross began its 23rd season of play in the Patriot League when it defeated Georgetown 38-14 on Sept. 27. The Crusaders now own an all-time mark of 15-8 in their opening Patriot League contest of the season, including four straight victories (all against Georgetown). Holy Cross also stands 9-2 in conference openers over the last 11 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 65-57 (.533) in Patriot League action, winning five titles (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991).
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 26-24, including a 23-16 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.
Scouting The Mountain Hawks
Lehigh enters this week's game with an overall record of 2-4 on the season, including a 1-0 mark in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks have victories over Drake and Fordham, and fell to Harvard 27-24 last week. Lehigh has now lost three games this year by three points or less. The Mountain Hawks are led on offense by quarterback J.B. Clark, who has hit on 106 of 187 pass attempts for 1,314 yards and 12 touchdowns this year. Matt McGowan (522 yards rushing, two scores) leads the ground game, while Sekou Yansan (32 catches, 473 yards, 3 scores) and Mike Fitzgerald (26 catches, 369 yards, six touchdowns) are Clark's favorite targets. The Lehigh defense is led by Tim Diamond (56 tackles) and Matt Cohen (12.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks). Andy Coen is in his third season as Lehigh's head coach, and owns a career record of 13-15. Prior to taking over as head coach for the Mountain Hawks, Coen spent 10 years as offensive coordinator at both Lehigh and Penn.
Holy Cross' three losses this season have come by a total combined margin of just seven points. Prior to this year, the Crusaders had not lost three games by a field goal or less in the same season since 1980, when they dropped three one-point contests to Harvard (14-13), Connecticut (18-17) and Boston College (27-26) ... Senior strong safety Daryl Brown and senior quarterback Dominic Randolph are serving as Holy Cross' co-captains this season ... Holy Cross was picked to finish second in the 2008 Patriot League preseason poll of head coaches and sports information directors, while senior quarterback Dominic Randolph was chosen as the preseason Patriot League Player of the Year ... 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).
Brown & Randolph Named
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).
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.
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 UMass 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'.
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, visit `www.GoHolyCross.com'.
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.