Football Wraps Up 2018 Season
5-6 Overall Record
4-2 Patriot League Record (Second Place)
2018 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS:
• Holy Cross set school single-season records with seven blocked kicks, six blocked punts and four blocked punts returned for touchdowns in 2018.
• The Crusaders twice rallied from deficits of at least 21 points to win in 2018, good for the two largest comeback victories in school history.
• Holy Cross placed seven players on the 2018 All-Patriot League teams, including four first team selections.
DEFENSE STEPS UP DOWN THE STRETCH: The Holy Cross defense has turned in a number of outstanding performances during the final month of the 2018 season. In their last four games, the Crusaders allowed just 14.5 points, 13.5 first downs, 73.5 rushing yards and 237.2 total yards per contest. Holy Cross’ top game during that stretch came during the 56-0 shutout victory over Lehigh on Oct. 27. The Crusaders held the Mountain Hawks to just 203 yards of total offense and 11 first downs on the day, while forcing four turnovers. The 203 total yards and 11 first downs were both the fewest by a Crusader opponent since Georgetown had only 181 yards and 11 first downs on Oct. 28, 2017.
OFFENSE PUTS UP BIG NUMBERS: The Holy Cross offense has turned in some outstanding performances during the 2018 season, scoring over 30 points in a game on five occasions. On Oct. 27 against Lehigh, the Crusaders scored 56 points with 25 first downs and 540 yards of total offense, including 405 rushing yards. Then on Nov. 3 at Lafayette, Holy Cross scored 40 points with 431 yards of total offense. The Crusaders also scored 32 points at Georgetown on Nov. 17, while putting up 31 points at Harvard (Oct. 12) and against Yale (Sept. 15).
BRADY MAKES BIG PLAYS: Senior linebacker Ryan Brady was the leader of the Holy Cross defense during the 2018 season. At the end of the year, he was named first team All-England, first team All-Patriot League and Academic All-Patriot League. During the victory over Georgetown in the season finale, Brady led the team with 16 tackles and three tackles for loss. In the previous contest against Fordham, he totaled 11 tackles with two fumble recoveries. A few of Brady’s other top games this year came against Lehigh (nine tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery), Dartmouth (career-high 17 tackles, one tackle for loss), Yale (11 tackles, one tackle for loss), Boston College (15 tackles, four tackles for loss, one fumble recovery) and Colgate (14 tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss). Overall this year, he totaled a team-best 121 tackles with two sacks, 15 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. Over the course of his collegiate career, he recorded 258 tackles, eight sacks and 29 tackles for loss.
THE COMEBACK KIDS: In their five victories during the 2018 season, the Crusaders rallied from a double-digit deficit to win four times. During the season finale at Georgetown on Nov. 17, Holy Cross posted the biggest comeback in school history by rallying from a 26-point (31-5) fourth quarter deficit to earn a 32-31 victory. Previously on Sept. 15 against Yale, the Crusaders trailed 21-0 in the first quarter before coming back for a 31-28 overtime win. Holy Cross also trailed 14-0 in the second quarter at Lafayette (40-14 victory) and 10-0 in the third quarter against Fordham (17-13 win). The victories over Georgetown and Yale marked the first two times the Crusaders had ever won games in which they fell behind by at least 21 points.
CAPSIS NAMED ALL-LEAGUE AGAIN: Senior defensive lineman Teddy Capsis continued to be one of Holy Cross’ top players in the trenches this season. Capsis earned first team All-Patriot League honors for his play in 2018, after being a second team all-conference selection in 2017. During the victory at Georgetown in the season finale, he recorded nine tackles with four tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries. Previously against Bucknell, Capsis totaled six tackles, two quarterback sacks, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup. He also played well against Yale, posting six tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. Overall this season, Capsis finished with 46 tackles, a team-high six sacks and 15 tackles for loss. In 2017, he totaled 33 tackles, six quarterback sacks and nine tackles for loss. Over the course of his career with the Crusaders, Capsis recorded 122 tackles, 16 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.
OFFENSIVE LINE PAVES THE WAY: The Holy Cross offensive line played a key role in the Crusaders’ success during the 2018 campaign. The line paved the way for Holy Cross to average 327.3 yards of total offense, 132.5 rushing yards and 24.4 points per game this season, to rank second in the Patriot League in each category. Leading the charge were senior left guard Brett Boddy and sophomore left tackle Brian Foley, who both started all 11 of the team’s games and earned first team All-Patriot League honors.
COZIER HEADS UP GROUND GAME: Junior tailback Domenic Cozier was one of the top playmakers on the Holy Cross offense this season, and was named second team All-Patriot League. During the victory at Lafayette, Cozier carried the ball 15 times for 53 yards and three scores. Previously against Lehigh, he ran 24 times for a career-high 208 yards and a touchdown. A few of Cozier’s other top games this season came against Harvard (15 carries for 74 yards and two scores), Bucknell (21 rushes for 87 yards and a touchdown) and Colgate (108 yards from scrimmage and two scores). Overall this season, he led the team with 643 rushing yards and eight scores on 130 carries, to go along with 12 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. Over the course of his collegiate career, Cozier has rushed 219 times for 1,078 yards and 11 scores.
DORSEY SHINES IN THE PASS GAME: Senior wide receiver Martin Dorsey was one of the top options in the Holy Cross pass game this season, earning second team All-Patriot League honors. During the season finale at Georgetown, Dorsey made a career-best 13 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown. Previously against Lehigh, he caught three passes for 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Some of his other top performances came against Bucknell (10 receptions for 167 yards), at Harvard (six catches for 73 yards and two scores) and at Lafayette (four receptions for 82 yards). On the season, Dorsey led the team with 52 receptions for 663 yards and seven scores. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, Dorsey totaled 96 catches for 1,259 yards and 10 touchdowns.
A SPECIAL UNIT: Holy Cross’ special teams turned in a number of big plays throughout the 2018 season. Holy Cross set school single-season records with seven blocked kicks, six blocked punts and four blocked punts returned for touchdowns. The Crusaders also ranked first in the nation in blocked punts, fifth in blocked kicks, and 27th in both punt returns (11.1 yards per return) and punt return coverage (5.7 yards per return).
WADE LEADS OFFENSIVE CHARGE: Senior quarterback Geoff Wade has took over as the Crusaders’ starter under center this season, and earned second team All-Patriot League honors. During the victory at Lafayette, Wade connected on 16 of 21 passes for a season-high 289 yards and two scores. Previously against Lehigh, he completed eight of 12 attempts for 135 yards and four touchdowns. Wade also played well against Yale, hitting on 17 of 28 passes for 242 yards and two scores. On the season, Wade connected on 154 of 255 passes for 1,844 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for 119 yards and a score on 102 carries. Over the course of his collegiate career, he completed 246 of 408 pass attempts for 3,048 yards and 23 touchdowns.
TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE: The 2018 campaign marked the 123rd season of Holy Cross football. The Crusaders currently own an overall record of 633-526-54, good for a .544 winning percentage. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, Holy Cross’ 628 all-time victories ranked as the 14th most among all FCS schools. Holy Cross has had 31 first team All-America selections, sent 84 players on to professional football, won five Lambert Cups, claimed six 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.
SENIOR SALUTE: Holy Cross had 20 seniors who played in the final game of their collegiate careers at Georgetown on Nov. 17. The members of the senior class were defensive back Damion Baker, wide receiver Tate Beachley, wide receiver Blaise Bell, offensive lineman Brett Boddy, linebacker Ryan Brady, defensive lineman Teddy Capsis, linebacker Andre Chevalier, offensive lineman Rory Costello, wide receiver Richie DeNicola, offensive lineman Jackson Dennis, long snapper Jack Dixon, wide receiver Martin Dorsey, linebacker Jack Haddon, defensive lineman Jake McArdell, linebacker Jack McCabe, tight end Derek Mountain, defensive back Corey Stefanik, defensive lineman Neil Vorster, quarterback Geoff Wade and defensive back Akeem Walcott.
HEAD COACH BOB CHESNEY: The 28th head coach in the history of the program, Bob Chesney just completed his first year leading the Crusaders in 2018. A two-time Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year, Chesney’s career record stands at 72-31, including five seasons at Assumption (44-16, 2013-2017) and three years at Salve Regina (23-9, 2010-2012). He took over an Assumption program that had posted two winning seasons in the 17 years prior to his arrival and led the Greyhounds to five-straight winning records and three NCAA Tournament appearances. Chesney previously rebuilt a Salve Regina program which had a streak of eight-consecutive losing seasons before his tenure, posting three winning campaigns in a row. Chesney is a 2000 graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., where he was a two-time All-Centennial Conference selection as a defensive back.
NG GETS HIS KICKS: Freshman Derek Ng took over as Holy Cross’ starting placekicker this year, and started his career strong. During the victory over Yale, Ng kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime to win the game. In 11 games played overall this season, he ranked second on the team in scoring with 50 points, hitting six of nine field goal attempts and 32 of 33 extra points. Ng came to the Crusaders from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev., where he was named first team All-State and first team All-Southwest Region.
LANG STEPS UP ON DEFENSE: Sophomore defensive back Joe Lang developed into one of the top players on the Holy Cross defense this fall. During the victory over Fordham, he led the team with a career-high 12 total tackles. Previously against Yale, Lang recorded 11 tackles with a sack, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. A few of his other top performances came against Colgate and Dartmouth (eight tackles with one tackle for loss in each game). Overall this year, Lang ranked second on the team with 77 total tackles, to go along with two sacks, two forced fumbles, three tackles for loss and four pass breakups.
BELL & BRADY SERVE AS CAPTAINS: Holy Cross had two captains for the 2018 football season. Senior wide receiver Blaise Bell and senior linebacker Ryan Brady were named the team’s captains by head coach Bob Chesney at the conclusion of preseason camp. These two players took over the leadership role from Nick McBeath, James Murray and Peter Pujals, who served as the Crusaders’ captains during the 2017 season.
CRUSADERS AMONG PATRIOT LEAGUE LEADERS: Six Holy Cross players ranked near the top of the Patriot League standings in a number of statistical categories at the end of the 2018 season. Senior quarterback Geoff Wade led the way by ranking second in total offense (196.3 yards/game), passing yards (184.4 yards/game) and pass efficiency (132.4 rating). Junior tailback Domenic Cozier finished the year third in rushing (64.3 yards/game), third in scoring (5.4 points/game) and fifth in all-purpose yards (78.8 yards/game), while senior wide out Martin Dorsey was third in both receptions (4.7 catches/game) and receiving yards (60.3 yards/game). In addition, freshman placekicker Derek Ng stood fourth in both scoring (4.5 points/game) and field goals (0.5 made/game), freshman wide receiver Spencer Gilliam placed fourth in kickoff returns (22.3 yards/return) and junior defensive back Chris Riley finished fifth in interceptions (0.3 picks/game). As a team, Holy Cross ranked second in the conference in scoring offense (24.4 points/game), total offense (327.3 yards/game), rushing offense (132.5 yards/game), pass efficiency (129.1 rating) and punt returns (11.1 yards/return).
QUICK HITS: Senior wide receiver Blaise Bell finished the year second on the team with 29 receptions for 282 yards this season. Over the course of his Holy Cross career, he caught 92 passes for 1,070 yards and 10 touchdowns ... Senior wide receiver Richie DeNicola stood third on the team in receiving with 27 catches for 469 yards and two scores this year. During his career at Holy Cross, he had 110 receptions for 1,323 yards and six touchdowns ... On Sept. 15, Bill McGovern (Class of 1985) and Rob McGovern (Class of 1989) were honored as the ninth class in the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. With the addition of the McGovern brothers, a total of 27 former Crusaders are now included in the Ring of Honor ... The Crusaders were picked to finish in fourth place in the 2018 Patriot League preseason poll ... Former Crusader offensive lineman James Murray was promoted to the active roster of the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 23. He has seen action in two games, taking the field against the Arizona Cardinals (Nov. 11) and the Los Angeles Rams (Nov. 19).