Football set to face New Hampshire in home opener
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross football team will play its first home game of the season when it takes on New Hampshire at Fitton Field on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 1:00 p.m. The game between the Crusaders and the Wildcats will be televised live by Charter TV3 and the Patriot League Network, and can be heard on WEEI 1440 AM in Worcester.
At halftime of the Holy Cross-New Hampshire game, Jerry McCabe will become the 28th individual to be inducted into the Crusader Football Legends Ring of Honor. Saturday is also Worcester County Day, with tickets available to all Worcester County residents for just $5.00 each. In addition, the first 500 fans to enter Fitton Field will receive free Holy Cross slap koozies courtesy of IBEW Local 96.
Holy Cross stands 0-1 so far this year, after falling at Navy 45-7 in its season opener. The Crusaders are coming off a 2018 campaign in which they went 5-6 overall, tied for second in the Patriot League with a 4-2 mark in conference play and finished the year with a four-game winning streak.
During the season opener at Navy, senior running back Miles Alexander scored the lone Crusader touchdown on a 16-yard run and finished the afternoon with 40 yards on 12 carries. Junior quarterback Connor Degenhardt hit 16 of 29 passes for 167 yards in his first collegiate start, while junior wide out Tenio Ayeni posted a team-best seven receptions for 46 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman linebacker Jacob Dobbs led the way with 13 total tackles on the afternoon. Senior defensive back Chris Riley added 12 total tackles, while senior defensive back Corey Stefanik totaled four tackles with a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.
New Hampshire will be playing its season opener, and is coming off a 2018 campaign in which it went 4-7 overall with a 3-5 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. Sophomore running back Carlos Washington looks to lead the Wildcat offense after rushing for 582 yards and six touchdowns on 99 carries last year, in addition to catching 17 passes for 164 yards and a score. Senior running back Evan Gray also returns, after carrying the ball 85 times for 292 yards and a touchdown in 2018. On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive back Pop Lacey totaled 79 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups a year ago, with junior defensive back Evan Horn adding 57 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups. The Wildcats will led by interim head coach Ricky Santos, who will be coaching his first game on Saturday. Santos is filling in for Sean McDonnell, who took an indefinite leave of absence from the program for health-related reasons on Aug. 26.
Saturday’s game will be the 17th all-time meeting between the teams, with New Hampshire leading the series 9-7. The Wildcats have won five of the last six games in the series, with the Crusaders’ lone victory during that time being a 51-26 victory at Fitton Field in 2017.
After the contest with New Hampshire, Holy Cross will have a week off before heading to Yale for a 1:00 p.m. game on Saturday, Sept. 21.