Holy Cross Football Off to a Solid Start
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 16:09
As the college football season continues to heat up, the Holy Cross Crusaders are beginning to look like they are ready to compete for their first Patriot League title since 2009. Coming off of a tough 2-9 season a year ago that saw the team lose five games in the final two minutes, the Patriot League preseason poll picked the Crusaders to finish third in the league, behind the defending champion Colgate Raiders and the FCS Coaches Poll #17 Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Additionally, the team claimed six spots on the preseason All-Patriot League team with Mike Fess ’14, Kyle Pedretty ’14 and Kalif Raymond ’16 taking spots on the offensive team, and Gary Acquah ’14 taking a spot on the defensive team. Kicker John Macomber ’14 was placed on both the offensive and defensive All-Patriot League teams. With the recognition of so much talent, the team started the season with high hopes of being able to call the 2013 season a success.
The Crusaders got off to a difficult start in week one picking up right where they left off last season by falling to the Bryant Bulldogs of the Northeast Conference in the f
inal minute by a score of 17-16. Four turnovers and negative three yards of rushing hurt the team in a very winnable matchup on the road. While Bryant led the game 14-6 at halftime, Holy Cross showed a lot of guts in the second half by shutting down the Bulldog offense. The Crusaders were able to come back to take a 16-14 lead into the final minute before Bryant placekicker Tom Alberti connected on a 30 yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining. Holy Cross tailback Gabe Guild ‘17 gave fans something to look forward to in the years ahead as he led the offense with seven receptions for 98 yards to go along with twelve rushing yards in his first college start.
In week two, the #5 Towson Tigers arrived at Fitton Field to take on the Crusaders. Coming off of a 33-18 road victory against the Connecticut Huskies of the FBS, the former Patriot League rival
now representing the Colonial Athletic Association arrived in Worcester looking to show just how much of a contender they are to win the FCS NCAA championship this year. The Crusaders put up a fight for much of the first half threatening to keep the game within one score until a 90 yard interception return by defensive back Thomas Bradley put Towson on top 28-7. The demoralized Crusaders struggled for the remainder of the game and ultimately fell to the Tigers by
a score of 49-7. Wide receiver Mike Fess played an outstanding game with six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Ryan Laughlin ’15 showed some good decision making and a lot of confidence under center.
This past weekend, Holy Cross football traveled to Central Connecticut State in search of that elusive first win. Coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to Lehigh, the Blue Devils of the Northeast Conference were looking to get revenge against a different Patriot League opponent in the Crusaders. Holy Cross would have no part of those plans as they ran the ball at will all over Central Connecticut with 419 rushing yards, the most for the Crusaders in a single game since rushing for 583 against Columbia in 1983. Tailback Reggie Woods ’14 led the charge with 153 yards and Holy Cross recorded its first victory of the 2013 campaign by a score of 52-21.
Under the leadership of tenth year head coach Tom Gilmore, the team has shown noticeable progress on both sides of the ball. With three more games to go until the start of Patriot League play, Crusader fans can expect to see even more progress by the time the meaningful games get underway and be certain that the team will be ready to compete for the Patriot League crown. This Saturday, September 21, Holy Cross is hosting the Monmouth Hawks. Kickoff is at 6:00 PM as it will be just the third night game ever held at Fitton Field. Be sure to be there to cheer on your Crusaders as they continue their quest to bring football glory back to Mount Saint James!