Chief Sports Editor
The Holy Cross football team (4-6 overall, 3-2 Patriot League) continued its late-season resurgence with a 17-13 comeback win over Fordham on Senior Day at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass., last Saturday. The Crusaders entered the matchup between the two Jesuit schools on the heels of a two-game winning streak, during which the shut-out Lehigh 56-0 at home and dominated Lafayette 40-14 on the road. While this game did not come as easily to Holy Cross, the team managed to extend its winning streak to three games. Fordham (1-9 overall, 1-3 Patriot League) entered the matchup on a three-game losing streak, so this was a game that the Crusaders had to win.
On a cold, blustery New England day, the Crusaders struggled to get anything going offensively in the first half. The Rams opened the scoring just more than five minutes into the game when first-year quarterback Tim DeMorat found senior tight-end Isaiah Searight for a 58-yard touchdown strike. The Crusaders couldn’t make it out of their own half of the field in the opening two quarters except for one drive, which ended with an interception from senior quarterback Geoff Wade. Fordham got the ball back at their own 42-yard line with 47 seconds to go, preceded to march down the field, and sophomore placekicker Andrew Mevis nailed a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give the Rams a 10-0 halftime advantage.
The third quarter saw Holy Cross claw its way back into the game. The Crusaders took advantage of good field position on two drives in the third frame that both led to touchdowns. After starting at the Fordham 21-yard line, they first got on the board when Wade found senior tight-end Derek Mountain for a 23-yard touchdown throw with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter. Later on, starting at the Fordham 41-yard line, Holy Cross quickly moved down the field and Wade found senior wideout Martin Dorsey for a five-yard score, and the Crusaders took a 14-10 lead. In the fourth, Holy Cross made it a seven-point lead when first-year placekicker Derek Ng kicked a 37-yard field goal into the howling wind with 7:37 remaining. On the ensuing Fordham possession, the Rams capped off a 14-play, 53-yard drive with 34-yard field goal from Mevis. Fordham then forced a Holy Cross three-and-out and got the ball back at their own 41-yard line with 1:47 remaining. The Rams got down to the Holy Cross 29-yard line, and, needing a touchdown, DeMorat threw to the endzone as time expired, but his pass could not find a Fordham player on the other end, and the Crusaders hung on for an important 17-13 comeback win on Senior Day.
Wade finished with 131 yards, completing 15 of 23 passes and finding the endzone twice in his last home game as a Crusader. Mountain hauled in a career-high five receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown, while Dorsey recorded four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. With the wind blowing, the Fordham defense appeared to focus on stopping the Holy Cross run game, knowing the conditions were not great for passing the ball. The Crusaders collectively managed just 56 yards on 33 carries. The 221 total yards of offense were the least for Holy Cross in a win in 13 years.
The Crusaders travel to the nation’s capital to take on Georgetown this Saturday at 12:30 in their final game of the season. The winner will claim second place in the Patriot League.