Patrick Grudberg ‘24
After struggling on homecoming weekend against Harvard, the College of the Holy Cross football team responded with a dominant performance against Georgetown, winning 48-14. The win marked the first game in Patriot League play for Bob Chesney’s squad, who hope to complete their three-peat of league titles this season.
After forcing a turnover on downs, the Crusaders established their dominance on the ground on their first offense possession. Peter Oliver ran for 49 yards on the drive alone, capped off by an impressive Matthew Sluka passing touchdown to senior wideout Jack Jewell. The defense continued to wreak havoc for Joseph Brunell and the Hoyas offense, forcing two turnovers including a pick-six by linebacker Liam Anderson. That defensive score sealed the first half scoreline at 28-0. From there, Holy Cross did not look back, putting up three more touchdowns in the second half. Georgetown struggled all day on the ground, mustering only six rushing yards. That was mostly due to the swarming pressure by the front seven of the Crusaders’ stingy defense, led by nose tackle Jason Modak and linebacker Jacob Dobbs. Overall, this is exactly what Holy Cross needed after a disappointing loss on homecoming weekend against Harvard.
Looking ahead, Holy Cross faces only Patriot League foes for the remainder of the season. And compared to their tough non-conference schedule, we’d hope to see more blowout victories like their win over Georgetown. Up next, Bob Chesney’s squad faces Colgate at Polar Park for Family Weekend. Kickoff is at 5:00 p.m., one of the only night games the Crusaders have had in years. After this, the team has a few matchups against the bottom of the conference with games against Lehigh and Lafayette. The two stand at 0-6 and 2-5, respectively. From all this, we can infer that the Patriot League is Holy Cross’s for the taking. The only team that might stand in their way are the Fordham Rams, who dominated against Bucknell last weekend in a 66-21 victory. The Crusaders face off against the Rams in the Bronx on Nov. 13. Unless Colgate continues their impressive 2-0 start in league play, that game might well decide the Patriot League title.
While the non-conference wins against UConn, Yale, and Monmouth were important for the program, Chesney’s team will not see postseason play without winning the league this year. The league champ gains an automatic bid to the FCS playoffs, and if the team wants to avoid a brutal matchup with the likes of South Dakota State like last year, it is in their best interest to continue to dominante against their seemingly inferior conference foes.