Ben Kuchipudi ‘25
Another Saturday, and another win for the Holy Cross Crusaders. Their victims? The Colgate Raiders. This was their first Patriot League opponent this year, so this game was huge for the defending PL champs. Like their previous three games, Holy Cross had one thing on their mind going into this contest: dominate.
The Crusaders came into Hamilton, New York 3-0 and completely took over this game. Matthew Sluka started the game off with a rushing touchdown, but ten straight points by the Raiders gave them a 10-7 lead late in the second quarter. Right before the half however, Sluka fired a 22-yard dart to senior receiver Justin Shorter to give Holy Cross a 14-10 at the half. Once the second half started, it was all Holy Cross as they scored three touchdowns in the half and shut out Colgate. Everything was clicking for the Saders this game, as the offense had five touchdowns and the defense had three takeaways.
Although Sluka didn’t take over the game with total yards (only 195), he finished with four touchdowns, two on the ground and two through the air. Running back Jordan Fuller finished with 48 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and receivers Jalen Coker and Justin Shorter combined for nearly 70 yards and two touchdowns. Safety Walter Reynolds and linebacker Liam Anderson each had a pick and the Crusader defense held quarterback Michael Brescia to 148 passing yards and a pick on 15/32 passing. They held Yale to just over 300 yards last week, and this week they topped that feat by limiting the Raiders to 250 yards. Sluka and sophomore Joe Pesansky spread the wealth this game, as nine receivers ended up with a catch, and they used a committee of running backs as five players ended up getting a carry. Kicker Derek Ng didn’t have a field goal, but made all five of his extra points after the Holy Cross touchdowns.
I think we can all agree that this year’s Holy Cross Crusaders look different than last year. Last season there were games at this point in the year where they let their foot off the gas (see Merrimack and Harvard), but through four games this season, they’ve outscored their opponents 141-72, leading to a plus-69 point differential. The defense has also been great as they have six interceptions in these four games, and they’ve been stingy in the run game as well. Holy Cross is 4-0 with this victory, and next week they’ll be looking to get revenge against a Harvard team that embarrassed the Crusaders last season at Fitton.