Ben Kuchipudi ’25
It may have been ugly, but the Holy Cross Crusaders are still undefeated on the season after squeaking by the Lafayette Leopards 24-21. With this win, they remain undefeated on the season and in first place in the Patriot League. This was a game where many expected yet another Holy Cross blowout, but Lafayette played them tough until the final possession. The Crusaders got off to a solid start, leading the Leopards 17-7 at halftime, but Lafayette rattled off 14 straight points and led by four deep into the fourth quarter.
Then, with four minutes left in the game, Matthew Sluka shook off his rough start to the game and delivered a 16 yard dart TD to Justin Shorter. Devin Haskins then picked off quarterback Ah-Shaun Davis two plays later, but Lafayette was gifted another opportunity after Derek Ng shockingly missed a chip shot field goal. Luckily, the Crusader defense stood strong and the game was over.
Overall, this was a rough offensive showing by Holy Cross. Lafayette held Matthew Sluka to 82 yards, one touchdown, and one pick on 6/16 passing and Jalen Coker to only 54 yards on three receptions. Holy Cross wasn’t able to reach the centennial mark on the ground as they finished with 99 yards led by Jordan Fuller, who finished with 37 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and Peter Oliver, who had 40 yards on 11 carries. The Lafayette offense actually dominated Holy Cross in yardage, finishing with 163 yards on the ground and 166 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
So how did Holy Cross manage to win this game you might ask? Two words: Devin Haskins. Haskins may have had his best game of the season last week, as he had another blocked kick, his fourth game in a row with one, and the game-sealing interception on Ah-Shaun Davis. This performance earned him the Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week and the Crown and Hammer Award. Holy Cross is currently 3-0 in the Patriot League after the win and 7-0 overall, earning Holy Cross a top five spot in the Stats Perform FCS rankings. As ugly as this win was, this was a much needed win as the 6-1 Fordham Rams come to Fitton this week, who are second in the Patriot League averaging a whopping 49 points a game, so this game could decide who wins the League this season.
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