Football Shut Out By Holy Cross, 37-0

GAME STATS

WORCESTER, Mass. – From start to finish Holy Cross controlled the game Saturday afternoon at Fitton Field, overcoming the University at Albany football team 37-0. With the loss, the Great Danes fell to 2-3 on the season, while the Crusaders improved to 2-2 overall.

“We’re down a lot of people right now, but that’s life,” said Head Coach Greg Gattuso. “We’ve got to rally. The guys that go in have to pick it up. I think we just have to keep working.”

While Holy Cross accrued 349 yards of offense, the Great Danes totaled 203 yards led by redshirt sophomore D.J. Crook’s 94 passing yards, completing 10-of-24 attempts. Tight end Anthony Manzo-Lewis led the squad with four receptions, while Brad Harris pulled in three for a team-high 78 receiving yards.

On the ground, redshirt freshman Elliot Croskey carried the ball 13 times for 58 rushing yards.

Defensively, Samuel Gray led UAlbany with 11 tackles, including seven solo, and a sack for a loss of six yards. Sophomore Chris Johnson followed with seven tackles (six solo).

“Sometimes I get super excited about our youth,” said Gattuso. “We have a bright future, but right now our youth is causing a lot of issues. We have to keep coaching them harder. I told the coaching staff, it’s us. We’ve got to play more disciplined and we’ve got to coach them harder and we’ve got to get the young guys to keep getting better.”

In their opening drive, the Crusaders steadily cruised down the field, using 11 plays to cover 59 yards. While sophomore Jamal Robinson made a diving tackle at the 2-yard line and the Great Danes knocked the ball loose on the next play, Holy Cross still managed to score a touchdown, as Hunter Hudgins recovered the fumble in the end zone.

From there, the Crusaders made stop after stop on defense and steadily built a commanding lead.

With 40 seconds left in the first quarter, Jake Wieczorek capped a three-yard drive with a 42-yard touchdown catch from Crusader quarterback Peter Pujals.

To start the second quarter, Kalif Raymond stretched the deficit to 21 points, returning Jon Martin’s 35-yard punt 67 yards for a touchdown.

Holy Cross made it 27-0 heading into the break, driving 52 yards on nine plays, capped by Brendan Flaherty’s three-yard touchdown catch.

With a chance to get on the board before the end of the half, Harris won Crook’s jump ball after getting hit for a 49-yard reception. The Great Danes were inside the red zone with 39 seconds remaining in the half, but the Crusaders turned the Danes over on downs, breaking up four straight pass attempts.

The second half was all in favor of the hosts, as Holy Cross made it 30-0 on Connor Fitzgerald’s 26-yard field goal with 9:26 remaining in the third quarter.

With 11:24 left in the fourth, the Crusaders scored its final touchdown on Flaherty’s three-yard reception from Pujals.

Pujals totaled 177 passing yards and three touchdowns, completing 17-of-27 attempts, while Flaherty was his top receiver with seven receptions, 47 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.

“There’s nothing pretty to talk about after a game like this,” added Gattuso. “We got our butts kicked and we need to go back to work tomorrow and start working to get back and become a better football team.”

Up next, UAlbany returns to Bob Ford Field for Homecoming, hosting Maine next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

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