Oct. 22, 2013
THE OPENING KICK
MATCH-UP: After a two-week hiatus, Lafayette gets into the proverbial meat of its Patriot League schedule, closing out the season with five straight weeks against conference foes. Lafayette will make its second straight trip to the "Bay State", venturing to Worcester, Mass. for a 1 p.m. Saturday kickoff against Holy Cross (3-5, 1-1).
The Leopards have lost their last two outings to the top two teams in the Ivy League. The Ivy League break followed Lafayette's Patriot League-opening win over Bucknell on Oct. 5. Holy Cross also notched its lone conference win against Bucknell, topping the Bison 51-27 on Oct. 12.
DREW'S DEBUT: Freshman Drew Reed (Lakeland, Tenn./Arlington) made his debut at Harvard, playing the entire second half. Reed did play a snap or two vs. Bucknell on Oct. 5, but the Harvard game marked his first significant game action. He completed 17-of-22 (77%) for 235 yards and two touchdowns with an interception (on his first play from scrimmage). Reed also showed the ability to get outside of the pocket, picking up a pair of first downs while netting a 15 yards against the third-ranked rushing defense in the country.
It's expected to be an open competition for playing time at QB between Reed, sophomore Andrew Dzurik, who started the last three games, and freshman Blake Searfoss.
ROSS AMONG BEST: Senior wide receiver Mark Ross continues his ascent up Lafayette's career receiving charts. He ranks first in career receiving touchdowns (21), second in career receptions (161) and third for career receiving yards (2,258). Ross needs two catches and 149 yards to become the sole leader in both categories. John Weyrauch '04 (162 catches for 2,406 yards) sits atop both lists. Ross is coming off a three-catch, 63-yard game at Harvard.
He also shares the record for receptions in a game (13 in 2012 at Robert Morris) while ranking second for catches in a season (75 in 2012) and fourth and fifth for receiving touchdowns in a season (10 in 2012 and nine in 2011).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: According to the latest NCAA stats, Lafayette has played the 10th toughest schedule in the nation with the cumulative opposition (past and future) posting a 37-25 mark. Through six games, Lafayette's opponents are a combined 25-11.
BIG GAME FOR BOLES: Senior MLB Mike Boles had a career-game at Harvard, making a career-high 16 tackles against the Crimson. Boles, who had 12 of those stops in the first half, also managed a fumble recovery, two quarterback hurries and a half tackle loss. Boles leads the team with 44 tackles.
"HALLING" THEM IN: Senior TE Brandon Hall was tough to defend at Harvard. He made a career-high five catches for a career-best 90 yards.
ABOUT HOLY CROSS: Holy Cross comes into the game with 3-5 overall mark and a 1-1 record in Patriot League play. The Crusaders are looking to bounce back from a tough luck 28-24 home loss to Colgate a week ago.
Holy Cross returns 15 starters, (6 on offense, 9 on defense) from a team that was 2-9 overall (2-4 in PL) in 2012.
Freshman QB Peter Pujals has been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week three times this season. He's compiled 1,294 yards passing on 115-of-177 with 12 touchdowns. Pujals' breakout game came against Dartmouth on Sept. 28 with 290 yards and two TD's. In 2013, he has rushed for 302 yards on 77 attempts with six touchdowns.
Tailbacks senior Reggie Woods and sophomore Elad Covaliu have contributed to a balanced Crusader rushing attack. Covaliu has racked up 290 yards on 61 carries with one touchdown while Woods has rushed for 258 yards on 54 attempts.
Senior WR Mike Fess ranks amongst the best receivers in Crusader history in career receptions. Fess has reeled in a team-leading 47 passes for 585 yards in addition to six touchdown receptions during his final campaign.
Senior captain, LB Roman SanDoval, leads the team with 55 tackles with two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Sophomore DB Matt Bhaya is second on the team with 49 tackles with two interceptions.
Tom Gilmore (Penn '86) is in his 10th season as head coach.