Lafayette Football Drops Heartbreaker at Home
Nov. 15, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - Despite a 10-point advantage in the fourth quarter, the Lafayette football team could not hold off a Holy Cross rally and lost to the Crusaders on Saturday, 27-26, at Fisher Stadium.
Lafayette (7-3, 3-2) managed to put up some loaded offensive numbers against Holy Cross' high-powered offense. Heading into Saturday's game, Holy Cross (7-3, 5-0) limited its league opponents to 17.2 points per game and 293 yards of offense. Lafayette bested those averages with their 27 points and 330 total offensive yards, but the output was all in vain.
The Leopards started off strong in the first quarter. Holy Cross marched up the field to Lafayette's 20-yard line but the momentum stopped on first and 10 when Lafayette junior linebacker Mark Leggiero intercepted Dominic Randolph and returned it 36 yards before he was brought down at Holy Cross' 44-yard line.
The Leopards only needed one play to strike first. Leopards quarterback Marc Quilling connected with senior wide receiver Shaun Adair, who made a slashing run for a 44-yard touchdown. The PAT was good, and the Leopards owned a 7-0 lead at 9:54 remaining in the first quarter.
Holy Cross responded more than three minutes later with a 91-yard drive capped by Brett McDermott's 39-yard touchdown reception to knot the score 7-7.
Adair kicked off the second quarter with a 27-yard reception, bouncing off defenders down to the six-yard line. The play set up Davis Rodriguez for a 22-yard field goal as Lafayette regained the lead, 10-7, at 12:18 remaining in the half.
Lafayette capitalized next when Holy Cross' Josh Jenkins muffed Tom Kondash's 39-yard punt, allowing Adair to recover the ball on the 19-yard line. Rodriguez kicked it through the uprights, and the Leopards increased their lead to 13-7 at 6:48 in the second quarter.
After the break, Lafayette's defense continued to put on the pressure. Randolph zeroed in on McDermott cutting through the end zone, but junior defensive back Eric McGovern flew in for the interception.
The play jumpstarted an 80-yard drive that resulted in DeAndre' Morrow's two-yard touchdown run, upping the score 20-7 at 7:49 in the third quarter.
After the score, Holy Cross wide receiver Jon Brock zigzagged his way 54 yards down the field to the nine-yard line. Lafayette's defense held its ground and appeared to come up with a stop on third and one, but the Leopards were cited for pass interference - one of four pass interference infractions called on the Leopards throughout the afternoon. Lafayette put together another three-down stand to limit the Crusaders to a field goal, making it 20-10 at the end of the third quarter.
Holy Cross put together a nine-play, 46-yard drive for another field goal less than one minute into the fourth quarter, inching closer to Lafayette's lead, 20-13. The Crusaders tied it up at 20 with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter after Nick Cole's 22-yard touchdown reception capped off an 86-yard drive.
The score didn't stay tied for long. Morrow scored his second touchdown of the day less than two minutes later off a thundering 26-yard rush, boosting Lafayette back to an advantage with 2:45 left in the game. But after converting 29-straight extra points, Rodriguez missed his first extra point of the season and the score sat at 26-20.
The Crusaders had one more scoring drive left in them as Randolph completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Rob Koster with just six seconds left, propelling themselves to a 27-26 victory and preserving their undefeated league record.
Lafayette will face archrival Lehigh at home next Saturday at 1 p.m. in the 144th meeting of college football's most played rivalry.
*Tom Kondash booted a 79-yard punt at 3:43 remaining in the first quarter down to Holy Cross' three-yard line. The punt was Lafayette's longest since Oct. 19, 1996, but 10 yards shy of the Patriot League record held by Colgate's Steve Bulcavage (vs. Towson, Sept. 27, 2003).
*Shaun Adair continued his climb atop Lafayette's career receiving list. He now ranks third with 2,148 after his 97-yard production on four catches.
*Lafayette suffered its first loss when wearing black jerseys. Before Saturday's game, Lafayette held a 4-0 record when dressed in black.