How Did We Get Here?
For those of you who are confused as to the College of the Holy Cross Football Coverage, One Foot Down, “adopted” The Holy Cross Crusaders as our FCS team to follow this Spring. This is 10000% out of bias as I played there for 4 years. HOWEEEEVAAAA, Holy Cross has a devoted following and a storied Catholic history, so the fan bases can definitely co-exist. We invite you to follow along each week and get ready for some good ‘ol fashioned Spring Football!
Patriot League Champions
For the Second Year in a row, the Holy Cross Crusaders are Patriot League Champions. They dismantled the Bucknell Bison 33-10 and will find out their Playoff opponent later today in the FCS Selection Show.
The Game did not come without some drama before the players even took the field. Despite having the better record and a win against a common opponent, the game was held at Bucknell. Now this isn’t a huge deal as it had to do with the amount of games each team played, but here is the kicker.....Bucknell decided to only allow their fans and parents at this game. This, in my humble opinion, was a super shitty thing to do. They were clearly trying to take advantage of a tough situation, and they chose violence. This had no impact on the game as HC controlled everything from the first quarter and showed why they are in a league of their own among the Patriot League schools.
The Game- Offense
To sum it up, Holy Cross acted like they had been in this situation before. This is DESPITE the fact that true freshman sensation QB Matt Sluka was making his first collegiate start. He played extensively in the win against Fordham, but showed he is going to dominate the league for the next 3 years. He did everything that was asked of him and finished with modest stats, but stepped up in in big moments to control the game. He finished 8-11 for 78 yards and a score, while rushing 18 times for 61 yards and 2 scores. Peter Oliver continued to look strong out the backfield, delivering on a huge 37 yard touchdown as soon as Bucknell started to look alive.
It's been a fun first half on @CBSSportsNet! @HCrossFB and @Bucknell_FB are battling for the @PatriotLeague title. Tune in to @JasonKnapp44 and @RossTuckerNFL for the second half! @NCAA_FCS pic.twitter.com/kYK0Rv8zxs— Patriot League on ESPN (@PatriotLeagueTV) April 17, 2021
It is important to note that the best 2 WRs for Holy Cross have missed the last two games and hopefully can return for the playoffs. This will give Sluka even more weapons to compliment his potent rushing abilities. This offense is very young and a bit unpredictable, which makes them difficult to game plan against.
The Game- Defense
5 interceptions, 2.9 yds/play, 22 yards rushing, 4 sacks, 1/4 on 4th down. Any one of these stats would stand out in a Championship game. All of them put together? That is a dominant defense. Holy Cross had better skill, speed, and size in every matchup on their defense and it showed. The Crusaders were led by linebacker Jacob Dobbs, Cornerback John Smith, and Defensive End Benton Whitley. Dobbs is a force in the middle and finished with 9 tackles, while Whitley finished with 6 tackles and 2 sacks. Smith, the game MVP, finished with 4 tackles and a HUGE interception to put the game out of reach in the second half. I mentioned him in my first article, but he has legitimate NFL potential and is one of the best cornerbacks in the FCS.
The FCS will announce the playoff schedule later today, and Holy Cross will most likely get a tough draw. They only played 3 games, despite never having any issues on their side that resulted in covid cancellations. This team is special, and will look to have an upset against a heavy hitter next Saturday. Stay tuned for the update later this week breaking down their playoff matchup! Check out the Highlights below and as always GO CROSS GO
Another trophy for @HCrossFB! @CoachBobChesney's group does it again, winning at Bucknell on Saturday to claim their second straight @PatriotLeague Championship. Check out the highlights from @CBSSportsNet's telecast. @NCAA_FCS pic.twitter.com/7CAdm3as7i— Patriot League on ESPN (@PatriotLeagueTV) April 17, 2021