Tag: Fordham University

Holy Cross Makes History, Rallies To Beat Sacred Heart, 13-10

Matthew Sluka threw the game-winning touchdown pass on Saturday to send Holy Cross past Sacred Heart in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Saturday was a historical day for the Holy Cross football team.

The Crusaders won their first-ever postseason contest by rallying to defeat Sacred Heart University, 13-10, in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Tournament.

With the win, Holy Cross snapped a five-game losing streak in the “second season,” which includes a trio of first-round setbacks to secure a date with Villanova University on Friday, December 3 in the second round. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Holy Cross erased a 10-3 deficit during its final two series with a 38-yard field goal by Derek Ng and a 35-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Sluka to Jalen Coker, which provided the hosts with their first and only lead. Sluka’s touchdown was reviewed, but not reversed — the go-ahead score occurred with 14 seconds remaining in the final session.

Sluka concluded the contest with 171 passing yards on 13 of 19 attempts to go with a game-high 90 yards on 23 carries. Peter Oliver added 15 yards on three carries while Coker led all receivers with five receptions for 103 yards.

Sacred Heart’s Rob McCoy provided the Pioneers with a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter when he capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a five-yard score. Holy Cross would counter late in the second with a 23-yard field goal by Ng before Sacred Heart added to its lead with a 33-yard field goal from Noah Gettman with 12:09 remaining in the final stanza.

McCoy led the Pioneers’ rushing attack with seven carries for 62 yards while quarterback Marquez McCray registered 137 yards of total offense, including 78 passing yards.

Holy Cross accumulated 288 total yards of offense on 56 plays compared to Sacred Heart, which finished with 236 yards on 56 plays.

Like Holy Cross, Sacred Heart was seeking its first-ever playoff victory, but today’s loss sends the Pioneers to 0-4 in the postseason, including 0-3 against teams from the Patriot League (Fordham University beat the Red and White in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014).

Sacred Heart concludes its 2021 campaign with eight wins while Holy Cross scored its 10th victory, which is the most a Purple and White squad has accumulated since posting an 11-0 record in 1991.

Holy Cross has never competed in the second round of the FCS Tournament but did appear in the quarterfinals in 1983 when they lost to Western Carolina.

Villanova has won 13 of 22 meetings with Holy Cross, including a first-round matchup in 2009 when the Wildcats defeated the Crusaders, 38-28. The Purple and White’s last win over the Wildcats occurred in 1989.  

Holy Cross, Sacred Heart Seek First Postseason Victory

Quarterback Matthew Sluka has guided the Holy Cross football team to a 9-2 overall record this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Saturday will be a special day for either Holy Cross or Sacred Heart University.

The two teams secured a date in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA FCS Playoffs with the winner advancing to the second round next Saturday, December 4 against Villanova University.

Neither team has won a postseason contest, but this is certainly not the first time either school has competed in the playoffs.

Holy Cross, which is making its sixth appearance in the postseason, has lost three first-round matchups, a quarterfinal meeting with Western Carolina, and their first and only trip to the Orange Bowl in 1946 to the University of Miami.  

Sacred Heart has made three trips to the playoffs and dropped a pair of first-round contests to Fordham University in 2013 and 2014. This past spring, the University of Delaware outlasted the Pioneers, 19-10.

Both teams captured their respective conference title this fall – the Patriot League for Holy Cross and Northeast Conference (NEC) for Sacred Heart – and boast identical six-game winning streaks, which began last month.

Holy Cross appears to be the “favorite” in this matchup – currently, the Crusaders are ranked 24th in the latest FCS Coaches Poll with the 10th best rushing attack (the team is averaging 217.7 yards per game). Additionally, their defense is very good. The Purple and White have forced 24 turnovers, including 18 interceptions, which is the second-most in the FCS behind Austin Peay with 19 and held opponents to 76.6 rushing yards per game.

Linebacker Jacob Dobbs was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, while coach Bob Chesney earned the conference’s Dick Biddle Coach of the Year award (Dick Biddle was previously an assistant and coach of the Colgate University football team). Both are also being considered for national awards.

Holy Cross quarterback Matthew Sluka, who was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year this past spring, has tallied 23 touchdowns this fall, including a team-high 13 scores on the ground. He will certainly be a player to watch, along with halfback Peter Oliver and linebacker Liam Anderson.

The most intriguing matchup to watch on Saturday is the Holy Cross rushing defense against Sacred Heart’s Malik Grant, who led the Northeast Conference with 1,288 yards on 226 carries and nine touchdowns. He is currently averaging 117.09 yards per game and one of 12 FCS halfbacks to rush for 1,000 yards or more this season.

In addition to Grant, fans should keep an eye on halfback Julius Chestnut, who only played four times this fall, but is gaining attention from NFL scouts. The Bowie, Maryland native has rushed for 100 yards or more in three contests while locating the end zone three times.

Holy Cross has won a pair of meetings against Sacred Heart with their last win coming in 2009 when the Crusaders won nine games like they did this fall.

Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. with the game being streamed on ESPN+.

Three MIAA Games Highlight Week Seven Of The Spring Football Season

By NoontimeSports.com

For those us from Massachusetts, the acronym MIAA is often associated with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association but it is also used to abreviate the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. And this weekend, six MIAA teams will be in action with two games scheduled for Saturday, March 20 while Kalamazoo College and Olivet College will cap the weekend with an early afternoon kickoff on Sunday, March 21.

Hope College, which won the MIAA conference crown in 2019, will not be competing this weekend or spring, but will use this time to prepare for their initial fall contest against Anderson University on September 4.

Here are this weekend’s matchups:

  • Albion College at Trine University (Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. est.)
  • Adrian College at Alma College (Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. est.)
  • Kalamazoo College at Olivet College (Sunday, March 21 at 1 p.m. est.)

The Thunder of Trine enter the seventh week of the spring season with a perfect 2-0 record – they scored wins last October against Adrian (44-27) and Manchester University (37-0), and will attempt to capture their third-straight victory on Saturday, as well as their first win against Albion since 2018. Albion won the previous meeting in 2019 by a score of 24-14.

Similar to Trine, Adrian also competed last fall, appearing in three contests while securing an early October victory against Manchester (41-10). The Bulldogs enter their first spring game with a 1-2 record with hopes of evening the mark against an Alma squad they edged in 2019 by a score of 34-31.

Albion enters the spring season as the favorite, according to the MIAA preseason coaches poll, which was released earlier this month. The Britons secured five of six first-place votes while Olivet, which garnered one first-place selection, is projected to finish second. Trine rounded out the top three sports while Adrian and Alma are projected to finish fourth, respectively, while Kalamazoo rounded out the poll in the sixth position.

The MIAA’s spring season will run from this weekend to Saturday, April 17.


News and notes from the spring college football world

  • The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) spring season will kickoff this weekend with Greenville University visiting DePauw University. Saturday’s matchup with Greenville will be the Tigers’ final contest of the 2020-21 school year. – DePauw beat Ohio Wesleyan University last September before beating The College of Wooster. DePauw’s meeting with Wooster was an exhibition contest.
  • In case you missed it, four New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) teams kicked-off their spring seasons last weekend. William Patterson, which was initially scheduled to play last Saturday against Christopher Newport, will play its first game this Saturday, March 20 against Kean University. Kickoff between the two teams is scheduled for 12 p.m.
  • In honor of March Madness, ESPN asked the following question: what would a 64-team postseason bracket look like 2021? It is certainly an interesting read, but something we know (and sadly, most college fans do, as well) won’t happen.
  • The college football world has changed because of Covid-19, according to Chip Kelly, who believes Zoom will be something coaches will continue to use going forward, especially when connecting with recruits.
  • Last weekend was a busy weekend of NCAA D-II football – are you ready for more games this week?
  • Congratulations to former Fordham University quarterback Mike Nebrich, who has been inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Daily Noontime: Friday, February 5, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Friday, everyone – we made it!

And welcome to the first Friday of February – let’s celebrate.

It’s a BIG weekend for so many of us as the final game of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Can you believe it?

Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will compete in Super Bowl on Sunday, which is one of many subjects – and yes, topics, too – discussed on today’s Football Friday Podcast (listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor).

Alright, let’s kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime – as usual, be well, stay safe, and hold the line, everyone!


Friday’s Headlines for February 5, 2021

Finally, our Black History Month celebration on the men and women that have and continue to make an impact on the sports world continued yesterday with getting to know Paul Robeson, who starred as a defensive end with the Rutgers University football team.

Mass. College Football: Week 9 Schedule

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve officially reached the ninth week of the college football season. This particular weekend is critical for a few teams, especially if they’d like to make their conference’s championship bout.

As usual, here is this weekend’s slate and remember to report scores via email (NoontimeSports@gmail.com) or Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).

Friday, October 26:

* American International College at Saint Anselm, 7PM

Saturday, October 27: 

* St. Lawrence at WPI, 12PM

* Curry College at UMass Dartmouth, 12PM

* Maine Maritime at Bridgewater State, 12PM

* Westfield State at Mass. Maritime, 12PM

* Fordham at Holy Cross, 12:30PM

* Maryland at Boston College, 1PM

* Becker College at Mount Ida College, 1PM

* Norwich at Anna Maria College, 1PM

* Tufts University at Amherst College, 1PM

* Williams College at Hamilton College, 1PM

* Framingham State at Coast Guard, 1:30PM

* Fitchburg State at Worcester State, 1:30PM

* Merrimack College at Bentley, 2PM

* MIT at Nichols College, 2:30PM

* Harvard at Dartmouth, 5PM

* Western New England College at Endicott College, 5PM

* UMass at Vanderbilt, 7PM