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NCAA Football: Holy Cross dominates UNH

By MIKE SCANDURA
Special to The Sunday News

September 17. 2017 12:05AM




WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross quarterback Peter Pujals did his best Tom Brady impersonation in Saturday's non-conference game against No. 9 New Hampshire.

Pujals, a senior, completed 21 of 39 passes for 367 yards and five touchdowns as the Crusaders routed the Wildcats, 51-26. The five touchdown passes were one shy of his career high.

UNH coach Sean McDonnell didn't pull any punches when assessing his team's performance.

"Terrific execution by Holy Cross from the start to the finish," McDonnell said. "They beat us every way whether it was on special teams, penatlies, pressuring the quarterback, executing throw, executing catches, making plays."

Among the Crusaders who made plays was wide receiver Martin Dorsey, who snared five passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

"We have to practice better," free safety D'Andre Drummond-Mayrie said. "We had a great week of practice. We have to be able to execute and start taking things more seriously on both sides of the ball."

While Pujals seemingly had all the time he needed to make his reads, the same was not true for his counterpart, Trevor Knight.

Knight completed 26 of 45 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns but more often than not his pocket collapsed and he was scrambling to avoid a serious injury.

"They were bringing a lot of pressure and we weren't executing," Knight said. "We couldn't keep our defense off the field and give them a break. That definitely plays a lot into their performance."

The Wildcats (2-1) got off to an impressive start when, on their second series, they covered 89 yards in six plays encompassing 2:12.

After an incomplete pass, Knight found Neil O'Connor in the left corner of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.

Holy Cross marched 71 yards in six plays with Pujals zinging a 14-yard touchdown pass to Martin Dorsey for a 10-7 lead.

The Wildcats went three-and-out and Holy Cross drove to the UNH 12 before stalling but salvaged a 29-yard field goal from Wells that gave the Crusaders a 13-7 lead.

Once again the Wildcats went nowhere and were forced to punt and once again Holy Cross relied on Wells for a field goal, this time from 37 yards for a 16-7 lead at halftime.

Holy Cross increased its lead to 22-7 early in the second half when Andre Horton scampered 20 yards on a reverse.

The Crusaders put the game out of reach after Kevin Bucceroni recovered an O'Connor fumble on the ensuing kickoff.

On the first play after that recovery, Puljos connected with Derek Mountain for a 6-yard scoring pass and a 30-7 lead.

New Hampshire did mount another drive late in the third when Knight tossed a 3-yard scoring pass to O'Connor which, sliced the deficit to 30-13.

But Pujals had the perfect antidote when he connected with Blaise Bell on a 15-yard touchdown pass that upped the Crusader lead to 37-13.


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