Crusaders look to bounce back after two win season
This is the fourth of seven articles that preview the 2013 Patriot League teams. They are in the inverse order of the preseason poll voting by Patriot League football head coaches and sports information directors, who did not include their own school in the selections.
Fordham was not included in the poll because it will not be able to compete for the Patriot League championship and NCAA automatic bid in 2013, and its games against League members will not count towards the final standings for either team.
It has been four years since the Holy Cross Crusaders were Patriot League Champions in 2009. After winning six games in each of the following two seasons, the Crusaders managed to win just two games last year. Behind veteran head coach Tom Gilmore and senior defensive lineman Gary Acquah, the Purple and White are determined to return to the top of the conference.
Acquah, who grew up just 10 minutes away from the Rose Hill campus, is one of the best linemen in the Patriot League. The Bronx native earned second team All Patriot league honors in 2012 thanks to his 54 tackles and two sacks. The defensive standout also received the Davitt Award for being the team’s best defensive lineman.
While Acquah anchors the defense, senior wide receiver Mike Fess leads the way for the Crusader offense. The New Jersey native is one of the greatest wide outs to ever dawn the purple and white. Fess enters the 2013 campaign with 134 career receptions, good for 10th most in school history. The senior was at his best against Fordham last year, catching eight balls for a career high 139 yards and two touchdowns. Fess rightfully takes his place as one of the co-captains of the Crusaders this season.
The road to redemption will not be an easy one for Holy Cross, but the good news is the Crusaders have a month’s worth of games to prepare for the grind of the Patriot League schedule. The Cross opens up the season at Bryant University and then hosts FBS opponent Towson at Fitton Field.
Listen below to my interviews from Patriot League media day this past July with head coach Tom Gilmore, senior defensive lineman Gary Acquah and senior wide out Mike Fess.
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