Holy Cross capitalized quickly on turnovers Saturday afternoon, turning an early deficit into a 43-20 romp over visiting Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech for the Crusaders’ third win in four games.
First-year coach Joe Giorgio vowed in the preseason to build more of a power ground game and that is exactly what the Crusaders have relied on to win more games than in the past five years combined. Holy Cross was 2-33 between 2016 and 2020, sitting out the 2019 season because of a lack of players.
After falling behind 6-0 on the game’s first possession, Holy Cross ran off 43 straight points by halftime for a 43-6 lead that meant the entire second half was played under the Mercy Rule.
Logan Tierney led the way, but there was plenty of help in a balanced effort both offensively and defensively.
By halftime, Tierney had 79 yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 carries. He had made three tackles for losses and provided the pass rush on a blitz from his linebacker position that led to a Pick Six.
The Rams turned a fourth-and-nine, halfback option pass into a 54-yard touchdown and 6-0 lead on the opening drive, but later attempts at fourth-down conversions backfired.
Holy Cross scored on all five first-half possessions, then added a defensive touchdown to close the scoring.
Only the first touchdown was the results of a sustained drive.
Holy Cross moved 50 yards in 9 plays following an unsuccessful on-side kick attempt by Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech.
Tierney, who had 11- and 16-yard runs in the drive, took a pitch to the left and scored on fourth-and-two from the 3. The kick failed leaving the teams tied at 6-6.
Holy Cross took the lead before the first quarter ended.
Tyler Moncinelli picked a fourth-down fumble out of the air and returned it 30 yards to the 12 where quarterback Nate Cobley rolled left and kept for the go-ahead score on the next play.
Tierney’s two-point conversion run made it 14-6.
The Rams covered up a bad snap on fourth down early in the second quarter and the Crusaders took over at the 33.
A pass interference penalty and two running plays were all that were needed to add to the lead.
Tierney got to the left corner for an 11-yard touchdown and Cobley threw to Bobby Staples for the two-pointer to make it 22-6.
Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech picked up two first downs before a penalty and a Tierney tackle for a loss brought up third-and-28.
Sean Herbert intercepted the third-down pass and returned it 40 yards.
Tierney scored from the 36 on the next play, then Cobley got in for the two points on a quarterback sneak for a 30-6 lead.
Andrew Naim recovered a fumble on the next play to set up the Crusaders at the Rams 41.
Gavyn Grems ran for 14 yards and Cameron Moczulski for 24 before Moczulski scored from the 3 on the third play.
The Rams again moved the ball before running into trouble.
On fourth-and-six from the Crusaders 31, Tierney rushed the pass that Fred Strein picked off and took 75 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown.
Nick Cabets, who had a sack and four other tackles in the first half, added the kick for the last Holy Cross point.
Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech cut into the final margin by scoring two second-half touchdowns.
MORE FOOTBALL COVERAGE
Saturday’s Delaware Valley/Wilkes-Barre Area game: https://nepasportsnation.com/dv-passes-way-to-first-victory/.
Saturday’s Lackawanna Trail-Susquehanna game: https://nepasportsnation.com/big-plays-lift-lions-over-sabers/.
Friday’s games and other stories: https://nepasportsnation.com/fall-sports/football/.