WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – After leading 28-0 at the half, the Holy Cross football team cruised to a 45-15 victory over No. 20 Monmouth on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Kessler Stadium.
Senior wide receiver Tenio Ayeni caught two touchdowns and totaled 107 receiving yards on the day, while sophomore quarterback Marco Siderman threw for a pair of touchdowns, totaling 181 yards in the air. Junior linebacker Jacob Dobbs had 12 total tackles and three sacks for the Crusaders (3-1) on the day.
Holy Cross returns to Worcester for its next three contests, beginning with a Homecoming matchup against Harvard on October 2. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at Fitton Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Early in the first, junior running back Tyler Purdy broke away with a 53-yard run to set the Crusaders up on the Monmouth two-yard line; freshman running back Jordan Fuller had a two-yard touchdown carry to put Holy Cross on the board with 9:16 left in the quarter.
- Holy Cross took a 14-0 lead after sophomore quarterback Matthew Sluka passed to Ayeni for an eight-yard touchdown with 3:00 left in the opening quarter.
- Early in the second quarter, Siderman connected with Ayeni, who broke away for a 71-yard touchdown with 11:55 remaining for his second score of the game.
- Holy Cross took a commanding 28-0 lead after Siderman passed to sophomore receiver Jalen Coker for a 19-yard touchdown with 5:50 left in the half.
- The Hawks (2-2) got on the board with 7:08 to go in the third quarter, securing a 14-yard touchdown pass and then converting on a two-point conversion to cut within 28-8.
- Later in the third, with the Crusaders facing a fourth-and-10 at their own 25-yard line, junior punter Patrick Haughney faked the punt and passed to junior linebacker Jacob Dobbs for a 41-yard gain. Later on that drive, senior kicker Derek Ng was able to make a 49-yard field goal and give the Crusaders a 31-8 advantage.
- Senior running back Peter Oliver rushed for an 11-yard touchdown to push the Crusaders’ lead to 38-8 with 9:03 left in the contest.
- Junior running back Jordan Forrest added on a touchdown with 2:11 left in the game to extend the lead to 45-8; Monmouth tacked on a touchdown with 1:15 to go to get on the board one more time.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- This game marked Monmouth’s first loss at home since the 2018 season; the Hawks are now 19-2 since Kessler Stadium opened in 2017.
- This marks just the second Holy Cross victory in program history over Monmouth.
- Ayeni had his first multi-touchdown game since he also scored two touchdowns against Monmouth on Oct. 7, 2017. His 107 receiving yards were also a single-game career high.
- Forrest’s touchdown marked the first of his career.