Lafayette football fails to beat undefeated Holy Cross

Lafayette+footballs+offense+struggled+to+score+against+Holy+Crosss+solid+defense+this+past+Saturday.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+GoLeopards.com%29

Lafayette football’s offense struggled to score against Holy Cross’s solid defense this past Saturday. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards.com)

Craig Barbaro, Staff Writer

The Lafayette football team (3-6 overall, 2-2 Patriot League) fell 35-10 to Holy Cross on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Fitton Field. The Leopards have just two games left in the Patriot League as the playoffs near.

“2-2 is a tough position to be in for the league,” senior linebacker Major Jordan wrote in an email. “We have played very good games this far through the league, this last two will be vital to get us back on track.”

The Leopards struggled across the board in the contest, only managing 171 yards of total offense: 138 through the air and 33 on the ground. On the other side of the ball, the Leopards allowed 517 yards of total offense to the Crusaders with 247 through the air and 270 on the ground. 

“The team as a whole did not play well at all, not even close,” junior linebacker Marco Olivas wrote in an email. “We let up over 500 yards on offense around half being rushing yards. It was just bad and there’s no other way to put it.”

The Crusaders got the scoring started on their second drive with a touchdown after missing a 45-yard field goal on their first drive. The rest of the quarter remained scoreless and the Leopards trailed 7-0 heading into the second.

Midway through the second quarter, the Crusaders struck again to push the lead to 14-0 with just over eight minutes left to play in the half. The Leopards’ offense continued to struggle as they could not manage to kickstart momentum. 

The Leopards’ defense managed to keep them in the game as Jordan returned an interception for a touchdown. The score cut the Crusaders’ lead to 14-7 with just over two minutes to play in the half. 

Holy Cross was determined to counter as they marched the ball down the field quickly and lined up for a 47-yard field goal. The Leopards’ special teams came up clutch on the attempt, with junior linebacker Jyaire Stevens blocking the field goal to close the half down seven.

The Leopard’s offensive woes continued as they received the ball to start the half but were forced to punt from their own 27-yard line after only gaining two yards on the drive. A short kick led to Holy Cross having a great field position which they capitalized on with a score to push the make it 21-7. 

Five minutes later the Crusaders tacked on another touchdown to make it 28-7 with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter. Holy Cross received the ball back less than three minutes later and looked pose to add another score as they moved the ball towards the Leopards’ 20-yard line. Junior linebacker Marco Olivas came up with a crucial forced fumble that the Leopards managed to recover, halting Holy Cross’s momentum. However, neither Olivas nor Jordan were happy with the team’s performance.

“I definitely did not play to my potential last weekend,” Olivas wrote. “I lacked the big basic fundamentals like finishing tackles and getting off blocks.”

“We played a very good team, I give credit to them for how they played against us,” Jordan added. “We didn’t perform to our standard, so we have to refocus our efforts to get back to how we know we can play.”

On their first drive of the final quarter, Holy Cross scored their final touchdown to push the score to 35-7 with 10:46 remaining in the game. On their final drive, the Leopards tacked on a 41-yard field goal by freshman kicker Micah Petit. 

“This week we are focusing on getting back to the basics and also just focusing on enjoying these last two weeks of the season,” Olivas wrote. “We did not do as well as we wanted or expected but there’s nothing that can change that now. The last two weeks are time for us to get better, work hard, and have some fun.”

“The team is focusing on the fundamentals and having a great approach to finish the season out strong,” Jordan wrote.

The Leopards look to move on from the loss in a home game against Colgate tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.