Sept. 17 MVP: MassVarsity Pre-and-Post

There it is.

We heard all preseason about new coach Bob Chesney's renewed energy for the Holy Cross program after the sensational job he did at Assumption College.

There were signs of positive momentum, as the Crusaders rallied from a huge halftime deficit in the opener to Colgate before falling. The team never had any shot of beating Boston College in Week 2, but you never got the sense that the team quit.

That word is simply not in the Crusaders' vocabulary, is it?

Against a Yale team that is coming off an Ivy League title and was favored to win it again this season, Holy Cross pulled off an improbable rally in a 31-28 overtime win.

The visiting Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Game over, right?


The Crusaders kept chipping away, and trailed 28-14 heading into halftime.

That was it for scoring for Yale, and Holy Cross kept chipping away, fighting, clawing back. Ever since he was hired, Holy Cross was optimistic that Chesney's fiery energy would run off on his players.

It's clear, through three games, that it has. When Derek Ng booted his 45-yard field goal to seal the win in overtime, it proved that Chesney has sparked something special on The Hill.

The right attitude was always there. Now Chesney and Co. have a win to show for it. It feels like the first of many.

Long time coming

Nov. 30, 2008.

That was the last time Boston College was ranked in the AP Top 25.

Well, the Eagles are back there, sitting right at No. 23 (in the Coaches Poll, they're No. 25).

This is significant, even if it doesn't mean anything going forward if the Eagles don't keep piling up wins.

This weekend BC travels to Purdue to face an 0-3 Boilermakers team that is definitely better than its record indicates.

Still, BC is the better team, and if it cleans up the mistakes that plagued it in the win over Wake Forest, the Eagles should be 4-0 coming home the following week against Temple.

And off we go. We still feel the Eagles can make it to Blacksburg on the first weekend of November undefeated for what would be a massive showdown at Virginia Tech.

But that's a few steps ahead. Until then, the Eagles can enjoy the rare national respect they're getting right now.

Happy Saturday

Harvard had to love how it performed against San Diego in its 36-14 season-opening win.

But to then see Holy Cross knock off Yale in a stunning upset, that had to make it just a bit sweeter of a Saturday.

The Crimson should be pretty heavy favorites against Brown Friday night before a ranked and loaded Rhode Island team visits the following week.

It will be tough to not look ahead to that one. And how about when Holy Cross comes to town on Oct. 12?

This is going to be an exciting season for the Crimson, and based off Saturday's performance, a pretty successful one.

A dark place

Things went from bad to worse for UMass following last week's loss to Georgia Southern with a 63-24 rout at the hands of Florida International.

Judging off the reaction from social media, fans are despondent, angry and seem to have lost all faith. Many are calling for coach Mark Whipple to be fired for the second week in a row.

The Minutemen are just in a very precarious situation right now, and it goes without saying that a loss at home to Charlotte simply cannot happen if they don't want this season to turn very ugly.

Local quarterbacks shining

There are a number of Massachusetts-bred quarterbacks doing well at the next level, but we wanted to highlight two from over the weekend who are either in the middle of or are just beginning promising seasons.

At Assumption, former Springfield Central standout Cody Williams completed 6-of-12 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a rushing score in the Greyhounds' 66-3 rout of Saint Anselm.

For the season, Williams has completed 40-of-62 passes (64.5 percent) for 487 yards and four touchdowns to one interception.

Over at Williams College, Duxbury's Bobby Maimaron completed 13-of-23 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries in a 41-6 win at Bowdoin.

Not a bad start to the season for the sophomore, who should have a spectacular career in the NESCAC.

He said it

Not many local teams lately have stepped out of state to play the type of programs Mansfield has over recent years. So Hornets coach Mike Redding knows a thing or two about how Everett would stack up against that type of competition.

Here's what Redding said after the Crimson Tide rolled to Friday night's 41-14 win over Mansfield. We included this quote in our game story, and also posted it on Twitter.

"These guys are like the best out-of-state teams that we’ve played," Redding said of Everett. "We played Calvert Hall of Maryland, St. Ed’s of Ohio, Stepinac of New York. This is what we see, like skill everywhere. And (Everett wide receiver/cornerback Mike Sainristil) is just sneaky fast. He’s so smooth, and he’s got nice little moves. But we just, typically, don’t see this collection of size and skill in Mass. on one team. This is like a Shriners Game team. But we’ve seen this, but it’s been all out-of-state private schools that recruit kids, and this is a public high school in Mass. that has got a collection of some serious athletes."

Serious athletes. Skill everywhere. Like a Shriners Game team.

High praise, and the crazy thing is that it is pretty well agreed upon that last season's Everett team was even better.

With the new Northeastern Conference realignment, we might never see one of these great modern Everett teams carry the flag against a quality out-of-state foe. That is too bad, but you should not dismiss Redding's comments, because very few coaches in the area can speak with that level of authority on the subject.

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