Ram–Crusader Cup

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Ram–Crusader Cup
Ram-CrusaderCup-2016.jpg
Fordham celebrates winning the 2016 Cup at Yankee Stadium
Sport Football
First meeting November 8, 1902
Holy Cross 17, Fordham 0
Latest meeting November 4, 2017
Holy Cross 42, Fordham 20
Next meeting 2018
Trophy Ram–Crusader Cup
Statistics
Meetings total 53
All-time series Holy Cross leads, 28–25–2
Largest victory Holy Cross, 60–0 (1913)
Longest win streak Holy Cross, 11 (1947–1994)
Longest unbeaten streak Holy Cross, 12 (1931–1994)
Current win streak Holy Cross, 1 (2017–present)


Background[edit]

The Ram–Crusader Cup is the name of the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual football game between the Fordham Rams and the Holy Cross Crusaders.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Both schools are members of the Patriot League.

Origin of the Cup[edit]

The Ram-Crusader Cup was instituted in 1951 to honor the memory of Major Frank W. Cavanaugh. The idea for the Cup came from William P. Walsh, at the time, a Holy Cross undergrad.[11] Walsh was working at a summer camp headed by then Fordham head coach, Ed Danowski, when hearing that the Rams and Crusaders were restarting their series. Despite being enrolled at Holy Cross, Walsh grew up on Long Island as a Fordham football fan. The summer camp counselor approached his boss and suggested inaugurating a trophy in honor of Major Frank Cavanaugh. The "Iron Major” spent three seasons as head coach of Holy Cross (1903-1905) where he had a 19-10-2 record, and six at Fordham (1927-1932) where he had a 34-14-4 record and also elevated the program to college football's highest level. Danowski, who had captained Cavanaugh’s very last team while a quarterback for the Rams, looked forward to the trophy game and enthusiastically predicted Fordham would “pin back the ears” of the Crusaders. Instead, it was Holy Cross easily prevailing in a 54-20 blowout. John Cavanaugh, son of the Hall of Fame coach, later made the post-game trophy presentation to Holy Cross. Contests staged in 1952, '53 and '54 were all far closer affairs but each also ended with Holy Cross victories. When Fordham terminated their football program following the 1954 season the Cup was put on hiatus.

Return of the Cup[edit]

Although Holy Cross never terminated their own program, from about the early 1950s to the early 1980s they played a mostly regional schedule at a lower Division I level with only mixed results. In 1982 they moved down to I-AA status where, under Coach Rick E. Carter and later Mark Duffner, fortunes quickly changed. From 1982 to 1991 they finished with a Top-20 national ranking every year but one. [12] Meanwhile, after years without a team, and later, years as a club team, followed by years as a D-III team, Fordham finally elevated their own program to the I-AA level for the 1989 season. The Rams officially joined the Patriot League (then still known as the Colonial League) the following season thus allowing them to resume their series with Holy Cross.

36 years had passed since their last gridiron encounter but once again it was Holy Cross dominating with a 48-0 conquest. The Worcester school kept their monopoly on the "Iron Major Cup" until Fordham finally broke through with a win in 1995. Since then the Rams have had the upper hand in taking 15 of the past 23. Still, Holy Cross leads the Ram-Crusader Cup series, 17-15. They also lead he all-time series 28-25-2 which dates back to 1902, a year before Cavanaugh began patrolling Holy Cross’ sidelines.

The 2016 game was played on November 12th, at Yankee Stadium, where in front of 21,000+ fans, Fordham routed Holy Cross, 54-14. This marked Fordham's first game at The Stadium since 1946 and the first encounter between the schools at a professional venue since 1954. Previous Cups were staged in Ireland (1991) and Bermuda (1995).

Game results[edit]

Fordham victoriesHoly Cross victoriesTie games
No.DateLocationWinnerScore
1 November 8, 1902 New York Holy Cross 17–0
2 November 20, 1905 New York Holy Cross 27–5
3 November 3, 1906 Worcester Holy Cross 8–5
4 November 29, 1906 New York Holy Cross 15–6
5 November 2, 1907 Worcester Fordham 35–0
6 November 28, 1907 New York Fordham 35–0
7 November 20, 1909 New York Fordham 9–5
8 November 15, 1913 Worcester Holy Cross 60–0
9 October 23, 1915 New York Fordham 9–0
10 November 18, 1916 Worcester Fordham 40–0
11 October 20, 1917 New York Fordham 12–0
12 November 18, 1922 Worcester Holy Cross 28–0
13 November 10, 1923 New York Holy Cross 23–7
14 October 25, 1924 Worcester Holy Cross 13–0
15 November 7, 1925 New York Fordham 17–0
16 November 6, 1926 Worcester Tie7–7
17 November 5, 1927 New York Holy Cross 7–2
18 October 28, 1928 Worcester Fordham 19–13
19 October 19, 1929 New York Fordham 7–0
20 October 18, 1930 Worcester Fordham 6–0
21 October 17, 1931 New York Tie6–6
22 November 22, 1947 Worcester Holy Cross 48–0
23 November 13, 1948 Worcester Holy Cross 13–6
24 October 6, 1951 Worcester Holy Cross 54–20
25 October 4, 1952 Worcester Holy Cross 12–7
26 November 21, 1953 Worcester Holy Cross 20–7
27 November 13, 1954 New York Holy Cross 20–19
28 November 10, 1990 New York Holy Cross 48–0
No.DateLocationWinnerScore
29 November 16, 1991 Limerick Holy Cross 24–19
30 November 21, 1992 Worcester Holy Cross 21–13
31 November 20, 1993 Worcester Holy Cross 28–12
32 October 29, 1994 New York Holy Cross 31–21
33 October 28, 1995 Hamilton Fordham 17–10
34 November 2, 1996 New York Fordham 28–0
35 November 22, 1997 Worcester Fordham 28–12
36 November 14, 1998 Worcester Fordham 13–10
37 November 13, 1999 New York Holy Cross 37–14
38 November 18, 2000 Worcester Holy Cross 27–20
39 November 17, 2001 New York Fordham 24–21
40 November 9, 2002 Worcester Fordham 37–27
41 November 8, 2003 New York Fordham 49–28
42 October 2, 2004 Worcester Fordham 42–35
43 October 29, 2005 New York Fordham 24–20
44 September 30, 2006 Worcester Holy Cross 28–21
45 November 3, 2007 New York Fordham 24–21
46 November 8, 2008 Worcester Holy Cross 38–17
47 October 31, 2009 New York Holy Cross 41–27
48 October 2, 2010 Worcester Holy Cross 36–31
49 November 19, 2011 New York Holy Cross 41–21
50 October 27, 2012 Worcester Fordham 36–32
51 November 2, 2013 New York Fordham 32–30
52 September 27, 2014 Worcester Fordham 45–16
53 October 17, 2015 New York Fordham 47–41OT
54 November 12, 2016 New York Fordham 54–14
55 November 4, 2017 New York Holy Cross 42–20
Series: Holy Cross leads 28–25–2

References[edit]