CHESTNUT HILL, MA. -- Boston College just barely edged out FCS opponent Holy Cross Saturday, beating them 31-28 thanks to a late fumble recovery by Vinny DePalma that sealed an ugly win for the Eagles.
Thomas Castellanos drew his first career start for the Eagles Saturday, and it was a smooth start for the UCF transfer and the offense -- they scored on their first three drives and were smooth sailing. BC covered 85 yards on 15 plays on their opening drive and capped off with a three-yard rushing touchdown from Kyle Robichaux.
Holy Cross immediately answered on their ensuing drive, tying the game at 7, though the Eagles responded with a pair of touchdowns. Ryan O'Keefe took a 14-yard carry into the end zone before Castellanos hooked up with George Takacs for a two-yard touchdown pass -- giving BC the 21-7 lead with just over a minute to go in the half. It took the Crusaders just 37 seconds to piece together four plays and a touchdown, but that would give Liam Connor time to tack on a 37-yard field goal to end the first half at 24-14 BC.
The Crusaders would open the second half with a statement touchdown, as Matthew Sluka found Tyler Purdy for a 23-yard connection and Jordan Fuller ran it 45 yards down to the BC 10-yard line, and Sluka took it eight yards himself into the end zone to make it a 24-21 game. Four punts took place from there until BC finally got back into the end zone to begin the fourth quarter with Castellanos connecting with Franklin for a five-yard passing score, giving BC a 31-21 advantage.
BC didn't make it easy for themselves, however. Holy Cross made it a one-score game with just over seven minutes to go in the fourth thanks to Fuller's 15-yard rushing tally. With only a three-point lead, BC couldn't get anything going on offense. They punted with two minutes to go, but then came the rain delay with lightning in the area.
After roughly a two-hour break, the Crusaders returned with a potential game-winning drive. It started out dangerously well for Holy Cross with Sluka rushing for 40 yards into BC territory, and they then took it down to the BC 28. But with just over a minute to go, DePalma forced a Sluka fumble that allowed BC to ice the clock out and grab their first win of the season.
Lots of questions surround the Eagles following just a three-point victory over an FCS side, and they take on fourth-ranked Florida State next week at home in the Red Bandana game before heading out to Louisville in their first road game of the season.
Castellanos was 17-of-23 through the air in his first start while also grabbing 69 yards on the ground through 16 rushes. Robichaux, who entered as the fourth-string running back in Week 1 had 19 carries for 94 yards while Pat Garwo III had only two carries for 14 yards. Castellanos found Lewis Bond five times for 55 yards and O'Keefe tallied four receptions, tallying 29 yards. Jaden Williams picked up 70 yards through two receptions. DePalma led the team with nine tackles and five solo.