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Holy Cross captures fifth straight Patriot League football title behind Matthew Sluka’s 3 TDs

Matthew Sluka threw for one touchdown and rushed for two more to lead Holy Cross past Georgetown, 31-10, on Saturday to clinch a piece of the Patriot League title.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

In its regular-season finale, the Holy Cross football team put an exclamation point on its record fifth straight Patriot League title, trouncing Georgetown, 31-10, at Fitton Field on Saturday.

In a strong second quarter, the Crusaders (7-4, 5-1) scored 21 points, giving them a 24-3 lead at halftime that was too much for the Hoyas (5-6, 3-3) to overcome. Senior quarterback Matthew Sluka began the quarter by rushing for a 3-yard score. He found senior wideout Jalen Coker for a 16-yard passing touchdown, then rushed for a 5-yard score.

Sluka ended with a 147.4 passer rating, completing 7 of 14 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, he rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 27 attempts, showing his true dual-threat prowess that in large part led Holy Cross to its successful season.


“To end it on a win, an unbelievable experience and the best way I could have rode it out,” said Sluka.

The Crusaders put most of their attention into the ground game this week, totaling 340 rushing yards while holding the Hoyas to just 98. Georgetown recorded triple the number of receptions (21 to Holy Cross’s 7), but only converted 50 percent on third down and went 0-for-2 on fourth down.

The Crusaders’ stout defense was led by fifth-year linebacker Jacob Dobbs, who returned after a two-game absence to record 12 tackles, including an 8-yard sack.

“It took a lot,” said Dobbs when asked about his return to play. “A lot of sweat, a few tears ... luckily we have a great medical staff.”

The Crusaders will wait to see if they will earn an FCS playoff berth. For now, it’s a celebration for a team that will graduate many of its top players.

“We have some of the best players in this league,” coach Bob Chesney said. “Go through the list of all those fifth-year guys. Their talent changed the program, but their character changed the culture.”


Boston Globe Today: Sports | November 17, 2023
Watch the full episode of Boston Globe Today: Sports from November 17, 2023

Jackson Tolliver can be reached at Follow him @JaxToll.