WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Jordan Fuller ran for four second-half touchdowns as Holy Cross erased a three-point halftime deficit and defeated Merrimack, 42-20 in the season-opening game for both schools on Saturday.
The Crusaders opened the season ranked No. 5 by the FCS Coaches Poll after winning their fourth consecutive Patriot League title in 2022 with a program-record 12 wins.
Quarterback Matthew Sluka and receiver Jalen Coker, both seniors and preseason All-Americans, connected for the first Holy Cross touchdown from 29 yards out late in the first quarter. Sluka found Fuller from the 14 for a second score early in the second, but the Crusaders went into intermission down 17-14.
Fuller took over from there, capping three long drives with short runs for touchdowns, then capping his day with a 28-yard run to the end zone with a minute left.
Fuller finished with 13 carries for 120 yards and four touchdowns and pulled in one pass for 14 yards and a fifth touchdown. Sluka completed 9 of 14 passes for 190 yards, with an interception and two touchdowns. Coker finished with four catches for 136 yards, including a 51-yarder.
Gavin McCusker completed half of his 30 pass attempts for 176 yards to lead Merrimack. Tyvon Edmonds Jr. carried 25 times for 85 yards and a touchdown.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll