PRINCETON--Tim Donovan stood in the Holy Cross huddle on the sidelines and listened to the special teams coaches telling the players to believe in themselves and to believe that something good would happen.
He would later admit it was hard to believe while he was standing there, but he did despite the overwhelming odds.
There were two seconds to play. Holy Cross was down, 26-24, and the Crusaders were about to receive a Princeton kickoff following a 35-yard field goal by Chris Lutz that had given the Tigers the lead.
It was simple. The Crusaders needed some kind of miracle--a fluke play or an unbelievable ending.
They got all of the above as Donovan scored on a 55-yard run with a lateral on the final play of the game as Holy Cross returned the kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown and stunned Princeton, 30-26, on Saturday.
"We knew it was going to happen, it was weird," Donovan said. "In the huddle, everyone was just saying 'believe, believe something.' It was get something done. Make something happen."
The person who got something done was Darin Cromwell.
Lutz squibbed the kickoff and Cromwell fielded the ball at the Holy Cross 30, eluded some tacklers and started to run around the left end of the Princeton defense. At his own 45, Crowwell was grabbed by the jersey by a Princeton defender and lateraled to Donovan streaking down the sidelines. He outraced everyone into the end zone, as Holy Cross players ran wildly onto the field and Princeton players slumped to the ground in disbelief.
"The defender got a hand on me, around my stomach," Cromwell said. "At that point I figured a few more guys are coming my way and I have to pitch it now. And then I saw Tim coming right up."
Donovan took the awkward pitch in full stride and outran Princeton cornerback Vince Avallone to the end zone.
"The guy with the ball was going down and then I saw [the] the right side on the fly," Avallone said. "I got within five yards of him. I just had my heart in my throat."
"You could practice that play and do it 100 more times and it would work," Holy Cross coach Mark Duffner said.
Princeton coach Steve Tosches said some of his players heard a whistle on the play, and he also questioned whether Donovan had stepped out of bounds or the lateral was legal.
However, both Donovan and Cromwell said the lateral was definitely legal and that neither one heard a whistle on the play.
"As soon as I crossed the goal line I said, 'where is the flag,'" Donovan said. "Next thing I knew I was being piled on. It's one of those plays that is hardly ever penalty-free."
Referee Joel Goldman took the other officials aside in the end zone after the play and talked it over with them, asking if anyone had blown a whistle or anything. After about three minutes, he let the touchdown stand.
"We were kinda down and we knew it would take a miracle to run it back," Cromwell said.
Rhode Island 17, Brown 10
KINGSTON, R.I.--Running back Mike Rogers scored first-quarter touchdowns on runs of 27 and 8 yards to lead Rhode Island to a 17-10 victory over Brown Saturday.
After a scoreless second period, Chris Cassara kicked a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter to give Rhode Island, now 2-2, a 17-0 lead.
Brown, now 0-1-1, scored on a 3-yard run by Lane Wood and a 47-yard field goal by Stephan Lins.
Rogers finished with 189 yards on 21 carries and also caught four passes for 62 yards.
Rhode Island linebacker Bill Brown had 18 tackles and an interception.
UConn 41, Yale 0
NEW HAVEN--Playing without starting quarterback Bob Verduzco (torn knee ligaments), Yale suffered its worst beating at Yale Bowl since 1954 Saturday when it was defeated by UConn, 41-0.
Verduzco's replacement, Mark Brubaker, completed just eight of 24 passes for 111 yards with four interceptions.
UConn tailbacks Jeff Gallaher and George Boothe combined for 215 yards and four touchdowns. Gallaher toted the ball 19 times for 101 yards and three touchdowns. Boothe gained 114 yards on 13 carries, including a 56-yard touchdown to close out the scoring.
UConn took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter when Gallaher tallied his first touchdown, a 7-yard gallop to cap off a 12-play, 66-yard drive.
The score was set up by a fake punt on fourth-and-one from the UConn 43. The ball was snapped to the up back, junior fullback Mark Landolfi, who scampered 15 yards for a first down.
UConn (2-1) took a 17-0 lead at the half while holding the Yale running attack to 16 yards on 19 carries. Yale (0-1-1) finished the game with only 82 yards rushing (217 total offense). The Elis finished with only nine first downs.
Gallahar scored his second touchdown with two minutes remaining in the first half on a 4-yard run. The senior carried four times in the five-play drive, including a 20-yard burst up the middle.
Lafayette 49, Columbia 3
NEW YORK--Frank Baur completed passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns--including a 98-yard scoring pass that was the longest in school history--as Lafayette beat Columbia, 49-3, Saturday for the Lions' 43rd consecutive defeat.
Baur, who leads Division I-AA in passing effeciency, completed 10 consecutive tosses, including the 98-yarder to Maurice Caldwell.
Columbia, winless in 46 games since October 15, 1983, committed six turnovers.
Lafayette, averaging 43.7 points a game, gained 408 yards just in the first half. The Leopards opened a 21-3 lead in the first quarter.
Tony Miler started the scoring on a 2-yard run and Baur threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Caldwell to give the Leopards a 14-0 lead.
Cornell 17, Colgate 14
ITHACA--Scott Malaga rushed for a career-high 118 yards and a touchdown and the Cornell defense made a last-second, goal-line stand to defeat Colgate, 17-14.
Colgate marched from its own 17 to the Cornell 3-yard line with 14 seconds to play. But quarterback Damon Phelan fumbled at the goal line and Cornell tackle Derrick Willmot fell on the loose ball to seal the win.
After trailing, 14-3, late in the first half, the Big Green scored the game's final 14 points to edge Colgate.
Lehigh 41, Dartmouth 16
HANOVER, N.H.--Erick Torain scored four touchdowns to tie a school record as Lehigh rolled over Dartmouth, 41-16, Saturday.
Torain ran for 108 of Lehigh's 216 rushing yards and Mark McGowan threw for 307 as Lehigh totaled 618 yards.
Dartmouth passed the ball 50 times (29 completions) for 248 yards. The Big Green running attack was stuffed, running for only 26 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Lehigh, which scored in every quarter, took a 24-0 lead at the half.
Penn 38, Bucknell 35
PHILADELPHIA--Bryan Keys rushed for four touchdowns and 134 yards to lift Penn to a 38-35 triumph over Bucknell Saturday.
Keys carried 36 times, one short of Penn's single-game record, en route to his second straight 100-yard game. The junior tailback leads the Ivy League in rushing with 291 yards after only two games.
The Quakers accounted for 398 yards of total offense. Penn (2-0) has allowed 62 points in two contest, but have outscored their foes with 71 points.
The Quakers will face the Columbia Lions next Saturday in an Ivy League contest.