WASHINGTON – The Catholic University of America football team posted an impressive rally in the second half against ODAC foe Hampden-Sydney, nearly erasing a 27-point halftime deficit. The Cardinals closed to within five of the Tigers in the fourth, but could not complete the comeback, 33-28.
Hampden-Sydney dominated the first 30 minutes and looked to be in cruise control entering the break. Catholic battled back however, scoring three times in the first 10 minutes of the second half to make it 27-21.
The Tigers answered with a touchdown at the end of the third but Catholic countered with a 53-yard touchdown run by sophomore Nick Esposito in the fourth quarter. The Cards could get no closer, however as the two teams swapped turnovers but neither defense would cede any more points.
Catholic did get the go-ahead score on a punt return touchdown by senior Matt Perno late in the fourth, but it was called back on a penalty.
Rookie quarterback Alejandro Ros made his second career start and led the Cardinals in both passing and rushing, totaling 326 yards and two touchdowns. Ros went for 224 through the air and eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground.
Esposito put and an exclamation point on his impressive day with the long rushing score but also scored Catholic's second touchdown on a six-yard run, capping a six play 86-yard drive that took just 1:41.
Senior wideout Billy Smith also found the endzone for the second-straight game, scoring from nine yards out as his touchdown made it 27-21.
Junior linebacker Anthony Santo led the defense led with a team-high 11 tackles and added a forced fumble and an interception.
After its three-game homestand, Catholic returns to the road next Saturday, playing at Randolph-Macon.
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