WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) Peter Pujals ran for one touchdown and passed for another, and Holy Cross withstood a late Monmouth rally to take a 27-19 victory Saturday in a season opener.
Two field goals by Connor Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter gave the Crusaders a 27-16 cushion with 5:11 remaining. The Hawks then drove 65 yards on 12 plays with Matt White booting a 27-yard field goal to get within eight. After Monmouth recovered an onside kick at the Holy Cross 49, Cody Williams drove the Hawks as far as the 22-yard line before being intercepted by Luke Ford in the end zone.
Pujals ran 15 yards for a score and passed 10 yards to Brendan Flaherty for 10 yards in the first half when the Crusaders took a 21-9 halftime lead.
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Lavon Chaney's 2-yard TD run in the fourth got the Hawks within five.
Monmouth outgained Holy Cross 422-301 but gave up two interceptions and lost two fumbles.