Holy Cross Football’s Historic Upset Against Boston College: 75 Years Later

The teams will go head-to-head on the football field in 2018 — their first match-up in 30 years
October 5th, 2017 by 

The 1942 Crusader football team.
The 1942 Crusader football team. Photo courtesy Holy Cross Archives.

Holy Cross stood little chance as it took the field against an undefeated and top-ranked Boston College football team at Fenway Park in 1942. The Orange Bowl-bound Eagles were prepping to compete for a national championship just a few weeks later, and were looking to close out their perfect regular season against the Crusaders.

Holy Cross had different plans.

In front of 41,350 spectators and to the amazement of football fans everywhere, Holy Cross emerged from the matchup with a landslide victory, handing Boston College a 55-12 defeat in one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

The historic win was quickly followed by tragedy when the nearby Cocoanut Grove nightclub — where BC was set to have its victory party — caught on fire, claiming 492 lives. The BC team and its fans forewent the party after the loss on the field, an outcome many say may have saved their lives.

 An advertisement from the 1942 match-up.

An advertisement from the 1942 match-up.

Since the upset 75 years ago, the teams have played each other 42 times — and the rivalry has not dulled.

Rick Lane ’88, a former football player who was on the field the last time the two teams went head-to-head in 1986, explains that games against BC are like no other.

“We always want to beat any team we’re playing, but there’s something really intense about games against BC, from both sides,” explains Lane. “Everyone steps up for that game. You would hear stories of the 1942 game when Holy Cross upset BC, and you felt a part of that history. You want to be one of those Holy Cross teams that beat BC.”

For the first time in more than 30 years that rivalry will be renewed, when the two teams square off in November of next year.

“Even when we are the underdogs,” says Lane, “we always come out of the locker room believing we can beat BC.”

Stay tuned in the coming months for more on the matchup at goholycross.com.


Written by Evangelia Stefanakos for the Fall 2017 issue of Holy Cross Magazine.

About Holy Cross Magazine

Holy Cross Magazine (HCM) is the quarterly alumni publication of the College of the Holy Cross. The award-winning publication is mailed to alumni and friends of the College and includes intriguing profiles, make-you-think features, alumni news, exclusive photos and more. Visit magazine.holycross.edu/about to contact HCM, submit alumni class notes, milestones, or letters to the editor.

| More
Tags

Comments are closed.

07/13/18 Professor and Russia Expert on Upcoming Trump-Putin Summit: ‘Trump is Playing Putin’s Game’
07/11/18 ‘Holy Cross Summer Course Explores Realities of Food Production’
07/11/18 Down Any Possible Road: Internships Open the Door Wide for Post-Grad Success
07/10/18 ‘How Many Humans Can the Earth Support?’ Mathematics Professor Addresses Ahead of World Population Day
See All

Summer Research Workshop
7/17/2018
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Edith Stein Hall 120
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Dining Services Job Fair
7/26/2018
Featured
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Love food? Love people? Holy Cross Dining Services along...
See More >>


Summer Research BBQ
7/31/2018
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Outdoor Oval
Faculty and Staff on campus are invited.Open to Campus Community...
See More >>


MPE Training Session
8/20/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
8/29/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


MPE 2nd Chance Training Session
9/1/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MPE 2nd Chance Training Session (Event canceled)
9/1/2018
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Senate Meeting
9/2/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Study Abroad General Info Session for Class of 2021
9/4/2018
Study Abroad
Kimball Hall Seelos Theater
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
9/5/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


Study Abroad Fair
9/6/2018
Study Abroad
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Ballroom & 328
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Senate Meeting
9/9/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Chapel Artist Series Concert
9/9/2018
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 3:00 pmArvid Gast, OrganistProfessor...
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
9/12/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


SGA Senate Meeting
9/16/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


CINTAS Information Table
9/18/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Stop by the CINTAS Info Table to speak to a recruiter. Visit...
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
9/19/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


Silkroad Ensemble Concert
9/20/2018
Arts Transcending Borders (ATB)
Kimball Hall Seelos Theater
Open to the Public
See More >>


SGA Senate Meeting
9/23/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
9/26/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


MAG Meeting
9/26/2018
Audio-Visual Services
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


GE Info Session
9/27/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 305
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Senate Meeting
9/30/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Athletics Workshop - Communication
10/2/2018
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Ballroom & Dunn
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


An Evening with Roger Guenveur Smith
10/2/2018
Montserrat
Kimball Hall Seelos Theater
Open to the Public
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
10/3/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


RSM On-Campus Interviews
10/3/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 404
Apply in Crusader Connections for opportunities with RSM!Open to Campus...
See More >>


RSM On-Campus Interviews
10/3/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406
Apply in Crusader Connections for opportunities with RSM!Open to Campus...
See More >>


RSM On-Campus Interviews
10/3/2018
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 405
Apply in Crusader Connections for opportunities with RSM!Open to Campus...
See More >>


SGA Senate Meeting
10/14/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
10/17/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


Daniel Ziblaat Presentation
10/23/2018
History
Kimball Hall Seelos Theater
Daniel Ziblatt is the co-author (with Steven Levitsky) of "How Democracies...
See More >>


Health Services Flu Clinic
10/23/2018
Health Services
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Health Services Flu Clinic
10/23/2018
Health Services
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Health Services Flu Clinic
10/23/2018
Health Services
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 3
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Health Services Flu Clinic
10/23/2018
Health Services
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 4
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Health Services Flu Clinic
10/23/2018
Health Services
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 5
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


SGA Cabinet Meeting
10/24/2018
Office of Student Involvement
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
The Student Government Association is elected by and represents...
See More >>


Washington Semester Program Information Session
10/24/2018
Featured
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


BACAP Speaker - Philosophy Colloquium Event
11/8/2018
Philosophy
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall 501
Open to the Public
See More >>

See All