Sluka leads Holy Cross to 31-17 win over Merrimack in opener

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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (AP) Matthew Sluka threw two touchdown passes and ran for 102 yards and another score to power Holy Cross to a 31-17 victory over Merrimack in a season opener on Friday night.

Sluka ran for a 7-yard score in the first quarter, connected with Ayir Asante for a 24-yard TD in the second and Derek Ng kicked a field goal in both periods to lead Holy Cross to a 19-10 lead at the half.

Spencer Gilliam blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety and Ng added his third field goal to stretch the Crusaders' lead to 24-10 after three quarters.

Sluka connected with Jalen Coker for a 46-yard score with 9:15 left in the game. Sluka finished with 242 yards on 13-of-22 passing with one interception and he had 13 rushes.

Jack Zergiotis completed 15 of 29 passes for 189 yards with one pick for the Warriors. He had an 18-yard TD toss to Pat Conroy with 26 seconds left before halftime and a 33-yard scoring strike to Jacari Carter with 51 seconds left in the game.

Holy Cross closed out last season with a loss to Villanova in the second round of the FCS playoffs.


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