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UMass Opens Season With 24-16 Win Over Holy Cross

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Massachusetts' Jonathan Hernandez, avoids Holy Cross' Jimmy Thomas during UMass' 24-16 season opening win at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Massachusetts’ Jonathan Hernandez, avoids Holy Cross’ Jimmy Thomas during UMass’ 24-16 season opening win at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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WORCHESTER, Mass. (AP) — Kellen Pagel threw for two touchdowns and Jonathan Hernandez rushed for 156 yards to lead Massachusetts past Holy Cross 24-16 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

Hernandez, who finished with 29 carries, put the game away in the fourth quarter. With the Minutemen nursing an eight point lead, he gained 40 yards on six consecutive carries. He also caught a 15-yard pass from quarterback Pagel to put the Minutemen inside the Crusaders four-yard line.

Pagel threw a short pass to Julian Talley, giving the Minutemen a 24-9 lead with 7:51 remaining and effectively taking the Crusaders out of the game.

Holy Cross quarterback Ryan Taggert threw for 246 yards and one touchdown.

The win marked the ninth straight victory for the Minutemen over the Crusaders.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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