Yale took the opening kickoff and marched 69 yards on nine plays with Dudek bulling his way into the end zone from 2 yards out. The Bulldogs missed the extra point and led 6-0 after the first quarter.
Holy Cross got on the scoreboard in the second quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Derek Ng and trailed 6-3 at halftime.
The Bulldogs scored on their first possession of the second half, using Rawlings' 24-yard scoring strike to Caden Herring to go ahead 13-3. The Crusaders pulled within 13-10 when Jordan Forrest ripped off a 54-yard run and two plays later Connor Degenhardt hooked up with Tenio Ayeni for a 27-yard score. But the Bulldogs took the ensuing kickoff and put together a 7-play, 62-yard drive that culminated with Rawlings's 3-yard TD run and a 20-10 lead. Sam Tuckerman's 28-yard field goal with 2:52 left in the game capped the scoring for Yale.
The Bulldogs, preseason favorites to win the Ivy League, improved to 29-5 all-time against Holy Cross (1-2) and avenged a 31-28 overtime loss to the Crusaders last season.
Degenhardt completed 10 of 27 passes for 145 yards for Holy Cross.
The Bulldogs amassed 507 yards of offense, while holding the Crusaders to 237.
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