Football Faces Fears, Takes Down Spiders in 23-16 Victory

Offensive+lineman+Ryan+Joyce%2C+Fordham+College+at+Rose+Hill+%28FCRH%29+%E2%80%9823%2C+blocks+for+quarterback+Tim+DeMorat%2C+FCRH+%E2%80%9822+against+Richmond+defenders.+
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Football Faces Fears, Takes Down Spiders in 23-16 Victory

Offensive lineman Ryan Joyce, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ‘23, blocks for quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ‘22 against Richmond defenders.

Offensive lineman Ryan Joyce, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ‘23, blocks for quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ‘22 against Richmond defenders.

COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

Offensive lineman Ryan Joyce, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ‘23, blocks for quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ‘22 against Richmond defenders.

COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

Offensive lineman Ryan Joyce, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ‘23, blocks for quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ‘22 against Richmond defenders.

By RAHUL SUKESH, Contributing Writer

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With only one win under their belt this season, Fordham was in need of another. Going into the game on Saturday, Sept. 28, it was unclear if a 1-3 team could outplay the University of Richmond Spiders. With family weekend in full swing, the Rams had to put on a good show. The game was a defensive battle that came down to the final 30 seconds on the field.

After a rough start, the Rams punted on fourth down, and Richmond started on their own 17-yard line. Despite an impressive Spiders drive, the Rams defense held them at the 20-yard line. The Spiders were forced to kick a field goal for an early lead.

With the Spiders up by three points at the end of the first quarter, the Rams had to provide an answer in their first drive of the next. But after two first downs, quarterback Tim DeMorat, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, went down hard and fumbled the ball leading to a turnover.

Starting on the Rams’ 36-yard line, the Spiders quickly advanced their lead, scoring a touchdown in under a minute. After allowing 10 unanswered points to start the game, the Rams were desperate to score. 

In their next drive, a defensive pass interference brought the Rams back into the game, advancing them 15 yards. Relying too much on a running game that could only muster 1.8 yards per play, the Rams were forced to settle for a field goal making it 10-3, Richmond.

The next Rams drive would even the score. Finding a rhythm in their passing game, DeMorat threw a total of 12 times, for five first downs and a touchdown. Andrew Mevis, FCRH ’21, scored the extra point to tie the game at 10 points, leaving no time on the clock for Richmond to answer as the first half came to a close.

Starting the third quarter 10-10, the first two drives amounted to nothing. With the Spiders starting at their own 42-yard line, a 31-yard pass brought them within field goal range. On the following four plays the Spiders would rush for 9 yards and kick a field goal, once again taking the lead by three points.

To avoid trailing behind the Spiders yet again, the Rams responded with an impressive drive. Notably, a 46-yard rush by Zach Davis, FCRH ’21, saved the Rams from another another stressful third down situation.

Two short passes later, DeMorat and the Rams scored a touchdown. In spite of missing the extra point, making the score 16-13, the Rams had taken their first lead of the game. This brought much needed hype to the Fordham families which would help energize the Rams later.

Maintaining their energy on defense, Glenn Cunningham, FCRH ’21, and Anthony Diodato, FCRH ’21, made great plays to shut the Spiders down, forcing a punt on their own 32-yard line.

With the collective voice of the crowd propelling the team forward, the Rams maintained their hot streak with an impressive 76-yard rush by Davis. Two short runs later, the Rams scored a touchdown to gain a 13-point lead to close out the third quarter.

Determined to regain their lead, the Spiders also had a rushing gain of 33 yards which led to another three points on the board with a field goal.

The Rams’ following drive included several big plays with DeMorat completing two passes for 26 yards. Unfortunately, the Spiders held the Rams down, forcing them to kick a field goal, but the Rams missed, keeping the score at 23-16. The match was still a one-possession game with nine minutes left on the clock — plenty of time for anyone to score.

With the Spiders under the gun, quarterback Beau English, University of Richmond ’22, threw two interceptions to end two consecutive drives. With two minutes left on the clock, the Spiders had one last chance to gain more points.

English led the Spiders all the way down the field up to the Rams’ 13-yard line. Well within scoring range on second down, it would take only one throw to tie up the game. But an extraordinary defensive play by Jeremy Imperati, FCRH ’21, and Ellis Taylor, FCRH ’21, brought English down for a 7-yard loss.

In the final few plays of the game, the ball was in the Spider’s control. Two incomplete passes would force a turnover on downs with 33 seconds left on the clock. As the clock went down to zero, fans jumped to their feet to cheer on the Rams.

After the game, students and families raced outside to congratulate their winning Rams. Breaking several season records, including nine tackles for loss, four sacks and the lowest net rushing yards for a Fordham opponent; this game was a boost in the Ramily’s morale, kicking family weekend off to a great start.