Hoyas Handled: Rams Avenge Division Rival Loss

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF FORDHAM SPORTS INFO

Tim DeMorat, FCRH ’22, steps back to throw as Georgetown’s defense breaks through the offensive line.

By RAHUL SUKESH, Contributing Writer

In their first conference game of the season, Fordham football traveled south for an uphill battle against the Georgetown Hoyas in the nation’s capital. Trying to avenge their loss last year in which they were held to a single touchdown, the Rams were determined to return to the Bronx with a win. 

Following the kickoff, Georgetown completed a long pass downfield on the first play, and moments later, a short rushing touchdown gave the Hoyas the lead. The two-point conversion failed, but the 6-0 lead was enough to put the Rams on their heels early. Though the Fordham offense did not respond immediately, their defense kept them in the game and shut down the Hoyas for the remainder of the quarter.

On their third drive, the Hoyas managed to bring the ball to midfield when defensive back Hylton Dervin, Jr., Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21, intercepted the ball at the Rams’ 32-yard line.

After two first downs, the Rams struggled to move any further downfield. Running back Zach Davis, FCRH ’22, busted through Georgetown’s defensive line on fourth down to preserve the Fordham drive. Quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ’22, capitalized on the opportunity and brought the Rams within eleven yards of the end zone. 

 Hamze El-Zayat, FCRH ’21, runs a route as a member of Fordham’s potent passing game.

In an impressive play, DeMorat abandoned the safety of his linemen and managed to fake out Georgetown’s defense. With the defense on the opposite side of the field, DeMorat found tight end Jack Lynch, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’21, on the left side of the field for an easy touchdown. On the extra point, however, Georgetown not only blocked the kick but managed to run the ball all the way back to their own end zone for two points and an 8-6 lead.

Receiving the ball following a touchback, Georgetown started their drive with a rushing gain of 42 yards. As the quarter came to a close, another short gain of 7 yards stopped the clock, leaving the ball in the Hoyas’ hands at Fordham’s 33-yard line. Coming back to start the second quarter, the Rams were determined to force a stop. 

Linebacker Glenn Cunningham, FCRH ’21, kickstarted their defensive stand and sent the Hoyas back a yard. The Rams continued to apply pressure and forced a fourth down.

The Rams started their next drive on their own 27-yard line. Momentum was on their side, but a timeout by Georgetown extinguished Fordham’s fire. Following an incomplete pass, the Hoyas regained possession on an interception from DeMorat. Less than a minute later, Georgetown scored another touchdown to lengthen their lead, 15-6.

Determined to answer back, the Rams had a long drive that lasted six minutes. A 48-yard pass to wide receiver Hamze El-Zayat, FCRH ’21, in the end zone appeared to be another score, but a penalty against Fordham negated the play. They had to settle for a field goal, bringing the Rams’ deficit to six points. 

Bent on taking the lead, linebacker Jestohn Moore, FCRH ’23, blocked a punt, giving the Rams the ball on the Hoyas’ 18-yard line. Moments later, Davis ran the ball into the end zone for another Fordham touchdown. The extra point by kicker Andrew Mevis, GSBRH ’23, gave the Rams a one-point lead as the first half came to a close. 

On the first two plays of the second half, Davis rushed for 33 yards. Following his lead, running back Trey Sneed, FCRH ’21, rushed for another 13 yards. Giving both the running backs a brief rest, DeMorat threw a 31 yard pass to wide receiver Dequice Carter, FCRH ’23, bringing the Rams within a yard of the goal line. Running the ball into the end zone, Davis scored his second touchdown in the game. With the extra point, the Rams extended their lead, 23-15. 

After allowing 17 unanswered points to the Rams, Georgetown finally began to fight back. Making use of their running game, the Hoyas scored a touchdown in only five plays. The two-point conversion to tie the game failed after Georgetown was unable to complete the pass, preserving Fordham’s lead, 23-21. 

Fordham’s defense held the Hoyas down for the remainder of the third quarter, but midway through the fourth, the dam finally broke. A 10 play, 70 yard Georgetown drive resulted in a touchdown that put the Rams down once again, 27-23. The two-point conversion failed, but Fordham had their work cut out for them with only seven minutes remaining.

Down four points, the Rams needed a touchdown to win the game. With time and the hometown crowd against him, DeMorat found trouble immediately. In what appeared to be a game ending play, he threw his second interception of the game. 

With only three minutes remaining, the Hoyas only needed a first down to effectively end the game. The Rams’ fate rested in the hands of their defense.

Georgetown turned to their ground game in an attempt to run out the clock. However, the Rams’ defense adjusted to the strategy and kept the Hoyas in check. Forcing a fourth down with two yards to go, Georgetown elected to run the ball again in what would prove to be a game-defining play. The running back was met by defensive linemen Anthony Diodato, GSBRH ’21 and Jonathan Coste, FCRH ’21, who forced him back. The defense’s stand held, giving Fordham possession with only a minute and a half to go. 

With redemption in mind, DeMorat passed for a total of 56 yards in less than a minute to bring them into the red zone. However, Georgetown’s defense was just as determined as their maroon counterparts. They shut down Fordham on three straight plays to force another fourth down. With 16 seconds left to play and 17 yards to go, the game would come down to the next play.

DeMorat received the snap and dropped back to pass, looking in every direction for a receiver. Fotis Kokosioulis, FCRH ’22, was facing double coverage as he ran toward the corner of the end zone, but DeMorat took a chance on one of his most talented pass catchers. He threw a perfect pass, and Kokosioulis pried the ball out of his defender’s hands for an acrobatic, game winning 17-yard touchdown.

Mevis’ extra point would bring the Rams up by three, and the Hoyas’ last second comeback attempt was foiled, giving Fordham a stunning 30-27 victory. What appeared to be a succession of miracles for Fordham came about as a result of their hard work and determination. The Rams returned home with a 1-0 conference record and hope for the future of their season.