Rams Denied Victory in Overtime by Lehigh

Trey+Sneed%2C+Fordham+College+at+Rose+Hill+%28FCRH%29+%E2%80%9921+and+Jeff+Ciccio%2C+FCRH+%E2%80%9923+celebrate+a+score+against+Lehigh.+
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Rams Denied Victory in Overtime by Lehigh

Trey Sneed, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21 and Jeff Ciccio, FCRH ’23 celebrate a score against Lehigh.

Trey Sneed, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21 and Jeff Ciccio, FCRH ’23 celebrate a score against Lehigh.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

Trey Sneed, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21 and Jeff Ciccio, FCRH ’23 celebrate a score against Lehigh.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

PHOTO COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

Trey Sneed, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21 and Jeff Ciccio, FCRH ’23 celebrate a score against Lehigh.

By RAHUL SUKESH, Contributing Writer

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The Rams faced the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Saturday, Oct. 19, at home in the Bronx. With both teams coming off a victory, there was a lot of energy on the field and in the stands. In their faceoff last year, the Rams dominated the Hawks, 43-14.

Fordham won the coin toss and deferred the ball to the Hawks. Both teams struggled in their opening drive, but the Hawks regrouped with an interception from linebacker Keith Woetzel, Lehigh University ’20, ending Fordham’s first drive

This gave Lehigh great field position at the Rams’ 18-yard line. Seconds later the Hawks scored their first passing touchdown. With the extra point, the Hawks led by seven. 

After a solid nine-yard rush by Zach Davis, Fordham College Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, two defensive penalties brought the Rams back 29 yards. Soon after, Fordham was forced to punt the ball back to the Hawks, but the Rams’ defense was determined to hold them down.

Following two incomplete passes, Lehigh’s quarterback, Tyler Monaco, Lehigh University ’20, was under pressure to convert a third and long. Scrambling to find his receiver, he was sacked by defensive lineman Ellis Taylor, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’21, for a loss of six yards.

After unsuccessful drives from both teams, the Rams picked up the ball with three minutes to go in the first quarter. Following an impressive 40 yard run by Davis, quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ’22, and Davis took turns running the ball for a total of 17 yards bringing the ball to Lehigh’s 6-yard line and ending the first quarter. 

The second quarter started with six yards standing between the Rams’ first touchdown. Two short runs by Davis and the extra point by kicker Andrew Mevis, GSBRH ’23, tied the game, 7-7. Minutes later defensive back Hylton Dervin Jr., FCRH ’21, intercepted the ball for the second time in two weeks. 

Giving the ball back to Fordham, a combined effort of 49 rushing yards by Davis and Trey Sneed, FCRH ’21, would bring the Rams past mid-field. Soon after, however, the Hawks’ defense forced the Rams to settle for a field goal. Mevis’ attempt from 37 yards back was good, giving the Rams their first lead of the game. 

Determined to respond to the ten unanswered points, the Hawks were ready to reclaim the lead. A successful passing attack led the Hawks within three yards of their second touchdown. Capitalizing on their seemingly unstoppable passes, a short pass of four yards gave Lehigh their second touchdown and the lead once again. 

With less than two minutes left in the half, the Rams proved they too could successfully utilize their passing game. Quickly moving the ball downfield, DeMorat threw six back-to-back complete passes for 60 yards. Unfortunately, before the Rams could get into the endzone, the clock ran out to end the first half. 

After an unimpressive start to the second half, Davis kickstarted the offense with a rush for 12 yards. Unable to find a man to complete his pass, quarterback DeMorat took matters into his own hands and ran the ball for 58 yards into the endzone. Mevis’ extra point gave Fordham a three-point lead, 17-14. 

Following the Rams’ touchdown, both teams entered a stalemate. For six straight drives, both teams were forced to punt. 

In the last full drive of the third quarter, the Hawks threw three passes for 70 yards. Defensive efforts by Taylor and defensive linemen Jonathan Coste, FCRH ’21, brought the Hawks back nine yards, forcing a third down. 

Trying to mirror DeMorat’s run, Monaco fell short thanks to defensive lineman Anthony Diodato, GSBRH ’21. Facing a fourth and long, the Hawks were forced to kick a field goal, which tied the game 17-17. 

Starting the final quarter of the game, the Rams were unable to make any substantive plays. After repeating the cycle of kicking the ball back to the opposition on fourth downs, Lehigh ran the ball for a 94-yard touchdown. With the extra point, the Hawks led 24-17. 

Quick to answer, a few short runs by Davis, a 40-yard touchdown run by Sneed and the extra point by Mevis tied the score back at 24-24. The battle would continue in overtime.

Considering the “sudden death” nature of overtime, the Rams, starting with the ball, needed to score to prevent a subsequent Lehigh score from ending the game in favor of the opposition. 

Starting 25 yards away from the end zone, DeMorat threw the ball for 17 yards, putting the Rams into the red zone. Unable to score a touchdown, the Rams kicked the field goal for three points. 

Putting the ball into Lehigh’s hands for the final time, the Rams defense matched up well, forcing the Hawks to try for a field goal. On a play that would’ve tied the game, a personal foul against the Rams gave Lehigh a first down and hope to score a game-winning touchdown. 

After failing to run the ball in, the Hawks returned to the air and threw a short pass into the endzone to end overtime and win the game, 30-27.

Although the Rams lost, this game highlighted key players on offense and defense. On offense, Zach Davis had yet another 100-yard game, his fifth this season. On defense, Dervin Jr. made his second interception in two consecutive weeks. With a bye week coming up, the Rams will use this time to learn from their mistakes and prepare for their third divisional game of the year against Lafayette.