COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS
Fordham Football Dominates Stony Brook Seawolves for First Win
The Rams’ victory snapped a three game losing streak to begin the season
The Fordham football team defeated the Stony Brook University (SBU) Seawolves 31-14 on Saturday, Sept. 29, earning their first victory of the season after losing three consecutive games. The Rams’ win gives fans hope toward a better and more victorious season ahead.
Both teams were entering their fourth week in search of softer competition, as the Rams and Seawolves were soundly defeated by Football Bowl Series (FBS) opponents Florida Atlantic University and University of Oregon, respectively, the week prior. History was not on the Rams’ side, as the last time the Fordham football team beat Stony Brook was in 1987 by a score of 14-6.
The game on Saturday was delayed 35 minutes because Fordham’s bus ran late, but the Rams quickly made up for lost time on the field, forcing a Stony Brook fumble on the first possession and driving down the field for an early touchdown.
Two minutes into the first quarter, quarterback Tim DeMorat, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, made a pass to wide receiver Dequece Carter, FCRH ’23, for Fordham’s first touchdown of the game. Fordham’s defense remained strong for most of the first half, but early scores by both teams were the result of defensive miscues.
Both teams seemed to lack cohesion and instead played on adrenaline in some cases in the first quarter, especially as Seba Nekhet, SBU ’22, gave Stony Brook its first touchdown with eight minutes left in the first quarter. This was an avoidable touchdown, as the Fordham defense left Nekhet wide open.
After a short time out, Fotis Kokosioulis, FCRH ’22, drove the ball straight to the end zone, which put Fordham in the lead 14-7. On the ensuing possession, the Seawolves threatened with a drive to Fordham’s 35-yard line. The menacing drive was neutralized by a sack from Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Greenhagen, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’22, and Alfonzo Dixon IV, FCRH ’22, on their fourth down. This resulted in a turnover with 3:14 remaining in the second quarter.
“It’s just Timmy being Timmy.” Joe Conlin, head coach
Sixteen seconds remained in the first half of the game and Greenhagen kept a keen eye on the movements of everyone on Stony Brook’s offensive line, seemingly aware that the Seawolves would attempt a last-second touchdown.
Tyquell Fields, SBU ’22, seemed poised to tie the game until Greenhagen took him down, preventing a touchdown and keeping Fordham in the lead after two quarters.
Entering the second half, the Rams were firmly in control. With a 14-7 lead, the team was all gas and no brakes to open up the third. When asked about quarterback DeMorat’s performance in the first half, Fordham Head Coach Joe Conlin said, “It’s just Timmy being Timmy.”
Finishing the game with 21 completions on 33 attempts for 280 yards, DeMorat opened up the scoring in the third with an easy 18-yard touchdown pass to Kokosioulis. The entire play was made possible by revitalized energy and an accelerated tempo out of the locker room by the Rams.
Now trailing 21-7, the Seawolves sought to respond. They marched down the field to Fordham’s 3-yard line, where they were faced with a fourth-and-one. Just three yards stood between Stony Brook and a one-score game, but the Fordham defense stood strong and prevented Fields from rushing for the first down.
On the very next Fordham drive, DeMorat found his longest completion to receiver Carter with a 40-yard touchdown pass late in the third. This capped a crushing 97-yard drive, featuring three perfect passes by DeMorat, which demoralized the Seawolves. With a firm lead, the Rams did not let up and the Seawolves offense slowly ground to a halt.
Receiver Khalil Newton, SBU ’23, tried to reignite the Seawolves with multiple connections from Fields at the end of the third quarter. A few blown coverages did not discourage the Rams, however, and the score stood at 28-7 at the end of the third quarter. DeMorat’s two touchdown passes in the third secured him the fourth spot on Fordham’s all-time career touchdown list, passing former quarterback Kevin Eakin, FCRH ’04.
What the Rams needed more than anything in this early stage of the season was a resounding win.
In the fourth quarter, Stony Brook finally fought back for a touchdown and extra point. Seba Nekhet, SBU ’22, rushed 10 yards into the endzone to cap off an eight-play, 75-yard drive. The Seawolves would not score again for the night, and the team was visibly struggling against a swarming Fordham defense.
A field goal by Nick Leinenweber, FCRH ’22, and an interception at the four-minute mark by Nahil Perkins, GSBRH ’24, inside the Fordham endzone ended all hopes of a comeback for the Seawolves. With a minute and change left in the game, Fields made a bad read, throwing the ball right into the hands of Greenhagen. With that play, the Rams’ bench cheered as Greenhagen’s grit sealed the Seawolves’ fate.
Throughout the game, Greenhagen proved to be a decisive force. Along with his teammates Mike Courtney, FCRH ’24, and James Conway, FCRH ’25, the defense held true and helped limit opportunities for the Seawolves. Greenhagen racked up a total of 16 tackles while Conway had 11 and Courtney 10. The Rams’ defense arguably won the game. Without the valiant effort of the defensive line, DeMorat and his receivers’ electric offense would have been for naught.
What the Rams needed more than anything in this early stage of the season was a resounding win. The entire team rallied to do just that. After starting 0-3 with some tough matchups against competition like Florida Atlantic, the Rams look to be back on track. The next contest for the Rams is at Lafayette College, 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 2. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.