Fordham Football Crumbles to Colgate in Season Finale

The 45-31 loss sunk the Rams to third place in the Patriot League



The Rams struggled to keep up with Colgate’s offense throughout the game.


The Fordham football team lost 45-31 to the Colgate University (CU) Raiders on Saturday, Nov. 20. The two teams both entered the game with 4-1 records in the Patriot League, with the winner securing second place behind the dominant College of the Holy Cross Crusaders. 

Leading up to kickoff, the Rams were favored to beat the Raiders by nearly 10 points. Early on in the contest, it seemed like Fordham would cruise to a much larger victory, as the Rams held the Raiders to just 25 total yards on their first two drives. 

By contrast, Fordham found the endzone on just its third offensive play of the game. With 10:49 remaining in the first quarter, Tim DeMorat, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, faked a handoff and sprinted around the weak side en route to a 34-yard touchdown run. The Rams seemed to be in control with a 7-0 lead as the Colgate offense sputtered. 

The Fordham offense could not be contained.

Colgate’s offensive woes were quickly extinguished, however, by first-year quarterback Michael Brescia, CU ’25. Known for his rushing ability, Brescia put his wide array of talents on display against the Rams. Following DeMorat’s touchdown, Brescia marched down the field with the Colgate offense. The drive featured 13 rushing yards by Brescia and 40 passing yards capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass to knot the game at seven apiece. 

Still, the Fordham offense could not be contained. DeMorat immediately responded with a five-play, 75-yard drive. Always seeking a big play, the Rams scored on a 49-yard touchdown to Dequece Carter, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’23, to give Fordham a 14-7 lead. Carter accumulated four receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter alone. 

After a series of punts by both teams, Colgate got back on track. Following a 31-yard Brescia rush, the Raiders methodically moved down the field. The 85-yard drive resulted in a 1-yard Brescia rush to tie the game once again with 13:38 remaining in the second quarter. 

Just as Fordham seemed to be responding with a productive drive, a fumble by MJ Wright, GSBRH ’23, gave Colgate the ball back. Luckily, the Fordham defense forced a punt and prevented the Raiders from capitalizing. 

After Fordham failed to convert on fourth down, Colgate received the ball with favorable field position. Starting at the 50-yard line, the Raiders moved all the way to Fordham’s 11-yard line. The Raiders were given a solid opportunity to take the lead, but a series of negative plays pushed them back to the 24-yard line and their resulting field goal was blocked by Deondre Carter, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22.

Fordham immediately took advantage of the momentum. DeMorat moved swiftly, connecting with Wright three times before finding Fotis Kokosioulis, FCRH ’22, in the endzone for a 13-yard reception to give the Rams a 21-14 lead. 

Determined to respond before the half, Colgate’s offense got to work. The key catalyst for the Raiders, other than Brescia, was sophomore running back Max Hurleman, CU ’24. Following the Rams’ score, Hurleman caught a pass and broke a tackle before running 19 yards into Fordham’s territory. Brescia then made a similarly impressive run, rushing 19 yards to Fordham’s 16-yard line. He finally delivered a strike into the corner of the endzone to Myles Bradley, CU ’23, but the extra point was blocked, bringing the score to 21-20 with 1:01 remaining in the first half.

In an attempt to score before the half, Fordham employed its hurry-up offense. The offense was apparently hurried a little too much for DeMorat, whose pass sailed too high and was intercepted after being tipped. This gave Colgate another opportunity to score. A couple of quick strikes by Brescia moved the Raiders into field goal range. As time expired, Spencer Biscoe, CU ’25, hit a field goal from 24 yards out to give Colgate a 23-21 lead.

At a crucial juncture of the game, the Rams were forced to burn a timeout on their opponent’s two-yard line due to a miscommunication.

To open the second half, Fordham launched a tedious, 14-play drive that resulted in a field goal to regain the lead. The rest of the third quarter was scoreless, with each team punting on their next two possessions, until Colgate’s final drive of the period. The duo of Brescia and Hurleman rushed six times for 83 yards, with Hurleman finding the endzone to finish the drive. A trick play led to a completion from wide receiver Garrett Oakey, CU ’22, with Brescia completing the Raiders’ two-point conversion and securing a 31-24 lead with under a minute left in the third. Fordham would not take back the lead.

Fordham opened the fourth quarter with a punt. Hurleman and Brescia marched down the field on Colgate’s ensuing drive, and it was clear Fordham desperately needed a stop. They got it. At their own 41-yard line, the Rams halted the Raiders on third down, but a flag for defensive pass interference negated the play and pushed the Raiders deeper into Fordham territory. Brescia would cap that drive with an 11-yard rushing touchdown to extend the Colgate lead, 38-24. 

The Rams refused to give up. Receiving the ball with 11:34 remaining in the game, they moved down the field with intent, reaching Colgate’s redzone, but trouble ensued. At a crucial juncture of the game, the Rams were forced to burn a timeout on their opponent’s two-yard line due to a miscommunication. Fordham scored on the next play with an impressive rush by Zach Davis, GSAS ’22, but wasting a timeout late in the fourth quarter was a strategic blunder for the Rams.

two fordham players prepare to play against colgate, crouching on the ground
Fordham is now third in the Patriot League after the loss to Colgate. (COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS)

Nevertheless, Fordham was still alive. Its defense forced a stop on Colgate’s next possession and the offense got the ball with 2:09 left in the game. Devastatingly, just two plays into the drive, Colgate lineman K2 Dickens, CU ’24, forced a fumble by DeMorat that led to a scoop-and-score touchdown to seal the final score of 45-31 as well as the Raiders’ victory. 

The loss marks a disappointing end to the Rams’ season. While Fordham had many of the premier playmakers in the Patriot League, the flaws that they had managed to overcome in the early parts of the season proved to be its downfall in the Rams’ final two games. 

Colgate’s defense forced five turnovers, with four of them coming from DeMorat. Meanwhile, the Fordham defense, plagued by the absence of star linebacker Ryan Greenhagen, GSBRH ’22, allowed the Colgate offense to flourish. Within the conference, Fordham allowed 34.5 points per game this season. Nevertheless, amid the turnover that will ensue with players graduating or transferring after the season, the Rams laid a strong foundation for success in the future.