Rams Triumph Against Monmouth, 52-49

In a back-and-forth contest, Fordham football emerged victorious against a team they lost to last season



Fotis Kokosioulis, FCRH ’23, had a stellar game. He led the receivers with 130 yards and two touchdowns


The Fordham football team defeated the Monmouth University (MU) Hawks, 52-49, on Saturday, Sept. 10, in an electrifying offensive affair. The competition featured 1,419 total yards between the two teams. The lead changed five times in what was the highest cumulative score for the Rams since their 2016 campaign. 

It was also headlined by the record-breaking performance of quarterback Tim DeMorat, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, who threw six touchdowns to tie his own single game record and earned his 78th career touchdown, breaking the record of 76 set by Kevin Anderson, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’17. DeMorat’s 452 passing yards are the most in a game in his career and are the third most thrown by a quarterback in a single game in Fordham history.

“We’re glad he’s on our side,” Head Coach Joe Conlin stated about his star quarterback. “You never really feel like (the game’s) out of reach with Timmy on the field.”

Captain Trey Sneed, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’23, rushed for 110 yards on 17 attempts to lead the Rams on the ground. Meanwhile, Fotis Kokosioulis, FCRH ’23, caught 15 receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns to lead Fordham in the passing game. MJ Wright, GSBRH ’23, tacked on another eight receptions for 97 yards.

Defensively, Ryan Greenhagen, GSBRH ’23, led the Rams in solo tackles and defensive back Stephen Williams II, FCRH ’23, added an interception that stopped a Monmouth drive in Fordham territory late in the second quarter. 

The win moved Fordham to 2-0 in the nascent season. In the Rams’ first contest of the year, they toppled Wagner College on Sept. 1 in another high-scoring effort. Fueled by five touchdown passes, one touchdown rush and 386 passing yards from DeMorat, Fordham won the season opener 48-31. While the win was cause for celebration, it also displayed that the defense was a step behind the offense. Against Wagner last season, the Rams held the Seahawks to only a single touchdown. This year the game was closer.

Later in the quarter, DeMorat earned his retribution.

Still, the Rams’ offense triumphed. The momentum continued against Monmouth. After the opening kickoff, Sneed rushed four consecutive times for a combined 24 yards to break into Monmouth territory. Sophomore running back Julius Loughridge, FCRH ’25, then carried the ball twice. Loughridge did not see playing time as a first-year but has made the most of his opportunities this season. He followed up his 114-yard rushing performance against Wagner with 101 total yards and a touchdown on Saturday.

Following the series of rushing attempts, DeMorat fired a 38-yard touchdown pass to Dequece Carter, GSBRH ’23, on his first throw of the game to give Fordham a 7-0 lead just three minutes and 24 seconds in. The lead was short lived, as Monmouth responded on its next drive with a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tony Muskett, MU ’24, to tie the game at 7.

On the first play after forcing the Rams to punt on their next drive, Monmouth’s lead running back Jaden Shirden, MU ’25, broke off a 95-yard rush for a touchdown to propel the Hawks to a 14-7 lead. Shirden finished the game with an astounding stat line of 299 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

The Hawks swiftly glided downfield, stringing together short rushes and long completions until they found the end zone once again.

The Rams got the ball back with 8:10 remaining in the first quarter, but DeMorat promptly gave Monmouth possession by throwing an interception. The Hawks took advantage and drove down the field with back-to-back 35-yard plays to get to Fordham’s 2-yard line. They punched the ball into the end zone but missed the extra point, giving Monmouth a 20-7 lead. 

Despite the score at the end of the first quarter, the Rams’ offense started the second quarter undeterred. Twenty-seven seconds into the period, DeMorat tossed a screen to Kokosioulis who ran 26 yards for a touchdown to bring Fordham within a score, 20-14. 

Despite the pressure from the Rams, Monmouth’s offense kept chugging. It marched down the field and responded with another touchdown with 11:58 remaining in the second. To compensate for the earlier missed extra point, the Hawks attempted a two-point conversion. They failed, bringing the score to 26-14.

Later in the quarter, DeMorat earned his retribution. With 7:02 left, DeMorat and Sneed marched the Rams down the field and capped the drive off with a short pass to Mekai Felton, FCRH ’24. Felton weaved through Monmouth defenders for 28 yards before finding the end zone, bringing Fordham within a score.  

Williams intercepted Muskett’s pass on Monmouth’s next drive, and the Rams immediately capitalized. Rushed for time with only 2:32 remaining in the first half, Fordham swiftly moved down the field before DeMorat threaded the needle to find Dan Byrnes, FCRH ’23, for a 33-yard touchdown, giving the Rams a 28-26 lead heading into halftime. 

The contest featured more of the same in the second half. After forcing a turnover on downs immediately to start the half, Fordham received the ball with prime field position. It took advantage, as Loughridge found a hole on the 2-yard line and launched into the end zone to extend the Rams’ lead, 35-26. 

As in the first quarter, Monmouth promptly responded. On the first play of the new drive, Shirden juked a handful of Fordham defenders and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. Once again, special teams issues plagued the Hawks and they missed the extra point, narrowing the lead only to 35-32. 

Fordham kicker and Syracuse University transfer Brandon Peskin, GSBRH ’24, nailed a 25-yard field goal on the Rams’ next drive to extend their lead, and the rapid scoring continued. Monmouth responded with a field goal of its own on its ensuing drive as the Hawks made every effort to keep up with Fordham’s high-octane offense.

Trailing for the first time since the second quarter, Fordham set out on its final drive to try and find the end zone and escape West Long Branch with a win.

As the clock wound down to end the third quarter, the Rams maintained a three-point lead, 38-35, and were marching down the field to widen their advantage. Fourteen seconds into the fourth quarter, DeMorat found Felton once again in the end zone. Felton made a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch to complete the 22-yard touchdown and bring the score to 45-35. 

Monmouth was still not done. The Hawks swiftly glided downfield, stringing together short rushes and long completions until they found the end zone once again. Nevertheless, the Rams controlled their destiny, maintaining a three-point lead. 

Fordham decisively progressed into Monmouth’s territory. The Rams made it to the Hawks’ 16-yard line and appeared poised to extend their lead and seal the game before DeMorat threw an interception on fourth down. 

As they had done all game, Monmouth took advantage of Fordham’s misstep. With just over six minutes remaining in the game, Shirden took over, rushing four times for 68 yards. Then, Owen Wright, MU ’23, found a hole that opened up into a 24-yard touchdown rush. With 4:01 remaining, Monmouth took a 49-45 lead. 

“You know, you’d like to not be that high scoring, that close, but a road win’s a road win so you take it any way you can get it.”

Trailing for the first time since the second quarter, Fordham set out on its final drive to try and find the end zone and escape West Long Branch with a win. Sneed started the drive off with three straight rushes for 8, 7 and 6 yards. After a DeMorat incompletion, Sneed rushed twice more for a combined 22 yards to break into Monmouth territory. 

For the rest of the drive, DeMorat and Kokosioulis dominated. DeMorat connected with his wide receiver for a short gain then rushed for 12 yards on the next play. This set the Rams up on Monmouth’s 15-yard line. DeMorat found Kokosioulis for a one-yard gain as the clock hovered around one minute left in the contest. 

On third and nine from Monmouth’s 14-yard line, DeMorat located Kokosioulis in the corner of the end zone and delivered a perfectly placed ball to give the Rams a conclusive 52-49 lead. Monmouth received the ball with 56 seconds remaining and threatened by entering Fordham’s territory, but the Rams’ defense remained stout and prevented the Hawks from reaching field goal range. 

The victory marks the first time since 2013 that the Rams are beginning a campaign 2-0. It is also important to note that Fordham lost to Monmouth in its home opener last season

“Obviously offensively they had a great day, Timmy had another great day, Fotis had a great day,” Conlin remarked after the game. “You know, you’d like to not be that high scoring, that close, but a road win’s a road win so you take it any way you can get it.”

After the first two games of the season, it appears the Rams are firing on all cylinders and ready to compete for the Patriot League Championship. The defense will need to buckle down though, as it struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone at times last season and has allowed an average of 40 points per game so far this season. 

The football program will look to continue its positive momentum in this year’s homecoming game against the University at Albany on Sept. 17. The Rams have not begun a season 3-0 since the 2013 campaign where they won their first 10 games and advanced to the NCAA FCS Championship.

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