Fordham Football Eliminated From FCS Playoffs

The Rams lost to the University of New Hampshire 52-42 in the opening round of the FCS postseason, bringing an abrupt ending to a historic season.

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COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

Tim DeMorat, FCRH ’23, threw 4,891 yards this season for 56 touchdowns.

By CHRIS MURRAY

The Fordham football team failed to advance in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff tournament after a 10-point loss on Nov. 26 to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats, 52-42. The Rams remained within striking distance for the majority of the game but were never able to pull ahead of the Wildcats. 

UNH scored at will, breaking multiple offensive records during the game. The Wildcats scored their highest point total of the season, surpassing their previous mark of 42 in a game against the University of Maine on Nov. 19 that went into overtime. 

The story of the contest was the performance of Wildcat running back Dylan Laube, UNH ’24. The Long Island native broke the UNH record for all-purpose yards in a game, racking up 157 yards rushing, 127 yards receiving and 140 yards returning punts and kickoffs for a total of 424 yards. He also found the endzone four times, powering the UNH offense to a dominant performance. 

The sheer output of the New Hampshire offense demanded perfection of quarterback Tim DeMorat, FCRH ’23, and the Fordham offensive unit.

Fordham’s offense did its best to keep up, however the Rams squandered an early opportunity. On their first drive, they marched all the way to the Wildcats’ 10-yard line, but Trey Sneed, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, fumbled on his way to the goal line, and the defense recovered. 

UNH took advantage of the rare offensive miscue. On the Wildcats’ second offensive play, Laube took a pass from quarterback Max Brosmer, UNH ’25, 87 yards and into the endzone to give UNH a 7-0 lead with 10:39 remaining in the first. UNH would not relinquish its lead the rest of the game. 

The sheer output of the New Hampshire offense demanded perfection of quarterback Tim DeMorat, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, and the Fordham offensive unit. The dynamic offense fought to keep up but wavered against a stout New Hampshire defense. 

DeMorat threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns but also threw interceptions on the first plays of back-to-back possessions as the Rams were attempting to dig out of a 21-7 deficit. Still, a few of his errors can be overlooked given DeMorat’s heroic efforts that powered the Rams throughout the season. 

Despite the early fumble, Sneed finished with a strong game. He rushed for 139 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry. On the receiving end, Fotis Kokosioulis, FCRH ’23, made 14 receptions for 132 yards, and both MJ Wright, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’23, and Dequece Carter, GSBRH ’23, were able to haul in touchdowns. Kokosioulis also managed to rush for two touchdowns, displaying his wide array of talents in the Rams’ final game of the season. 

The Rams’ porous defense was ultimately the team’s undoing. For the third time this season, Fordham allowed fifty or more points. The Rams lost all three of those games, consisting of their only losses of the season. 

The loss concludes what will be remembered as a remarkable season for the Rams. Their offense broke countless records, and Fordham was able to make it to the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2015. Still, given the unique collection of record-breaking football players on the roster, what-ifs will linger about the potential that the 2022 squad had to make significant noise in the championship tournament.

Those are not the only questions that remain unanswered. The football program enters the offseason with numerous unknowns to manage, especially regarding the players they will be losing. Mainstays such as graduate students Sneed, Phil Saleh, GSAS ’23, and Ryan Greenhagen, GSAS ’23, as well as seniors DeMorat, Kokosioulis and Wright will leave the program, leaving tremendous shoes to fill. It remains to be seen how the coaching staff will maintain the standards set by the teams of the past two seasons. 

Although the opening round loss is a jarring ending to what was otherwise a nearly impeccable season, the accomplishments of the 2022 Rams endure. The historic success of the football program this season offers a unique opportunity to build and grow. This campaign holds the potential to usher in an era of football prosperity at Rose Hill, but only time will tell which direction it will take.