Looking Back at Fordham Football’s 2022 Campaign

In stars’ final seasons, the Rams capitalized with one of their strongest years in recent memory

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COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

Ryan Greenhagen, GSAS ’23, is a William V. Campbell Trophy finalist. An award given to athletic scholars.

By GABRIELLA BERMUDEZ

The Fordham football team’s season ended in a dramatic fashion in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs, despite entering with a strong 9-2 record. Head Coach Joe Conlin turned his team into a powerhouse during the off-season. Graduating players such as Tim DeMorat and Fotis Kokosioulis, both Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, Ryan Greenhagen, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, MJ Wright and Trey Sneed, both Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’23, commanded the Rams’ playstyle. The Fordham football team had a strong rotation of athletes on the field this year, leading to an overall successful season regardless of the final outcome.

The Rams’ offense ran at peak efficiency, dominating opponents throughout the season. The team, on average, scored 50 points per game, ran the ball 183 yards, and had 419 passing yards.

This year, a true testament to Fordham’s offensive growth was their 52-49 win in a rematch against the Monmouth University (MU) Hawks. When the Rams faced the Hawks last season, they suffered an avoidable defeat, 24-23. The 2022 contest showed remarkable poise on offense, but it also highlighted the failures on Fordham’s defensive end. Greenhagen and James Conway, FCRH ’25, combined for a total of 12 tackles, whereas Monmouth’s defense outperformed significantly. The Hawk’s defensive line members, Mike Reid, MU ’24, Thomas Joe-Kamara, MU ’24, and Tyrese Wright, MU ’23, had nine, eight and six tackles, respectively. 

Though Fordham wielded unstoppable defenders such as Greenhagen and Conway, these two alone were not enough to hold back offensive torrents.

The defensive strength of Monmouth was unable to contain the Fordham offense. DeMorat hit a new career high during the game, earning 452 passing yards and six touchdowns, while Kokosioulis broke a school record for 130 receiving yards with 15 receptions and two touchdowns. 

The starters performed so well against Monmouth, that many rotation players saw the field. This included Dan Byrnes, FCRH ’23, and Julius Loughridge, FCRH ’25, to score their first career touchdowns each.

The Fordham offensive line was often left to cover for the lacking defensive effort. On average, Fordham’s defense allowed opponents to score 34 points per game. Even though Fordham wielded unstoppable defenders such as Greenhagen and Conway, these two alone were not enough to hold back offensive torrents. 

As Greenhagen graduates, Conway is set to follow in his footsteps. This season, Conway concluded his efforts with appearances in all 10 games and 101 tackles in total, exceeding Greenhagen’s 94. No one else on the Fordham defensive line recorded more than 50 tackles. 

The Rams never disappointed fans who attended their home games. Their two losses were far from Rose Hill.

Greenhagen and Conway carried themselves off the field well, as they were named Patriot League Football Scholar-Athletes of the Year, joining the Academic All-Patriot League Team. 

Greenhagen is also a 2022 Campbell Trophy Finalist, the first in Fordham football history. The trophy is given to college football players with stellar habits off and on the field. Such as high academic scores and community service. 

DeMorat closed out his career at Fordham by breaking several records, going down in Fordham history as one of the most high-achieving quarterbacks the team has ever had. He is rivaled only by John Skelton, GSBRH ’09, who went on to play professionally in the National Football League. 

The 2022 season marked the third consecutive year that DeMorat was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and selected to First Team All-Patriot League. DeMorat and Kokosioulis were both named Stats Perform Walter Payton Award Finalists, and DeMorat was invited to the announcement of the 2022 award. This award is given out to the Division 1 college offensive player of the year. DeMorat is one of three finalists for the award; the winner will be announced on Jan. 7. 

DeMorat set the school single-season record with 4,561 passing yards and 56 passing touchdowns. This record is also a Patriot League record held by DeMorat. Additionally, he set a record for career passing touchdowns, with 123 across all four years of eligibility. For nine straight weeks in the 2022 season, DeMorat earned Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week. 

Fordham’s strongest running back, Sneed, concluded his 2022 season with a career-high of 1,141 rushing yards. In the game against Colgate University, he totaled 230 rushing yards and ran in a touchdown. In total, Sneed scored seven touchdowns on the season.

The Rams never disappointed fans who attended their home games. Their two losses were far from Rose Hill, with the first against the Ohio University Bobcats. The Rams were only eight points away from winning outright, but the Bobcats were able to run out the clock after recovering a Fordham fumble. The game ended with the Bobcats up, 59-52.

The second and final regular season loss for Fordham was against the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders. The game had enormous playoff implications, the winner being the indisputable leader of the Patriot League. This game extended into overtime, where the Crusaders had to make strategic decisions in order to put themselves ahead of the Rams. Holy Cross went ahead in the final moments with a two-point conversion, 53-52.

The 9-2 regular season placed Fordham in the NCAA FCS Championship bracket for the first time since 2015. The Rams’ first and only match was against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, where Fordham faced a heart-crushing defeat, 52-42. In similar fashion to previous games, the offense was left to make up for defensive letdowns. The Wildcats profited off Fordham’s predictably weak defense and put up their highest point total of the year.  

Head Coach Joe Conlin had a rocky start to his Fordham career but has transformed the football team into a reputable program, turning high school graduates into star college football players. The successes from last season foreshadowed the historic 2022-23 season. With another season on the horizon, the departure of key players beckons the question: Are past squads’ shoes too big for a new herd of Rams to fill?