The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Lafayette Beats Fordham Football, 24-16

The loss dropped the Rams to 2-3 in Patriot League play this year ahead of their season finale at Colgate
The Rams struggled to find its rhythm on offense, scoring their lowest point total since the first week of the season and scoring 13 of their 16 points in the fourth quarter.

The Fordham Rams lost to the Lafayette College (LC) Leopards at this past weekend’s football game on Nov. 11 by a score of 24-16. The Rams now sit at 2-3 in Patriot League play this season, their highest loss total in the conference since the 2019 season when they finished 2-4. 

Fordham struggled to gain momentum on both sides of the ball at Fisher Stadium. After the teams traded three punts to start the game, both teams remained scoreless at the end of the first quarter. 

A promising drive by the Rams fizzled out on the Lafayette 11-yard line, resulting in a field goal in the opening minutes of the second quarter. With that, Fordham had a short-lived 3-0 lead. 

Immediately following the Fordham score, Lafayette responded with a defense of its home field. A 40-yard rush by running back Jamar Curtis, LC ’26, pushed the Leopards into their opponents end of the field. 

As the pressure mounted and the fourth quarter began, the uphill battle for the Rams became even steeper.

Back-to-back completions by quarterback Dean DeNobile, LC ’26, quickly moved the home team up to Fordham’s 7-yard line before he delivered a strike to wide receiver Elijah Steward, LC ’26, for a touchdown. In the blink of an eye, Fordham’s lead had evaporated and it now found itself trailing 7-3. 

All hope was not lost for the visitors. Fordham began an encouraging scoring effort on its ensuing possession. In an arduous eight and a half minute, 17-play drive, the Rams moved inch-by-inch down the field. Even a penalty for an illegal formation could not slow the offense down as the Rams pushed inside of the Leopards’ 10-yard line. 

When Fordham was halted on third down, however, Brandon Peskin, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’24, missed a field goal that would have brought the Rams within a point. Neither offense could muster a score as the lackluster first half came to a close, and the conference foes entered the break with the scoreboard reading 7-3. 

The second half of the game opened with a quick punt by the Rams. Lafayette took advantage of the stop by rapidly moving down the field. The drive mirrored Fordham’s lengthy effort near the end of the second quarter, but amounted to a different result. 

Aided by a pass interference call that led to a Lafayette first down, DeNobile marched the Panthers toward the end zone. Eventually, DeNobile found Steward on the left side, who sprinted with his eyes on the goal line before he was brought down at the one-yard line. 

The Ram’s defense fought to keep the Leopards from securing a touchdown, but on third down DeNobile willed himself into the end zone with a short rush. With 5:07 remaining in the third quarter, Fordham now found itself trailing 14-3.

Again, Fordham could not jumpstart its offense and was forced to punt back to the Leopards. Lafayette started another promising attempt to score as the third quarter wrapped up. As the pressure mounted and the fourth quarter began, the uphill battle for the Rams became even steeper. 

A targeting call on defensive back and captain Stephen Williams II, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’24, removed a key contributor from Fordham’s defense. Lafayette took advantage and nailed a field goal to extend its lead to 14 with 12:32 remaining in the final quarter. 

The Rams struggled to find their rhythm on offense, scoring their lowest point total since the first week of the season and scoring 13 of its 16 points in the fourth quarter. (COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS)

With their backs against the wall, the slumbering Rams offense finally woke up. Julius Loughridge, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’25, started the drive off with a four-yard rush. It was a quiet day for Loughridge, as he finished with only 56 yards on 18 attempts. 

Back-to-back passes completed by CJ Montes, FCRH ’26, to MJ Wright, Gabelli Graduate School of Business ’24, and Mekai Felton, FCRH ’24, combined for 42 yards and moved Fordham into its opponent’s end of the field.

Loughridge added a 2-yard rush before a defensive pass interference call placed the ball on Lafayette’s 14-yard line. The running back rushed for a loss and then Montes found Cody Garrett, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’25, for a 17-yard gain to the one-yard line. Montes finished the drive off with a rushing touchdown and with 9:28 remaining, it was a one-score ballgame. 

All hope for Fordham was squandered when, on the first play of Lafayette’s new possession, Curtis bolted down the field for a 72-yard rush. It appeared as though the Rams had caught a lucky break as Nahil Perkins, GSBRH ’24, forced the ball out of Curtis’ hands at the end of the play, but the fumbled ball rolled harmlessly out of bounds and the Leopards maintained possession. Curtis finished the job with a rushing touchdown to make the score 24-10. 

With 6:55 left in the game, Fordham pushed for another touchdown. Its effort was too little, too late. Montes connected with Loughridge for a 15-yard receiving touchdown, but Peskin missed the extra point attempt, a play that symbolically captured the misfortune for the away team. 

The Leopards ran out the clock in the final three minutes of the game and escaped with a 24-16 victory. Fordham will close out the 2023 season on Nov. 18 when they take on the Colgate University Raiders. Although there will be no stakes, a win could give the Rams some optimism heading into the offseason.

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About the Contributor
CHRIS MURRAY, Former Sports & Health Editor
Chris Murray (he/him), FCRH ’24, is a former sports & health editor at The Observer. He is a political science and humanitarian studies double major with a minor in psychology. He is a Mets, Knicks and Rangers fan and spends his time trying new food or enjoying the outdoors.

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