Football Stays Unbeaten with 34-12 Win at Georgetown
BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 14- If football wins are equated to works of art, the Fordham win over Lehigh last week could be compared with a Van Gough or Picasso and the win over Georgetown University might be looked at as C.M. Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker. But a win is a win and the Rams picked up their seventh in as many games today, downing the Hoyas, 34-12, on Multi-Sport Field.
The win keeps the Rams unbeaten at 7-0 this fall, the best start to a season since the 1930 squad also opened the season 7-0, while Georgetown falls to 1-5. Fordham is now one of five unbeaten NCAA FCS teams, one of two with a 7-0 record, joining Charleston Southern. The other NCAA FCS unbeaten teams are North Dakota State (6-0), Coastal Carolina (6-0) and Harvard (4-0).
“We’re very excited to get to 7-0 for the first time since 1930,” said Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead. “I thought we came out and started fast but we didn’t finish strong, especially on offense. I think the defense did an excellent job keeping Georgetown out of the end zone but offensively we had some miscues that didn’t allow us to capitalize on all of our chances.”
Junior quarterback Mike Nebrich, playing in front of a large contingence of family and friends from his nearby home of Lake Braddock, Virginia, led the way for the Rams, completing 35 of 45 passes for a career-high 405 yards and one touchdown while also rushing 12 times for 51 yards and another score. He completed his first 20 pass attempts in the game, setting a Patriot League record and tying the NCAA FCS record for most consecutive pass completions to open a game.
The 400-yard passing game is just the ninth in Fordham history as Nebrich joins John Skelton (4), Ryan Higgins (2), Gary Brennan (1) and Moorhead (1) in recording 400-yard games as a Ram. The 405 passing yards brings Nebrich’s season total to 2,166, the 10th best single season in school history while his 190 completions so far is already ninth best.
Nebrich’s favorite receiver was junior Tebucky Jones, Jr., who caught 12 passes for 182 yards, both career-highs. The 182 receiving yards is the 11th best game by a Fordham receiver in school history.
The defense had a strong game for the Rams, allowing just a field goal until the Hoys got into the end zone with 1:36 left in the game. The Fordham defense allowed 293 yards of total offense and returned an interception for a touchdown for the second time this year. Junior linebacker Stephen Hodge led the defense, recording a game and career-high 14 tackles, 10 solo, including one sack.
The Rams took the opening kickoff and drove to the Georgetown eight where Nebrich hit Brian Wetzel in the end zone for a 7-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.
The Hoyas moved to the Fordham 22 but a penalty and a DeAndre Slate/Austin Hancock sack moved them back to the 30 where Matt MacZura missed wide right on a 47-yard field goal attempt.
Later in the first, Fordham took over on its own 20 following a punt and Nebrich led the Rams down field, completing four passes, the last a 28-yard gain to Jones to put the ball on the eight where Nebrich took it around the left side for the score and a 13-0 lead with 2:40 on the clock.
Just over a minute later, Jordan Chapman stepped in front of an Isaiah Kempf pass and returned it 29 yards for a score and a 21-0 Fordham lead following a two-point conversion.
Fordham struck quickly in the second quarter, starting a drive on its own 41 where Nebrich found Jones open over the middle for a 48-yard gain. On the next play, Jared Crayton burst through the middle and into the end zone to give Fordham a 28-0 lead.
The Rams had a chance to increase the lead later in the second but Crayton fumbled on the Georgetown one when he was trying to pick up the extra yard after a 12-yard gain with 1:14 left in the half.
The Rams held the Hoys and got the ball back with 44 seconds remaining and they were able to get to the Georgetown 14 but a Michael Marando 31-yard field goal went wide left.
Fordham increased its lead to 31-0 on its first possession of the second half as Nebrich drove the Rams from their own 37 to the Georgetown eight where Marando booted a 25-yard field goal.
Later in the third, the Hoya got on the board with a 49-yard field goal to cut the Fordham lead to 31-3 after three quarters.
In the fourth, the Rams were backed up to their own one following a punt and a penalty and the Hoyas tackled Carlton Koonce in the backfield for a safety to make it a 31-5 game with 10:43 left.
On the subsequent possession, Georgetown moved from its own 38 to the Fordham 22 but couldn’t convert a fourth-and-three, giving the ball back to the Rams who moved to the Hoya ten where Marando connected on a 27-yard field goal to put the Rams up 34-5 with 4:44 on the clock.
The Hoyas closed out the day’s scoring with a 15-yard scoring pass from Tim Barnes to Michael Cimilluca with 1:36 remaining in the game.
Sam Ajala added eight receptions for 91 yards while Wetzel finished with six catches for 55 yards and the one score.
Defensively, Ian Williams finished with nine tackles, six solo, while Slate added eight stops, including two for loss.
The Rams return to action next Saturday, October 19, as they travel to New Haven, Connecticut, to take on the Yale University Bulldogs in the Yale Bowl at 12:00 p.m.