By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 14- On Saturday afternoon, the Fordham Rams (2-1) strongly rebounded from a horrendous 50-6 loss to the Villanova Wildcats one week earlier. That loss was the most one-sided defeat suffered by Fordham since the 55-0 drubbing by the Black Knights of Army on October 29, 2011.
Although no athlete enjoys a loss, some realize that it can be a teaching experience for a coach and a learning experience for both the athletes and the coaching staff. This is what happened at Fordham after the loss to Villanova.
Fordham coach Joe Moorhead explained, “We got off the tracks a little last week. It’s unacceptable on every level. Experience sometimes makes the best teacher.”
Moorhead saw the positive reaction of his team almost immediately, “We had a great week of practice. You’re going to play like you practice. They wanted to make a point today.”
What the coach experienced from his team after the preparation was extremely positive, “It was a great bounce back win. I saw the team that I saw on a regular basis every week.”
Senior quarterback Mike Nebrich, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 331 yards and a touchdown, also noted the difference after the previous week’s defeat, “We got back to the little things.”
Despite two interceptions of passes by Nebrich and a Fordham fumble recovered by Rhode Island (0-2), Fordham kept its opponent scoreless in the first quarter. As the quarter neared its conclusion, Fordham’s sensational freshman running back Chase Edmonds rushed for two touchdowns in the space of 95 seconds. At 2:48 he carried the ball 16 yards to score the first points of the contest. At 1:13, Edmonds again passed the goal line after a 10 yard run. Two successful points after touchdown (PAT) kicks by Michael Marando gave Fordham a 14-0 advantage after the first period.
The second quarter was barren of touchdowns, but Marando kicked a 33-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in the first half to raise Fordham’s lead to 17-0.
No additional points were added in the first nine minutes of the second half, but the Fordham Rams then erupted for three scores within 34 seconds. In the longest run of the game, Edmonds went 87 yards for his third touchdown at 11:41. Defensive back Ian Williams recovered a Rhody fumble in the end zone for another Fordham TD 20 seconds later. The highly rated defenseman was not finished as 13 seconds later he tackled a Rhode Island ball carrier in his end zone for a safety.
After the game Williams spoke for the Fordham defense that held the visitors to seven points and 287 yards, “It was a blessing how well we did. The defense did great today. The sky’s the limit for the defense.”
A 41-yard touchdown run by the fantastic freshman Edmonds gave Fordham a 40-0 lead at 9:11 of the third. He scored four TD’s and ran 231 yards, a new record for freshmen at Fordham.
The overwhelming majority of the 6,979 rooters who attended the contest at Jack Coffey Field left the stadium in good spirits after watching the Fordham Rams win its ninth consecutive home game.
The Rams will take a short trip to upper Manhattan next Saturday to face the Columbia Lions.