Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rams Overcome Illness to Win

Rams Overcome Illness to Win

Fordham Rams Move Closer to Patriot League Title with 37-13 Win over Colgate

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 2- The Fordham Rams (8-1, 4-0) raised their winning streak on the gridiron at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx to 12 games with a 37-13 victory over the visiting Colgate Raiders (4-5, 2-1) on Saturday afternoon.

Mike Nebrich, the preseason Patriot League choice as Offensive Player of the Year, did not play. He was given an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday evening. Peter Maetzold was in the quarterback slot in Nebrich’s place. The senior’s outstanding performance was no surprise to Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead or to Maetzold’s teammates.

The Texas native completed 27 of 38 passes for a total of 279 yards. He also gained a net total of 35 yards in eight carries. Three of his tosses resulted in touchdowns for Fordham. The Rams scored twice in the first quarter on passes from Maetzold to Tebucky Jones, Jr., the son of an eight year NFL veteran. The first touchdown needed only a one-yard gain and the second with only 27 seconds remaining in the quarter went for 31 yards. Jones, who led Fordham receivers with 97 yards gained on eight receptions, said of Maetzold, “The whole team has confidence in Peter.”

The final Fordham touchdown pass came at 10:03 in the third quarter to Brian Wetzel for 14 yards.

Coach Moorhead praised his quarterback as an example that typifies the team-first attitude of the Fordham players, “It’s indicative of the type of team player Peter is. I couldn’t be more proud of him."

He explained how the team’s attitude allows it overcome any adversity it faces, “the message to the team is business as usual. We don’t accept excuses, and we don’t flinch."

Maetzold had a similar experience last year when an injury to Nebrich brought his replacement into the game in the second quarter. In that game against Bucknell, Maetzold completed 21 of 35 passes to lead the Rams to victory. The 21 year old believed that prior experience helped him succeed on Saturday, “When your name is called, you want to perform your best. It wasn’t the first time (on Saturday). I was able to fall back on past experiences.” Moorhead commented, “This is what next man in means.”

The win was not a one man story. Freshman running back Chase Edmunds had another 100+ yards performance. His 114 net yards gained on the ground, his two touchdowns scored and his 126 all-purpose yards gained put him near the top in all three categories nationally.”

Coach Moorhead gave deserved credit to the defense, “Everybody pulled together. The defense held a team like Colgate to six points until [31 seconds were left in the contest.]”
A Bronx native, George Dawson, was especially impressive. The Cardinal Hayes graduate and Fordham sophomore led the team in tackles with eight (six unassisted), one tackle for a loss of yards and one interception.

Next Saturday, the Rams travel to play Bucknell, the only other undefeated team in Patriot League conference play. A victory over Bucknell will give Fordham the Patriot League title and an automatic bid for the FCS playoff.

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