Rams fall short in last road game of the season
Coming off a 55-0 loss at Army in a game that had weather more appropriate for January 29th than October 29th, the Fordham Rams football team headed to our nation’s capital to battle the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday, November 5th.
The upstart Hoyas entered the game 7-2, and at 3-1 in the Patriot League, tied for the league lead with the 2-0 Lehigh Mountain Hawks. The team honored 21 seniors prior to the contest, and then went out and handed the Rams a 30-13 defeat, avenging a 24-19 loss at Jack Coffey Field last October 30th.
Despite the lopsided final score, the game was close throughout. The Fordham defense, which had been gashed for 55 points and 544 yards at Army, only surrendered two touchdowns --- and one came following a Carlton Koonce fumble that set the Hoyas up at the Rams’ 10-yard line. The Fordham aerial attack, which was unable to be utilized in last weekend’s blizzard, had no trouble exploiting the Georgetown defense. Quarterback Ryan Higgins completed 66% of his passes for 387 yards, but threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by the Hoyas’ Jeremy Moore.
In the end, it was Fordham’s inability to convert red-zone opportunities into scores that was the difference in the game. The clearest example of this came on the opening drive of the second half. Down 13-6, Higgins found Blake Wayne on a short pass that Wayne turned into a 45-yard gain down to the Georgetown 2. On the precipice of tying the game, the Rams’ offense then went backwards, with Koonce losing three yards on a run, Higgins firing two incomplete passes, and kicker Michael Marando, who earlier in the contest had made a 41-yard field goal, pushing a 23-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Georgetown drove 80 yards for a touchdown to make the score 20-6, and even though Koonce’s 1-yard touchdown run would draw Fordham within 20-13 early in the fourth quarter, a big kickoff return by Moore set up a field goal for the Hoyas, and down 23-13 but driving, Higgins’ screen pass was intercepted Moore, who ran it back to ice the game.
The Rams’ ground attack could not get untracked in D.C., as the team rushed for just 59 yards on 26 carries --- a 2.3 average. After gashing the Hoyas for 251 yards in last season’s win, running back Darryl Whiting only rushed for 18 yards on 11 carries.
Despite throwing the three interceptions, Higgins did a great job piloting the passing game, as he completed 35 of 53 passes for 387 yards. Freshman receiver Brian Wetzel led the receiving game with 11 catches for 118 yards, with Greg Wilson (4-88), Wayne (4-70), and freshman tight end Dan Light (5-53) also picking up more than 50 yards on receptions. Fordham’s successful passing attack enabled them to outgain Georgetown, 446-376.
Up next for the Rams is a date with the Bucknell Bison on Saturday, November 12th. It is only the third home game for Fordham, and the first since October 15th, when Lehigh defeated the Rams on Family Weekend. The Bison enter the game 5-4, 2-2 in the Patriot League, and are looking to exact revenge on Fordham, who defeated them 33-21 at Bucknell last season. Kickoff is set for 1:00 P.M.
The post-game report with Ricky Cibrano, Andrew O’Connell, and myself is below.