Fordham Wins First Patriot League Contest Since 2009, Defeats Holy Cross, 45-16


The Rams celebrate after retaining the Ram-Crusader Cup. (Photo by Matt Rosenfeld/The Fordham Ram)

By Max Prinz

Playing in their first Patriot League game since 2009, the Fordham Rams defeated the Holy Cross Crusaders, 45-16, showing off their full arsenal of offensive weapons.

Senior quarterback Mike Nebrich continued his stretch of strong play, throwing for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Nebrich spread the wealth out among his targets-five different receivers caught at least two passes.

Freshman Chase Edmonds was stellar yet again, racking up 142 yards and another rushing touchdown, his eighth of the year.

The talented Fordham receiving corps also played a significant role in the win, putting its depth on full display.Senior Sam Ajala, Nebrich’s favorite target, suffered a hip contusion and did not play for much of the game, but seniors Brian Wetzel, Tebucky Jones, Marcus Jones and Dan Light all stepped up and picked up the slack.

Marcus Jones, who replaced Ajala, had the best game of his career, catching six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Early on in the game, it did not look like the Fordham offense would put up close 45 points. The Rams had a field goal blocked on their second drive of the game and were held scoreless in the first quarter.

The momentum shifted dramatically when Fordham returned the favor and blocked a Holy Cross field goal attempt.

The Rams also got a helping hand from a poor, 12-yard Holy Cross punt that gave them the ball just 30 yards away from the end zone. Fordham took advantage of the short field five plays later, when Nebrich found Wetzel for a nine-yard TD pass.

The Rams put together another scoring drive before the first half ended, capped by an Edmonds eight-yard TD run. Holy Cross managed a field goal on the following drive, but, despite a scoreless first quarter, the Rams had a 14-point advantage going in to halftime.

Holy Cross refused to go away, however. The Crusaders scored on the second play of the third quarter when Holy Cross quarterback Peter Pujals found Jake Wieczorek for 74-yd touchdown pass.

The Rams showed the same level of resiliency they have all season, coming out and scoring a touchdown of their own on the following possession. Nebrich led a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass caught by Light.

Nebrich led another scoring drive in the third quarter, and put the game squarely in the Rams’ control. This time, Nebrich showed off his legs, faking the pass and scrambling across the goal line for a four-yard score. At the start of the fourth quarter, Fordham led 31-9.

Holy Cross attempted a come back in the fourth quarter, scoring a touchdown when Pujals found Tyler Artim for a 27-yard score, but the Rams refused to let the Crusaders back in. Nebrich connected with Wetzel for a 25-yard touchdown pass that put the game away.

With the victory, the Rams improve to 4-1 on the season. More importantly for head coach Joe Moorhead, the Rams are 1-0 in Patriot League Conference play.

Max Prinz is the Sports Editor for the Fordham Ram.