Edmonds’ Five-Touchdown Day Leads Rams Over Lehigh

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Edmonds’ Five-Touchdown Day Leads Rams Over Lehigh

Edmonds’  career-high five rushing touchdowns tied both the Fordham and Patriot League ‘s single-game record. Samuel Jospeh/The Ram

Edmonds’ career-high five rushing touchdowns tied both the Fordham and Patriot League ‘s single-game record. Samuel Jospeh/The Ram

Edmonds’ career-high five rushing touchdowns tied both the Fordham and Patriot League ‘s single-game record. Samuel Jospeh/The Ram

Edmonds’ career-high five rushing touchdowns tied both the Fordham and Patriot League ‘s single-game record. Samuel Jospeh/The Ram

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Edmonds’  career-high five rushing touchdowns tied both the Fordham and Patriot League ‘s single-game record. Samuel Jospeh/The Ram

Edmonds’ career-high five rushing touchdowns tied both the Fordham and Patriot League ‘s single-game record. Samuel Joseph/The Ram

By Max Prinz

For many freshmen, college is a major adjustment. There are many new experiences that can make life difficult.

Freshman running back Chase Edmonds, however, appears undaunted.

Edmonds and the rest of the Fordham Rams ran past Lehigh on Saturday, defeating the Mountain Hawks 48-27 for their sixth straight victory.

“I’ve said this a lot of times but it bears repeating: from the second he stepped on campus for our summer workouts he had a great singleness of purpose,” head coach Joe Moorhead said after the game. “It’s not about him just going out there and running behind good blocks. The preparation aspect and the intangibles — when you combine those two things I think you’re going to see a player who has accomplished what he has.”

The undaunted freshman Edmonds continued his historic season, rushing for 205 yards on 32 carries and a career-high five touchdowns. His five scores on the ground tied a Patriot League single-game record.

“Everything he’s accomplished, he’s earned,” Moorhead said. “His ability as a football player is either matched or exceeded by his intangible skill.”

The Fordham offense got off to a much quicker start than in previous contests, using an opening 12-play, 65-yard drive to open the scoring and take a 7-0 lead in the first five minutes. The Rams controlled possession for 11:48 in the opening 15 minutes, taking a 14-0 lead into the second quarter via Edmonds’ first two rushing touchdowns. They also outgained Lehigh 205-19 in the opening quarter.

After Edmonds’ third touchdown run, Lehigh responded with a 10-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a 24-yard touchdown run that cut the deficit to 21-7. The Rams answered just five plays later when senior tight end Dan Light caught a pass in the right flat and rumbled 51 yards for his fifth touchdown reception of the season.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the final two minutes of the half and Fordham went into the break with a 35-14 advantage. Edmonds’ legs allowed the Rams to control the game and demoralized the Lehigh defense, which struggled on third downs.

The second half featured Edmonds’ fifth score, two field goals from senior Michael Marando and a pair of Lehigh scores, giving the Rams a 48-27 win. It was the program’s first road win against the Mountain Hawks in 14 tries.

Edmonds, who was named both Patriot League Player and Rookie of the Week, was quick to share credit with his teammates after the win.

“That just goes back to the credit to my offensive line,” Edmonds said. “They do a great job every week just opening lanes and making it so much easier to run the football.”

Senior quarterback Mike Nebrich put up strong stats of his own, completing 19 of 26 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown. Nebrich’s efficiency combined with Edmonds’ stellar day spelled doom for the Lehigh defense.

“[Last week] Nebrich threw for 566 yards, and then this week we come back and have over 300 team rushing yards,” Edmonds said. “It shows how much our offense is balanced.”

Moorhead similarly pointed out the offense’s ability to do many things well.

“One of the main things of our offense is our ability to do both things successfully, run the ball and pass the ball,” Moorhead said. “We have playmakers at all the skill positions to be able to take advantage of some of the things that we see.”

The Rams were particularly successful on offense in the first half, scoring touchdowns on all five of their possessions and racking up 379 yards of total offense.

“We knew coming in that controlling the run game was going to be very important,” Lehigh head coach Andy Coen said after the game. “Obviously we weren’t able to do that.”

Moorhead has emphasized the role of a good week’s practice all season, and coming off a bye week, the Rams looked even more prepared than usual.

“I think the kids had a tremendous two weeks of preparation and we utilized our bye week well,” Moorhead said. “They earned the right to come out here and try to execute the scheme across the board and for the most part I think we did that.”

The lone blemish of the day was the high number of penalties called on the Rams. The offensive line was flagged several times for false starts and holding penalties and the defense was whistled for several personal fouls that extended Lehigh drives.

“It’s the post-play penalties that are something we need to rectify,” Moorhead said. “I tell the guys you can show your emotions without being emotional.”

The win gives Fordham its sixth consecutive victory, improving the Rams to 7-1 on the season and 3-0 in the Patriot League.

Next week, the Rams take on Colgate at home on Jack Coffey Field. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.

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Max Prinz is the Sports Editor for The Fordham Ram.