By Jack McLoone
Chase Edmonds is Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson. It is the only explanation. The junior running back and the Fordham Ram offense were essentially unstoppable against the Lafayette Leopards on Saturday, notching a 58-34 victory to move to 3-2 on the season.
Despite the final score and the dominance of the Rams’ offense, the team started the game on the wrong foot. On his second pass attempt of the day, senior quarterback Kevin Anderson threw the ball in the general direction of junior wide receiver Robbie Cantelli. The only problem was that Cantelli had just slipped, leading to an interception and an easy touchdown for the Leopards. Just like that, Lafayette led 7-0.
The Rams answered right back on their next possession. After a 23-yd completion over the middle to senior tight end Phazahn Odom, Edmonds scored his first touchdown of the day on a 29-yd rush up the middle, knotting the game at 7-7.
The Rams got the ball back after forcing a punt, and this time it was Anderson who got things done with his legs. While the Florida native does not necessarily consider himself to be a rushing quarterback, his two huge runs near the end of last week’s game against Monmouth may have changed his mind. On this drive, he scrambled for back-to-back rushes of 20 and 14 yards. He then picked up another seven on a designed keeper. Then, on a third-and-2, Anderson dropped the snap but scooped up the ball, ran around the line to the left, reversed field with a couple of blocks and eventually found the end zone for a 33-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Rams a 14-7 lead.
After a field goal by Lafayette and an 11-yd touchdown reception by sophomore wideout Corey Caddle — his first of the season — the score sat at 20-10 Fordham following a bobbled extra point attempt by the Rams.
Lafayette cut the lead to three on the first play of their next drive, with quarterback Blake Searfoss finding a streaking Joey Chenoweth for a 65-yd touchdown to make it 20-17.
Edmonds and the Rams answered back immediately. After a few plays moved them into the red zone, Edmonds took the handoff and once again ran right up the middle for a 19-yd touchdown, stretching the lead to 10.
After trading a couple of possessions, the Leopards added to their total with another field goal, making the score 27-20.
Two plays into the Rams’ next drive, Edmonds earned his Bo Jackson comparison: on the Fordham 24-yard line, he cut outside and turned on the jets, splitting a couple of defenders and then winning a 76-yd footrace to the end zone for his third touchdown of the day. The Rams went back up two scores, 34-20.
On the Leopards’ first pass attempt of their next drive, junior defensive tackle Nick Angeli stuck his hands up at the line of scrimmage and picked the ball off for Fordham’s first forced turnover of the game. This put the Rams on the opposing 22, and they converted just two plays later when Anderson hit Cantelli for a touchdown.
The Rams headed into the locker room at the half up 41-20. Facing their first Patriot League opponent under head coach Andrew Breiner, they scored as many points in one half of play as they did in a full game plus overtime in their game against Monmouth last weekend.
Fordham outgained Lafayette 458-209 in the first half, including a 337-4 advantage in rushing yards. Edmonds had 226 yards on just 12 carries — and he was just getting started.
After a Lafayette three-and-out to start the half, Edmonds once again found the end zone on a long rush. He went right up the middle and found daylight for a 67-yd score, making it 48-20.
The Rams secured their second turnover of the game on the next Lafayette possession. With the Leopards threatening, sophomore defensive back Antonio Jackson jumped the route on the goal line for an interception.
On the ensuing drive, Edmonds once again ripped off a long run up the middle, this time for 49 yards. That run put him at 348 yards on the day, one yard more than the previous Fordham single-game rushing record, which he himself set last year at Lehigh. Senior Makay Redd was eventually called on to kick a field goal at the end of the drive, making the score 51-20 in Fordham’s favor.
The Rams and Leopards traded touchdowns on their next two drives. The Fordham touchdown was another Anderson-Caddle connection, this time on a pretty fade to the front corner pylon.
After another garbage time touchdown for Lafayette, the Rams came out on top with a 58-34 victory in Breiner’s first career Patriot League game as head coach.
The Rams are now 3-2 for the season and 1-0 in Patriot League play. Their next game will be their final non-Patriot League matchup of the year, a home showdown with Yale.
- Kevin Anderson had 109 rushing yards, all in the first half. He also barely had to throw, going 12-18 for 181 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, good for a 195.0 quarterback rating.
- As a team, Fordham smashed the school record for most rushing yards in a game, racking up 520 on the ground. The previous record was 393 in the game against Elizabeth City State earlier this season.
- Justin Vaughn, who had four tackles for a loss, including two sacks, left the game with what appeared to be an arm injury.
- Fordham was able to plug in some backups late in the game. Junior quarterback Luke Medlock was 1-3 passing with a 12-yd completion. Junior running back Jarred Brevard had two carries for 14 yards. Sophomore defensive back James Biggs-Frazier had two total tackles.