Football Endures Monster 52-7 Loss at the Hands of Richmond

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Football Endures Monster 52-7 Loss at the Hands of Richmond

Sophomore punter Andrew Mevis sends off one of his eight punts. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Sophomore punter Andrew Mevis sends off one of his eight punts. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Sophomore punter Andrew Mevis sends off one of his eight punts. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Sophomore punter Andrew Mevis sends off one of his eight punts. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

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Fordham was within 17 points of Richmond at halftime, but things turned south quickly in the second half (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

By Jimmy Sullivan

The Fordham football team went into this week hoping to put its 34-10 season-opening loss to Charlotte in the rear view mirror. The team wanted to do some things differently this week, and even the Rams’ travel plans (making part of the journey to Richmond by bus on Thursday night and completing the trip on Friday morning) seemed to indicate a desire to put the events of the fateful Charlotte trip behind them. The team arrived in Richmond, Virginia for Saturday’s game on a mission to get head coach Joe Conlin his first career win.

And then, at 6:07 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the Fordham Rams ran into a brick wall at full speed.

Fordham fell behind on the fourth drive of the night when quarterback Kevin Johnson punctuated a 13-play, 69-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown scamper. Richmond went into the game as a heavy favorite, but at the end of the first quarter, the Rams were only down by a touchdown. Despite finishing the first quarter with zero first downs, Conlin’s team had to be happy to only be down seven after 15 minutes, particularly considering how poorly the offense fared.

The struggles would continue for Fordham into the second quarter, and a 55-yard bomb from Johnson to wide receiver Dejon Brissett about a minute into the second frame set up Johnson’s second rushing touchdown of the night, which made the score 14-0 in favor of the Spiders. Things improved slightly on the Rams’ next drive, but the team stalled at midfield and Andrew Mevis was forced to punt for the fifth time in under 20 minutes of game action. After a Richmond punt, Fordham and senior quarterback Luke Medlock put together their best drive of the game to date, with three first down passes, including two to senior Corey Caddle, who missed last week’s game for undisclosed reasons. Then, on a second-and-nine play from Richmond’s 26, Medlock was picked off by Dionte Austin; a drive that was filled with promise ended with a turnover. While it’s hard to find one turning point in a game that was decided by 45 points, the second-quarter Medlock pick was certainly one of the biggest ones on the night.

Richmond scored three more points before the end of the half and, in another deflating moment, Mevis pushed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide right with 24 seconds remaining in the half. The Spiders took a 17-0 lead into the locker room. You may be thinking that Richmond coasted to an easy win from that point forward. I am here to tell you that they did a lot more.

On the first play of the second half, Johnson and Brissett connected for their second huge pass play of the day, and this time, it went for a 75-yard touchdown. With a good deal of fans still away from their seats, Richmond took a commanding 24-0 lead. On the next drive, Medlock wound up to attempt a third-down pass but was strip sacked, and his fumble was recovered by Richmond’s Andrew Clyde. Three plays later, Richmond was back in the end zone with a touchdown pass to Cortrelle Simpson. The rout was on with the Spiders leading 31-0.

Medlock would turn it over twice more before the fourth quarter began, and he would be removed from the game in favor of freshman Tim DeMorat late in the frame. The score at the end of three? Richmond 52, Fordham 0.

DeMorat did provide a bright spot in the fourth quarter, and he was able to engineer the only touchdown drive of the game for Fordham. He finished 5-6 for 66 yards on the night and also rushed for a touchdown. Medlock’s night was not nearly as favorable; he completed 17 of 32 passes for 125 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. The Rams also finished with a grand total of -3 rushing yards on the night, thanks in large part to junior D’Angelo Palladino and sophomore Zach Davis not playing. Note: NCAA statistics count sacks as negative rushing plays. Fordham quarterbacks endured five sacks on the evening.

Fordham has a three-game homestand coming up, and it will be spread over the course of four weeks. The team will take on Stony Brook University on Saturday, September 15 at 6:00 p.m., to be followed by a home game with Central Connecticut State the following week. The Rams have their bye week on Sept. 29 before conference play begins in the Bronx against Georgetown on Oct. 6.

Fordham could certainly use some home cooking after the last two games they’ve played. However, if they don’t turn things around soon, it may not matter where the Rams are playing their games.