Bronx, NY—In an exciting, high scoring contest, the Fordham Rams (4-2) defeated the Georgetown Hoyas (3-3), 38-31 on Saturday afternoon at Jack Coffey Field at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. The victory at home was the third straight for Fordham, a mark the Rams last accomplished during the 2003 season. The contest was the 54th between the two football teams in a rivalry that dates back to 1889. Georgetown has been Fordham’s opponent more often than any other team.
Both the offensive and defensive units were effective contributors to the Fordham win. Senior Ryan Higgins, after only 11 starts at quarterback in his first three seasons at Fordham, is doing an outstanding job as the team’s field general. The Long Island native, Merrick, moved the ball 305 yards in the air by completing 29 of 38 passes. Brian Wetzel was the favorite target for Higgins. Wetzel caught eight passes for 123 yards. It was his third 100+ receiving games for Wetzel in 2012. None of the throws by Higgins were intercepted, yet two were thrown for touchdowns.
A 19 yard toss to Greg Wilson gave Fordham its first touchdown and a 10-7 advantage with 3:26 left in the first quarter. His second touchdown pass, 25 yards to Blake Wayne, came with only 1:25 to go in the third. Seconds later, his throw to Dan Light produced a two-point conversion to give Fordham a 31-24 lead.
Senior Carleton Koonce carried the ball 27 times for a net gain of 99 yards, bringing his total gained this year to 812 yards. Two of the carries on Saturday resulted in touchdowns, a 44 yard run in the third and a two yard rush with nine minutes remaining in the game. That carry broke a 31-31 tie and resulted in the Fordham win. The transfer from Hofstra has gained more yards on the ground this year than he had on the ground and air combined in the previous two seasons.
Patrick Murray, another senior, has been a kicker for all occasions for Fordham. He does the punting, kickoffs, extra points and field goals. On Saturday he kicked three field goals from 30, 44 and 43 yards respectively. His eight punts averaged 47.8 and his kickoffs averaged 65 yards. His efforts repeatedly kept the Hoyas far from the Fordham goal line.
Fordham’s first year coach, Joe Moorhead, said of Murray, “He’s the best kicker in the country.’ He also remarked, “He’s a triple threat, punts, kickoffs, field goals.”
Despite the 38 points, the defense was indispensable to the win. Two passes were intercepted, three fumbles were recovered and a goal line stand late in the fourth quarter prevented the score from being knotted.
With 2:54 left in the contest, Georgetown had the ball on the Fordham two. Nick Campanella moved the ball one yard. Three runs could not penetrate the Fordham defense and the Rams took control of the ball with 1:43 on the clock.
Linebacker Michael Martin, who made a career high of 18 tackles, commented on the key defensive plays, “We knew what we had to do. We came together as a defense. We couldn’t have asked for a better ending.”
The proud coach feels his club is, “setting this program on a course for greatness.”
Next Saturday evening Fordham will be in Ohio to play the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.