The sixth meeting between the Fordham Rams (6-1, 2-0) and the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (0-4, 0-1) took place at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx on October 11. The game on Saturday was the first victory of Fordham, 60-22, over the Quakers. The two teams seem to be heading in different directions. The win for Fordham was its fifth straight and 11th consecutive home win, and the loss for Penn was its eighth straight. The 60 points scored by the Rams was the most their Ivy League opponent had surrendered in a single game since its 61-0 defeat by #1 ranked Army on November 17, 1945.
The visitors reached the scoreboard first as Penn quarterback Alek Torgerson threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to Ryan O’Malley at 10:01. To the credit of the Fordham defense, that intercepted two passes and forced two fumbles, the first Penn touchdown was also its last. The last 16 points scored by the Quakers were off the foot of Jimmy Gammil. The junior kicked the point after touchdown and five field goals.
Fordham scored twice on the ground in the first quarter. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native Chase Edmunds carried the ball three yards for Fordham’s first points. His 11th touchdown of the season, in only six games, has been topped only five times in Fordham history in a single (full). He rushed for 101 yards, the sixth game in which has rushed for triple figures of yards. He is the first Fordham freshman to have a season rushing yardage total above 1,000 (1,011).
Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead, in his third successful season in the Bronx, spoke very highly of the sensational freshman’s work ethic, preparation, and effort, “He’s an old soul. Everything he’s gotten, he’s earned. It’s not a surprise the success he’s had.”
Quarterback Mike Nebrich, a senior, has also been impressed by the freshman running back, “He’s been huge. It [his rushing] opens up the defense. You can lead as a freshman.”
The second Fordham first quarter touchdown came on a recovered fumble and eight yard run by senior defenseman DeAndre Slate.
Fordham’s defensive onslaught during the remainder of the game was achieved through the air under the leadership and outstanding ability of quarterback Nebrich. The senior from Virginia spoke of how he sees his responsibility during each contest, “My job is to get us going anytime we start sputtering.”
On Saturday, he completed 36 of 47 passes for a Fordham record of 566 yards, which broke the mark of 524 yards he set in 2013. Six of the 36 completions were for touchdowns, tying a Fordham game mark.
Five different receivers caught touchdown tosses from Nebrich. Tubucky Jones Jr., like Nebrich, a University of Connecticut transfer, caught two, one of 37 yards and one of 47 yards. Jones caught 10 for 203 yards, the eighth highest total in Fordham history. Sam Ajala received eight passes for 199 yards, the ninth highest total.
The 730 yards gained by the Fordham offense was a single game school record and the highest total by an NCAA FCS team this season. According to Moorhead, this success stems from good practice habits and game preparation. The coach also praised his players as being good students and fine human beings as well as good athletes. His own college experience at Fordham has obviously imbued in him the knowledge of what a student-athlete should be.
After Fordham’s bye-week the team will travel to Lehigh for its next contest on October 25. The Rams will return to Jack Coffey Field on November 1 to host Colgate.