Two years they waited to play this rival college football game with Holy Cross at Yankee Stadium. The Fordham University Rose Hill campus is no more than a 15- minute subway ride on the 4 and D trains to and from the iconic ballpark in the Bronx. The Crusader Cup is also important for the Rams and they have it again.
This may not have been the best of games when it comes to the history books of this rivalry. Fordham quickly jumped to 14-0 lead and that combination of quarterback Kevin Anderson to running back Chase Edmonds led to a 54-14 win Saturday afternoon.
Regardless this was special for Fordham with alumni and student body hopfull this can be an annual game down the road from their campus. Holy Cross played host to the Patriot League contest in their season finale and for them a time to look towards next year.
But not for Fordham, still with faint hopes of getting an at large bid to the FCS Divsion 1 playoffs.
“We wanted to start fast,” said Fordham coach Andrew Breiner. “The halftime chapter was half written and we had to finish it. Appreciate the Yankees, very proud of our performance. We came out fast and sustained.”
It was the first win at Yankee Stadium for Fordham since 1941 when they last played at the old ballpark across the street, and the coach who says baseball is his first passion as a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, took in the moment on the sidelines.
“We will celebrate and move forward,” he said. But this may have been the highlight of a season that will come up short. Even if the Rams win their season finale at Bucknell next Saturday it is unlikely they will get that at large bid for the NCAA FCS Playoffs, assuming they finish at 8-3.
As for next season, Holy Cross is on the schedule again in November and listed as a home game. Right now the game is scheduled for Rose Hill and it is unlikely that the Crusader Cup will be contested again at Yankee Stadium.
This was the 22nd time Fordham played at Yankee Stadium They faced the Crusaders once at the stadium in 1923 winning 23-7. Last time Fordham played in the Bronx away from Rose Hill, was at the old Yankee Stadium on November 16th 1946 when the Rams opposed NYU and lost 7-6 that denied them a spot in the annual Rose Bowl game.
That was then, when revenue was not as significant for a college football game. This game was played before 21,375 fans, though there appeared to be less. And the name of the game is revenue and unless this rivalry for that Cup is viable enough to be played at Yankee Stadium, there will be another hiatus of Fordham football there.
As for Edmonds, of course the junior once again shined in a special place. His third of four touchdowns of 4-yards set the Patriot League record. His last one was the 59th and there is one more game at Bucknell next week.
“This speaks volumes about our offensive game,” he said. “We have the best quarterback in the country. I think it was our best game offensively where we had a sold established run game and Kevin Anderson was lights out with passing.”
And it was the seventh 100-plus yard game of the season for Edmonds, 119 yards at Yankee Stadium and Anderson passed for 426 yards and three touchdowns. Edmonds, though. gets around the question of records and also took in the moment of helping his team get the Crusader Cup at Yankee Stadium.
He said, the offense is best when Fordham runs the ball. Did Yankee Stadium help his game more? Edmonds would not admit to it, but that first run of 41- yards that went for a touchdown towards the outfield was a Yankee Stadium moment.
“I’m looking at the next game,” he said.
Breiner said, “All we can control is next week.” That was in regard to those slim chances of getting the bid as Lehigh last week clinched the Patriot League title. But this day is in the record books, for Edmonds and Fordham winning their return game at Yankee Stadium.
Michael Kay, the Yankees YES Network voice and Fordham alumnus made it official. The Rams gathered by the third base side and were presented the Crusader Cup. Next November there may not be a Crusader Cup game for Fordham at Yankee Stadium and perhaps some discussion in the coming months will put the game there on the schedule.
Either way, Holy Cross will see the combination of Edmonds and Anderson again for the Crusader Cup.
Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso