NY Sports Day

Fordham Football In three words: Ay-Ya-Yai!!! Then again, “OMG” works too.

Fordham Athletics

The struggle between a resistible force and a stoppable object meant something had to give. Fordham was that something while being dropped by Georgetown on a dark and damp Saturday afternoon. In a contest played only in front of friends and family, the Rams fell 23-11 and in the process provided the visiting Hoyas with an array of firsts. It was the first time Georgetown won at Fordham since 1974. The first time they’ve won any game against a non-Pioneer Conference team in two years. Also their first in-conference win in three years. As for Fordham, rather than experiencing any firsts, it was simply more of the same. The defeat dropped the Rams to 0-5 on the season as, for the fifth straight game, they’ve lost by double digits. Offensively, Fordham is still waiting for its first 100 yards rushing game. The skies haven’t been any friendlier as for the fourth straight contest Fordham was unable able to crack 250 yards in the air. It was also their fourth game throwing multiple picks and fourth time they’ve been held to just one offensive touchdown. Even PAT’s have been adventurous as, for the third week in a row, Fordham missed an extra point. Defensively, its also been more of the same. Georgetown’s quarterback, Gunther Johnson, who last week was held to 73 passing yards against lowly Brown, lit into the Rams experienced secondary to the tune of 19 for 28 for 203 yards. And that came despite some early drops.
 
Those drops stalled two first quarter drives although Johnson, a junior transfer from Arizona, was hitting his marks enough to foreshadow a big day for the DC bunch. The Rams, who spent the bye week losing more pieces to their offensive line, and sophomore halfback Zach Davis as well, responded with consecutive three-and-outs. With Johnson and his receivers finally on the same page, and a deceptive running game adding chunks of yardage off the option, the Hoyas finally got on the scoreboard late in the first stanza. Their 8 play, 72 yard drive was followed by a two-point Khristian Tate run giving the visitors an 8-0 lead. The inside dish to Tate, a defensive end, and the play as a whole completely caught the Fordham coaching staff off guard as Georgetown converted its third two-pointer of the year. Freshman Tim DeMorat led his young core while initiating his own 8 play drive, this one for 65 yards, as Fordham hit back with a touchdown of their own. As if making up for their previous blunder, the Rams lined up for a two-pointer only to then race sophomore kicker Andrew Mevis onto the field. In the process the special teams crew outsmarted themselves. Mevis, who once again provided the Rams with a 40+ yard average punting, promptly missed his third attempt in as many weeks, keeping the score at 8-6. After the teams traded three-and-outs Georgetown was in another punting situation when a long snap sailed over the head of punter Brad Hurst. The junior raced to the ball and wildly chucked it out of his end zone while conceding a safety to tie the score at 8. Fordham took the ensuing kick and, thanks to a 24 yard pass from DeMorat to senior wideout Austin Longi, crossed back into Georgetown territory but could get no further. The same was true for the Hoyas who, after failing on a fourth down attempt just outside of field goal range, settled for an 8-8 tie entering the half.
 
The teams came out of the intermission trading punts until DeMorat put together an 18 play, 62 yard drive which ate 7 minutes off the clock while taking Fordham inside the Georgetown 20. That’s when the lack of Davis and a few offensive line pieces, like sophomore guard Jake Trautman, hurt most as Fordham lacked the muscle to punch in another TD. Instead, and with Mevis’ placekicking duties put on hold, senior Kyle Facibene was called in to give Fordham the lead. The backup connected on a 36 yarder, only the second make of his career, as Fordham took its first lead of the game, 11-8. It was also the Rams’ first lead since the second quarter of the UNC-Charlotte scrum back in week one. Not that it would hold. Even with a well rested D, Fordham was unable to stop Georgetown’s ground attack as the Hoyas pushed forward with runs from Joshua Tomas and a keeper from Johnson to reach midfield. Freshman halfback, Herman Moultrie III, took it from there. A short pass from Johnson was followed by three straight runs, totaling 46 yards, until hitting pay dirt and giving the Hoyas a 15-11 lead entering the final period.  
 
Somehow, however, the cream sunk to the bottom as two teams unaccustomed to winning exchanged mistake after mistake, after mistake. The fourth quarter opened well for Fordham as DeMorat again put the Rams in field goal position. A fourth down offsides, the quarter’s first of many mistakes, suddenly pulled them out of field goal position forcing a punt. Mevis pinned the Hoyas back to their three yard line and three plays later a Johnson interception gave the ball back to Fordham. Two short runs followed by two incompletions gave the ball right back to Georgetown. A three-and-out by the Hoyas returned the ball to the Rams. An interception returned that favor which was returned (re-returned?) by a Georgetown fumble. After the many turnovers, Luke Medlock entered the game for a frustrated DeMorat. Not to be outdone, the senior quickly threw his own pick. After 13 minutes of play, the two squads combined for four first downs, four turnovers and one loss of downs. Still, the Medlock mistake proved the costliest of all. Senior safety Jethro Francois took the interception 22 yards to the Fordham one yard line, putting his Hoyas in position to close the deal.  Once again Moultrie III was given the reigns. His one yard scamper iced things although, to keep the mistakes coming, Georgetown did get the extra point blocked. Fordham ended the affair the same way they’ve ended most previous ones; down by multiple scores and with a desperate quarterback under constant pressure from defenses looking to tee off. This time it was Georgetown’s turn to add to their sack totals. DeMorat, back in the game, took three straight losses, the last in his own end zone for a safety and a 23-11 final. 
 
While it’s true that the Rams are young everywhere except with their receiving core and in the secondary (making their disappointing play more disappointing still) the program’s slow death spiral can’t be ignored. Fordham has gone from beating Army in 2015, to rolling up over 400 yards of offense on Navy in 2016, to losing to Lafayette last year, to this Georgetown loss. Perhaps this isn’t rock bottom but it sure feels like it. Then again the one constant for this season’s Rams, aside from taking late game sacks, is that things can always get worse.


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