Monday, September 30, 2013
Photos by Gary Quintal
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30- Kennedy Campus High School leaped over Walton Campus in boys soccer with a hard fought victory Friday afternoon.
The Kennedy Knights were behind 2-1 at the half, but shut down Walton campus in the second half winning 3-2. Both teams were tied at 2-3-1 coming into the match. The win puts Kennedy in fourth place in the Bronx A league while Walton falls into sixth place.
Photos by Gary Quintal
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30- Saturday afternoon saw Week 4 of PSAL boys football as Dewitt Clinton hosted their homecoming match-up against Brooklyn Technical.
Despite the teams having record in opposite directions, the 0-4 Engineers played a close game, losing 30-24 to the Governors.
Clinton hosts its final home contest attempting to keep their perfect season intact next week against Tottenville Sunday October 6th at 12 p.m.
Football Rallies to Beat Saint Francis, 38-20
Rams score 21 points in fourth quarter
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 30- If the appropriate lead for Fordham’s win over Temple two weeks ago was “Wow”, a fitting lead for this week’s game at Saint Francis University might be “Whew”, as in “Whew, that was a close one. The Rams scored 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to pull away from a determined Red Flash squad to pull out a 38-20 win on DeGol Field.
With the win, the Rams improve to 5-0 on the year while the Red Flash falls to 1-3. It is the first 5-0 start to a season for a Fordham squad since the 1988 team also opened the season 5-0. The win is also Fordham’s fifth non-conference win of the year, the most non-conference victories for the Rams since the 2003 squad also won five non-conference games.
The win was spurred by special teams play as freshman Jorge Solano took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score, the third longest kickoff return in school history, and junior Brian Wetzel set a school record with an 84-yard punt return in the fourth quarter that set up Fordham’s final score.
“Saint Francis did a good job on us defensively in the first half,” said Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead. “They did some things to keep the ball inside and we had a difficult time picking up some of the pressures but we made some adjustments at halftime and we came out and were able to move the ball in the second half.”
The Fordham offense was once again led by the one-two punch of quarterback Mike Nebrich and running back Carlton Koonce. Nebrich completed 31 of 41 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns while Koonce had his third straight 100-yard game, gaining 126 yards on 23 carries with one score.
Nebrich’s favorite receiver was Tebucky Jones, Jr., who hauled in nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams led most of the game until a 71-yard scoring run by Kyle Harbridge, who entered the game fourth in the NCAA FCS in rushing yards/game, put Saint Francis up 20-17 with 3:21 left in the first.
The Rams responded with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive. The big play was the third play as the Rams faced a third and nine from their own 26 but Nebrich found Sam Ajala with a 13-yard gain and a first down. Fordham would get the ball to the Saint Francis 23 where Nebrich was forced out of the pocket but found a wide open Jones in the end zone to give the Rams the lead for good, 24-20, nine seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Red Flash moved into Fordham territory on the ensuing possession but the Fordham defense held firm on a third and five from the Rams’ 20 and Saint Francis kicker Lance Geesey missed on a 37-yard field goal attempt.
Fordham took over on its own 20 and Nebrich and Koonce went to work, with Nebrich connecting with Jones on a 45-yard pass on third-and-15 from the Fordham 15. Two plays later, Koonce rushed for 21 yards to the Saint Francis eight and, on the next play, took it around the left side for the score as Fordham took a 31-20 lead with 9:15 remaining.
The Fordham defense held the Red Flash to 21 yards on the next series and the Red Flash were forced to punt. Wetzel fielded the punt on the Fordham 12, avoided the first tackler, and then took it 84 yards to the Saint Francis four. Three plays later, Nebrich hit Wetzel over the middle with a three-yard scoring strike as the Rams extended their lead to 38-20 with 4:49 on the clock.
A final Saint Francis scoring drive was stopped by an Ian Williams interception in the end zone with 1:40 left.
After the Rams took the 7-0 lead on Solano’s kickoff return, Nebrich made it a 14-0 game on the Rams’ second offensive possession, capping it with a ten-yard touchdown toss to Dan Light with 4:48 left in the first.
The game would remain 14-0 until the Red Flash scored on a 67-yard scoring rush from Harbridge early in the second.
The 14-6 score would hold until early in the third quarter when a 66-yard carry by Harbridge put the ball on the Fordham two and he took it in from there on the next play to cut the Fordham lead to two, 14-12, 1:23 into the second half.
Later in the third, a Fordham drive stalled on the Saint Francis 22 where Michael Marando connected on a 39-yard field goal to bump the Rams’ lead to five, 17-12, with 3:40 remaining in the third.
It took the Red Flash just one play to change the score as Harbridge took the handoff and raced 71 yards to pay dirt on the next play from scrimmage and Saint Francis took a 20-17 lead 19 seconds later.
Jake Dixon led the Ram defense with seven tackles, four solo, while Stephen Hodge, Jordan Chapman, Levon Williams and Jake Rodriques each added six stops.
The Rams return to action next Saturday, October 5, as they host the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks on Jack Coffey Field in a battle of undefeated Patriot League teams at 12:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network.
Posted by Bronx News at 11:18 AM
Friday, September 27, 2013
Fans Say Goodbye to the Last Sports Hero
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 27- The tears in Mariano Rivera's eyes said it all- an era was coming to an end. The greatest closer of all time, known for his cool, professional way of getting the job done, finally broke down as his time at Yankee Stadium came to an end.
Although the game against the Tampa Bay Rays was meaningless for the Yankees, as they were eliminated from post-season play one day earlier, the emotions of everyone in the park were stirred by the entrance of Mariano Rivera with one out in the eighth. He received a prolonged and deserved standing ovation before he threw his first pitch. He retired both batters he faced to end the inning.
To the delight of the capacity crowd, he returned to the mound for the ninth inning. After retiring the first two batters, his long-time teammates and friends, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte, walked to the mound to escort him from the game.
Rivera, overcome with emotion, hugged Pettitte and broke down into sobs.
After the game, Rivera exclaimed, “The emotions bombarded me. The fans, the opposing team, everyone on their feet. It has no price.”
Pettitte called it, “A moment I’ll never forget.”
The Rays had left the dugout and all were on their feet applauding as were the police officers on the field and the fans in the stands. Many, in addition to Rivera, were in tears.
After the last out of the inning was made, Andy Pettitte’s name was chanted by the fans. The Rays remained in their dugout and urged the retiring left-hander to come on the field. Another standing ovation was given and responded to by Pettitte before the game could continue.
The loss was far less important to the fans than their opportunity to bid a loving farewell to two great Yankees.
Jeter is now the lone member of the famous Core Four, but with Mo’s retirement it feels that the era is gone now. Rivera’s humbleness and sense of team seems quaint by today’s standards. The last great sports hero who gave his best for the team and not for the dollar or for his own self-importance. A man of class leaving a world of overhyped, over paid superstars.
As proof one need not look any further than the fans. They stayed long after the final out. They stayed as Mo sat in the dugout trying to take it all in one last time. And they cheered one last time as the greatest and possibly the one last true sports hero and role model tipped his cap one last time and exited Yankee Stadium.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Bronx News Sports: Yanks Eliminated from Playoffs with an 8-3 to Tamp...: B y Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26- For the second time (2008, 2013) in the last 19 years, the Yankees were eliminated from the...
Posted by Bronx News at 5:27 AM
Bronx News Sports: Fat Lady Sang Loud For Yanks' Playoff Dreams: I t’s over for the Yankees and it was a matter of when By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26- There was that buzz in the crowd at Ya...
Posted by Bronx News at 5:26 AM
It’s over for the Yankees and it was a matter of when
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26- There was that buzz in the crowd at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night. But it was more suited for a one night stand. The New York Yankees needed to win and the scoreboard numbers were all in favor of the Cleveland Indians. Fans were not waiting for bobble heads either, as the Charlie Brown give-away bobble head this night arrived on time.
The Yankees, though, never arrived this year. It all became official in the eighth inning with Curtis Granderson at bat. The Yankees were trying to rally against Tampa Bay, but it did not matter because Cleveland would get their win over the White Sox.
The Yankees were mathematically eliminated from the post season when the Cleveland score went final. Granderson would ground out and a few of the Yankees, on the field for the top of the ninth had a few words with each other.
It was over, and for the second time in 19 years the Yankees will not be involved with playing baseball in October.
“It’s extremely disappointing and back to the drawing board,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. This had to be one of his most difficult post game press briefings with the media. There was a sense of exhaustion as well as disappointment.
However Girardi and the Yankees, as well as their fans, had to know this day was coming. They have been on the brink of elimination from a second wild card spot in the American League and if that second spot was not available elimination would have come that much sooner.
But they were a resilient group, and never quit. Despite all the injuries, and players who kept coming and going, and the lineup shuffling, the Yankees until that eighth inning saw some hope. In that eighth inning, despite again having to battle back to try and win a game, there was hope.
“We were right there,” said Girardi. “Today was probably a reality check for me.”
And it will be a reality check for the New York Yankees. Not playing baseball in October, and with no playoff baseball in the Bronx, well that does not sound right. Indeed, the reality all along was this Yankees team had limited chances for an October post season with 28 stints of disabling 21 different players. That was not supposed to happen to a team with an opening day Major league baseball high payroll of $230 million.
The Rays don’t feel sorry for the Yankees. Most teams never do when the Yankees fail to succeed and Girardi said all season, no team will feel sorry for the walking wounded Yankees. All teams have their share of injuries, but the general manager Brian Cashman went wherever he could to bring in reinforcements.
The veterans Cashman acquired at a reasonable price worked for a limited period of time. Lyle Overbay had a comeback season, a surprise pickup, and David Wells did his part as another key acquisition. Many more came along for the ride with hopes that Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and even Alex Rodriguez would return.
The Yankees started strong and had a brief hold on first place. Then the comeback and making things interesting, and earlier this month trailed the wild card spot by one game as they went up to Boston. That three-game sweep by the Red Sox led to the bad September, losing eight of their last 11 games.
“Just a tough way to end things here, not making the postseason,” commented Phil Hughes who started and in all probability lost his last game as a Yankee. Hughes (4-14) pitched two innings, allowed three runs. He tossed less than 5.0 innings in each of his last five starts.
Hughes was only part of the issue. If the Yankees want to see October baseball next year, the pitching staff has to do it down the stretch. At one point, before that series up in Boston, it appeared the pitching and hitting was coming together.
The Yankees never gave up on Girardi, it all fell apart at the wrong time.
“It’s a really sad feeling,” said Robinson Cano. “The fun part of this game is playoffs. I’m really sad right now. And it’s going to stick in my head, in my mind, until next season.”
That is, if there is a next season in New York for Cano who will be seeking a six figure contract. And the Yankees hierarchy has not seemed very interested in investing in these long term mega contracts due partly to how they have appeared to have not got the best of that big deal from A-Rod.
It did not work for the 2013 New York Yankees. And there is a lot of work to be done in order to be a part of October baseball again. They won’t be one of ten teams that will move on in October this time around. Again teams, like the Rays won’t feel sorry for the Yankees.
“Eliminating a team like the Yankees who played us tough all year is a good thing,” said the Rays’ Evan Longoria after his second multi-career home run game of the season and 13th of his career.
Out before the post season starts, and a final game at Yankee Stadium for Mariano Rivera Thursday night was not supposed to be that way, but it is.
In a quiet and otherwise quiet Yankees clubhouse, without many players available to talk, Rivera said, “I’ll be there for the fans, they deserve it. But it don’t mean anything. I’m not used to pitching for something that doesn’t mean anything. I wanted to pitch for something that means something.”
Rivera could get some playing time in center field at his final game in the Bronx. Andy Pettitte, another of the retiring ‘Core Four” of those Yankees championship teams that played in October, could toss an inning. Because now the games have no meaning, and the final four games are being played for pride.
In the distance from those fans that remained, a fainted chant of “Let’s Go Yankees” could be heard before Ichiro Suziki got on base with a single, pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez in that eighth inning.
For the Yankees the chants of “Let’s go” will not be heard again until next April. Then we should know better, if and when pennant baseball will be played in the Bronx again.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
Posted by Bronx News at 5:20 AM
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26- For the second time (2008, 2013) in the last 19 years, the Yankees were eliminated from the post-season before it began. Wednesday night’s loss to Tampa and the Cleveland victory over the Chicago White Sox mathematically eliminated the Yankees from a role in the playoffs. The elimination was the first at home since 1991.
The batting heroics of several members of the Rays contributed mightily to Tampa’s 11th victory in 18 games with the Yankees. In the first frame, rookie Wll Myers doubled with one out and scored on an RBI double by “road warrior’ James Loney.
Loney doubled in the third and singled in the sixth and was driven in by third sacker Evan Longoria both times.
In the third, Longoria scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce. He scored twice more via the four-bagger. In the sixth, Longoria smacked a 1-2 pitch into the left field stands to score three runs. After not homering for 29 straight games, the slugger belted his 31st home run of the season to lead-off the ninth.
Brooklyn native David DeJesus, happy to be back in the city of his birth, hit safely three times during the contest. DeJesus’s third hit of the game was a first pitch home run that came immediately after the homer of Longoria in the sixth.
The batting success of each of the players was no surprise to anyone following their statistics. Myers was called to the majors on June 18. His presence on the Rays since that date has been phenomenal. The Rays mark since June 18 has been 53-36, but before Myers joined the club, the Rays were only 36-33.
Longoria flexes his muscles whenever the Rays play against the Yanks. In the 18 games this year, Longoria is batting .333 with 9 home runs and 17 RBI. Since 2008, he paces the majors with 25 round trippers against New York.
Loney, for whatever reason, is exceptionally effective when the Rays are on the road. He leads the majors with a .355 (92 for 259) road batting mark, more than 100 points higher than his batting average at home. Going 3 for 4 on Wednesday, the first baseman has raised his batting average in the Bronx to over .400.
Not being in the playoffs is an unusual occurrence for a New York Yankee club. After the contest concluded the clubhouse was somber and the mood downbeat. Manager Joe Girardi did not use the many injuries to key personnel as an excuse, “We didn’t get to where we wanted to be. I don’t think we played as well as we should.”
Girardi was adamant that he would play his best lineup in the remaining four games, “We have a responsibility to baseball and I take that very seriously. The way you play these next four games tells who you are as a person.”
The final game with Tampa and the final game in Yankee Stadium in 2013 on Thursday evening will see two fine, young, right-handers on the mound, Ivan Nova (9-5) versus Alex Cobb (10-3).
Posted by Bronx News at 5:18 AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Bronx News Sports: Fat Lady Getting Ready to Sing for Yanks: Y ankees Looked Like a Team Eliminated and it is All but Official By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 25- It will be official by Thur...
Posted by Bronx News at 6:11 AM
Yankees Looked Like a Team Eliminated and it is All but Official
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 25- It will be official by Thursday, as reality will say time has run out for the New York Yankees and any hope for post season baseball. Tuesday night in the Bronx, when Tampa Bay Rays lead-off hitter Matt Joyce drove a home run to right off Hiroki Kuroda it was going to be that type of ballgame.
And all that was left when the night was over is that the Yankees know, Wednesday night they have to win. Though the inevitable is here, and reality of post season aspirations means they have to win all of their remaining five games.
Winning them all, though, could be too much to ask. Because this has been a season of hope for the Yankees, and despite the numerous injuries, they should not even be fighting for their playoff hopes even if it meant being a post season second wild card team out of the American League.
However, baseball is made to be played until there is an elimination game. And on Wednesday night, elimination faces the Yankees, a team that may have had their final chance for a post season chance before they took the field Tuesday night.
Instead, the starter, Hiroki Kuroda once again did not have his best stuff. The same issues that have seen him lose seven of his last 12 starts have just about put the final nail in the coffin of the Yankees. And now it is more likely going to be a rare October with no post season baseball in the Bronx.
The manager, Joe Girardi, who has been the optimistic one, had that look of disappointment and there was a sense it was over in his post game meeting with the media after Tampa Bay shut out the Yankees 7-0. He talked about Kuroda, how the sinker, slider, and his overall stuff were not there.
And then there was that issue, again, as was so often this season. The Yankees could not capitalize and get the hits when they were needed.
“It’s frustrating because we had opportunities and we weren’t able to put in the hits,” said Girardi. “Runs have been tough for us lately at a time when we needed to score some runs we weren’t able to do it.” He reflected on the Boston series last week and being swept in three games up at Fenway Park.
“We lost the game Sunday,” he added referring to a game his Yankees needed to win against the lowly San Francisco Giants. “It’s been a combination,” he said. A 31-31 record since the All-Star break will not guarantee a spot for October. Nor will stranding 11 on base as the New York offense once again went cold at the wrong time.
“Right now we need a ton of help and need to win games,” said Girardi. He was reacting to a question about this possibly being the end of a season. He has been optimistic despite the gloom and doom of a long season that was interrupted often with one injury or another to a key player.
“That’s what you work for," he said. The reference was to starting in February and working your way to October. Unfortunate for the Yankees, they will wait one more day until not playing baseball in October becomes official.
Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com Facebook.com/Ri
Rays Shutout Yanks, 7-0
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 25- The Yanks lost a must-win game to the Tampa Rays on Tuesday night. The Yanks entered the contest trailing four teams for a Wild Card spot in the American League, Tampa and Cleveland by four games, Texas by three and Kansas City by one.
The Rays wasted no time before putting runs up on the board. The game’s lead-off batter, Matt Joyce, hit the third pitch thrown by Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda into the right field stands.
Rookie Will Myers followed with a single to center. He was driven across the plate by a double to right by David DeJesus. The latter moved to third on the outfield throw and scored as the next batter, Evan Longoria hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field. The three runs in the first were sufficient to ensure the victory.
Kuroda settled down and retired 15 of 16 batters from the first through five innings. Longoria was the only Tampa batter to reach base during that stretch as he was safe on an error by Yankee third sacker Eduardo Nuñez in the fifth.
Myers walked to begin the sixth. The base on balls was the first issued by Kuroda during the contest. With one down, Longoria doubled to left and Ben Zobrist was intentionally walked to load the bases. A double by James Loney knocked in two runs to give the Rays a 5-0 advantage.
The visitors added two more runs in the ninth.
Although the Rays starter Matt Moore exhibited wildness during his five innings, six walks and three wild pitches, he did not allow a runner to cross the plate. The major league sophomore had another one of his impressive performances, which earned him his eighth victory in his last nine decisions.
Moore only gave up three hits in his five innings of work. The first Yankee hit was a single by Ichiro in the third. Two more singles by Alfonso Soriano and Nuñez were hit in the fifth.
The game was the 20th of Moore’s 26 starts in 2013 in which he held the opposing team to six hits or less. The 24 year-old is undefeated, 16-0, in those 20 starts. He is obviously not suffering from the “sophomore jinx.” If he hid not been on the disabled list for more than one month earlier this summer he very likely may have achieved 20 wins this year.
Clutch hitting was absent while the Yankees batted against Moore. They stranded 10 runners and were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position while Moore was on the mound.
When all of Tuesday’s games ended, The Yanks trailed Tampa and Cleveland by five games with five remaining. Winning all five will not be sufficient for the Yanks unless Tampa and/or Cleveland loss all of their remaining contests.
Phil Hughes (4-13) and David Price (8-8) will be the starting pitchers in game two of the three game set on Wednesday evening.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Cardinal Hayes took it to Cardinal Spellman this Saturday scoring 26 points in the opening quarter. Spellman could do nothing to answer Hayes attack losing 47-0. Spellman will hope for better luck next Saturday at home vs Bishsop Ford while Hayes will look to continue its dominance with a matchup vs Saint Peter's
Posted by Bronx News at 10:20 AM
Emotional Goodbye for Marino Rivera
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 23-The eagerly awaited ceremony that honored Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer and one of the finest men in MLB history, took place on Sunday afternoon. The event planned by the Vice President of Marketing of the New York Yankees, Debbie Tymon and her staff was, as expected, moving, inspiring, uplifting and done in the classiest manner.
After proclamations from Rep. Jose Serrano and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were read by emcees John Sterling and Michael Kay, the scene shifted to Monument Park in deep center field.
Attention was next directed to the infield where several former Yankees associated with Rivera were introduced. Included were: manager Joe Torre, trainer Gene Monahan, batterymate Jorge Posada, who caught 368 of Rivera’s saves, David Cone, Jeff Nelson, John Wetteland, Rivera’s predecessor as closer, Hideki Matsui, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill and Bernie Williams.
A short film was shown that saluted Rivera’s career on the giant board in center field. After the film concluded, the former Yankees were joined by the Robinson and Rivera families.
Suddenly, the late Bob Shepard was heard announcing the entrance of Rivera. The band Metallica, on a stage in front of Monument Park was playing Rivera’s entrance theme, “Enter Sandman” with special lyrics for the occasion. As the music played, the legendary closer walked from the Yankee bullpen towards the mound.
After he joined the others, special gifts were presented to the future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The visiting Giants in the persons of four of their coaches, Joe Lefebvre, Hensley Muelens, Roberto Kelly and Dave Righetti, all former Yankee players, presented Rivera with a 16X20 watercolor of him pitching in AT&T in San Francisco in 2007, a guitar specially designed by Kirk Hammett of Metallica and donation to the Mariano Rivera Foundation.
Metallica gave to RIvera a touring guitar speaker cabinet.
The NYY Foundation presented a $100,000 check for Rivera’s foundation.
Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi brought out a custom-made baseball bat rocking chair in which Rivera very briefly sat.
Members of the Steinbrenner family presented Rivera with a replica of his retired number placard and a Waterford Crystal replica of his 2013 glove.
The ceremony concluded with words from Rivera, which reflected his genuine humility and unshakeable religious faith. “I would like to start by thanking my good Lord because without him this would not be possible.” He next thanked his wife and sons, “It means a lot when you have your family around you.” He also spoke with gratitude of “mother and father, my teammates, past and present, the San Francisco organization, my beautiful country, Panama, you fans, George Steinbrenner-I love you and I miss you, Jackie Robinson-he has been a hero and an inspiration to me, and America-23 years since I let my country.”
When asked by a reporter if his speech was written in advance, he responded, “I didn’t have anything written, the words were from my heart.”
The admiration in which Rivera is held throughout the baseball community was demonstrated by the reaction of the uniformed Giants during the ceremony. More than 30 were standing in front of their dugout paying rapt attention and applauding often. When the ceremony ended, many, led by hurler Matt Cain, who was standing closest to the field, lifted their caps in salute to the honoree.
The humble man spoke when was asked his reaction to the ceremony, “The whole thing was special. I didn’t expect anything like that. My emotion was surprise at the love of the fans [when I walked out from center field].”
Bernie Williams spoke for many when he described the event, “This organization really knows how to reward its heroes.”
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 23- After a moving and inspirational retirement tribute to Mariano Rivera attended by capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium, the Yanks and Giants met for the final game of a three-game set.
To add greater meaning and emotion to the contest, Andy Pettitte was starting his final game at Yankee Stadium. The veteran hurler rose to the occasion and fulfilled the hopes of the 49,197 fans in attendance as he did not allow a hit for 5.1 innings.
After the game, Pettitte spoke about the possibility of achieving a no-hitter, “I was worried about the first inning, but after that, it was good. It was good to mentally dream like that [but] I don’t think my body would let me go nine innings.”
The first to reach base off Pettitte was Pablo Sandoval, who drew a walk with two out in the fifth. Rookie shortstop Ehrie Adrianza broke the no-hit bid with a home run to left in the next inning. Adrianza, a major leaguer since September 3rd will long remember his first career home run.
After giving up a lead-off double to Sandoval in the top of the eighth, Pettitte left the game to a standing ovation from the large crowd. The starter, as he promised on Friday, tipped his cap to the fans before entering the dugout. He responded to the prolonged cheers by returning to the field to again remove his cap and wave to the fans.
Pettitte later spoke about the double, “[I am] extremely frustrated that I would make a mistake like that late in the game.
Both manager Joe Girardi and Mariano Rivera thought differently of Pettitte’s performance. Girardi remarked, “I thought he came out and pitched as good a game as he had this year.”
His fellow 2013 retiree, Rivera, stated, “It was extra special the way he pitched today. I wish he could have won the game.”
The disappointment to the veteran lefty and the fans was immediate as reliever David Robertson gave up a double to Tony Abreu after retiring only one batter. The double drove in San Francisco’s second run of the contest.
The day’s honoree, Mariano Rivera, was then called upon to work and retired the following two batters to end the eighth.
The gloom for Yankee fans continued in the bottom of the inning. A lead-off single by Alex Rodriguez was followed by a double by Robinson Cano, but did not result in a run before the inning ended as two runners, pinch runner Zoilo Almonmte and Cano were cut down at the plate.
The Yanks had two men on base in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but did not score in any of those innings. They were retired in 1-2-3 order in the ninth. The lone Yankee run of the game came on a lead-off homer by Mark Reynolds in the third frame.
Pettitte, who received the loss, concluded his career without having defeated the Giants. He finished with a 0-4 mark in four starts.
While the defeat does not mathematically eliminate the Yankees from the playoffs, it does make it nearly impossible to achieve. Pettitte commented upon the situation, “This was a big loss for what we’re trying to get into. This hurt our chances a lot. We haven’t played
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Football Retains Liberty Cup with Victory Over Columbia
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 22- It had all the makings of a trap game for the Fordham football squad. Coming off one of the biggest wins in school history, an upset win at Temple, it would have been easy for the Rams to suffer a letdown. For the first half it appeared to be the case as the Rams amassed 338 yards of offense but only had ten points to show for it. But the second half was a different story as Fordham erupted for 42 points en route to a 52-7 Liberty Cup win over Columbia in front of a sellout Homecoming crowd of 7,026 on Jack Coffey Field.
With the win, the Rams, who entered the game ranked 21st in the NCAA FCS, improve to 4-0 on the season while Columbia drops its season opener. It is the first time that Fordham has opened a season 4-0 since the 1988 squad went 6-0 and the Rams’ first ever 4-0 start on the NCAA FCS level.
The win also ensures that the Liberty Cup remains at Rose Hill for the fourth straight year as the Rams take an 8-5 lead in the all-time series for the Cup.
“We really didn’t make an schematic adjustments at the half,” said head coach Joe Moorhead, who became the second fastest Fordham head coach to win ten games, doing so in his 15th game. “We had almost 350 yards of offense at halftime but only ten points. We weren’t capitalizing on opportunities in the red zone. I just reminded them to pay attention to detail and not turn the ball over and we capitalized better on our opportunities in the second half.”
The Fordham offense gained a season-high 606 yards and was led by junior quarterback Mike Nebrich, who competed 32 of 38 passes for 347 yards, his second straight 300-yard passing game, and three touchdowns and he rushed 12 times for another 85 yards. Eight of those passes went to junior receiver Brian Wetzel for 116 yards and two scores while senior Carlton Koonce led the Fordham rushing attack, gaining 158 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game, on 27 carries with two scores.
But the offense could not have gotten the job done without the play of the offensive line of starters Tom Fisher, Garrick Mayweather, Matt Stolte, Steven Tapia and Chris Watkins along with Mason Halter, who despite not being in the starting lineup due to illness last week, still came on to give the line depth.
“I said going into the game that the game would be decided in the trenches,” said Moorhead. “I think our lines on both sides of the ball did a great job today.”
Defensively, the Rams sacked the Columbia quarterback five times and allowed just 31 net rushing yards, 258 total yards.
The Rams got on the board first, moving 80 yards on nine plays, taking a 7-0 lead on Koonce’s eight-yard scoring run with 5:02 left in first.
The Lions threatened early in the second but Jordan Chapman intercepted a Brett Nottingham pass on the Fordham three. Nebrich then led the Rams downfield but the drive stalled at the Columbia 27 where Michael Marando booted a 38-yard field goal to give the Rams a 10-0 lead 4:10 into the second half.
Later in the second, the Rams’ defense held Columbia on a fourth-and-nine play on the Fordham 48 and Fordham took over with 1:48 left on the clock. Fordham moved to the Columbia four with one second left where they had one last chance to score before the half, but Nebrich was stopped shy of the goal line and the Rams settled for the 10-0 halftime lead.
After the Rams forced a Columbia three-and-out on the first series of the second half, Fordham advanced to the Columbia 35 but Nebrich fumbled after a 15-yard gain and the ball was recovered by Columbia on its own 16.
The Fordham defense stepped up, sacking Nottingham on the second play from scrimmage, forcing a fumble, which was recovered in the end zone by Brett Biestek for a Fordham touchdown and 17-0 lead with 10:29 on the clock.
The defensive touchdown sparked the Fordham offense which scored on its next four possessions, starting with a 29-yard scoring strike from Nebrich on a drive that was set up by a Levon Williams interception to build the lead to 24-0.
On their next offensive series, the Rams covered 64 yards on just five plays with Nebrich connecting with Tebucky Jones on a 15-yard pass to boost the lead to 31-0 with 45 seconds left in the third.
On the ensuing kickoff, JQ Bowers forced and recovered a fumble on the Columbia 15 and Nebrich found Wetzel with his third touchdown pass of the day on the very next play as the Rams’ lead ballooned to 38-0 with 16 ticks on the clock.
The lead grew to 45-0 when Koonce accounted for 55 yards of a 67-yard drive, scoring from the one with 12:13 left, and then 52-0 when Columbia fumbled a punt return on its own two and, two plays later, Kendall Pearcey brought it in midway through the fourth.
The Lions got on the board late in the game, capping an 82-yard drive with an 11-yard scoring pass from Trevor McDonagh to Ryan Flannery with 3:27 left.
Ian Williams, Jake Dixon and Jordan Chapman each recorded a team-high six tackles for the Fordham defense, with Williams recording two sacks and two pass breakups.
The Rams return to action next Saturday, September 28, as they travel to Loretto, Pennsylvania, to face the Saint Francis University Red Flash at 12:00 p.m.
Posted by Bronx News at 12:24 PM
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 22- On Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Ivan Nova pitched a six hit, complete game shutout against the San Francisco Giants. Earlier this summer, Nova hurled two complete games, both against Baltimore. His previous shutout, a three-hit masterpiece, was hurled on August 31.
In his latest outing, Nova did not permit more than one man to reach base in any one inning. He threw more strikes, 73, than in any game he pitched this season. His command of the strike zone, which limited his pitch count to 108, was a major reason he could complete the game.
Both managers found much to admire in his performance. Giants skipper Bruce Bochy praised Nova with the following words, “Their guy [Nova] did pitch well, he’s been throwing the ball well and he did again today. He’s got a good fastball with command of it and a breaking ball.”
Joe Girardi was, of course, overjoyed with Nova’s performance, “Outstanding sinker, outstanding curve today. He was ahead of the hitters. He has a lot more confidence in his stuff.” The manager was looking to give his overworked bullpen some rest. For this reason, he admitted, “That’s why we sent him out there in the ninth.”
Between Nova’s two shutouts, the 26-year old surrendered 11 earned runs in 17 innings during the three starts. Speaking with reporters after the game, Nova explained that he was watching videos of his most recent games and saw that he was tipping a variety of his pitches. He believes this knowledge allowed him to be much more effective on Saturday.
Each of the first three batters in the Yankees order drove in a run in the third inning. After the seven, eight and nine batters reached base,Ichiro hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Mark Reynolds, Alex Rodriguez grounded to short to score Brendan Ryan and Robinson Cano singled to plate Chris Stewart.
Eduardo Nuñez homered to left in the fourth. The home run also scored Curtis Granderson, who was on first with a single.
Alfonso Soriano led off the sixth with his 17th homer and 50th RBI was a Yankee this year to score the final run of the game. The 50th RBI added to 51 as a Chicago Cub tied him with four other players as the only ones who have driven in at least 50 runs with two different teams in the same season.
Girardi said of Soriano, “He’s provided a lot of punch in our lineup. He’s provided a lot of protection for Robbie [Cano}. He believes Soriano’s success has come because “He’s excited to be here.”
Soriano expressed a different explanation for his great hitting with the Yankees, “We have a lot of good players in the lineup that makes it more easy for me. That gives me more concentration.”
The Yanks hope to sweep the three game set on Sunday afternoon. Andy Pettitte (10-10) will be making his final career start at Yankee Stadium. The undefeated Yusmeiro Petit (4-0) will be on the mound for the Giants in his first start against the Yankees. The game will be preceded by a lengthy and emotional salute to Mariano Rivera, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
Posted by Bronx News at 7:35 AM
Saturday, September 21, 2013
A-Rod Hits Grand Slam to Give Yanks Win Over Giants
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 21- The San Francisco Giants made their first visit to the current Yankee Stadium on Friday night. Their last trip to the Bronx was in 2002 for an inter-league series with the Yankees.
When the home ballpark of the Giants was one subway stop away from that of the Yankees on the D line, the two clubs met in the World Series in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1936, 1937, 1951 and 1962. Interestingly, in 1921 and 1922, both teams used the Polo Grounds as their home stadium, so all the World Series contests were played there.
On Friday, the Yanks took the lead in the must win contest for them as Alfonso Soriano blasted an 0-2 pitch into the stands in right off starter Tim Lincecum to lead-off the second frame. The home run was his 16th in Yankee pinstripes. He has also knocked in 49 runs in his 51 games as a Yankee. The veteran outfielder has hit 33 homers and driven in 100 runs during the full 2013 season.
The score was tied in the following inning as DeWitt Clinton grad Juan Perez of the Giants doubled in the only run the Giants would score on Friday. The youngster, happy to be living with his family in the Bronx for the week his team is in New York City, also doubled in the first inning.
The score remained knotted at one until the bottom of the seventh. Eduardo Nuñez opened with a single and then stole second. Yankee shortstop Brendan Ryan was hit by a pitch. With two out, Ichiro drew a walk. Lincecum was removed from the game was replaced on the mound by former Yankee George Kontos. On a 2-1 pitch the next batter, Alex Rodriguez, homered to right to drive in four runs.
The historic Grand Slam was A-Rod’s 24th, which established a new major league mark. Rodriguez had been tied with Yankee legend Lou Gehrig at 23. After the game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was asked why he played the injured Rodriguez. He responded with the following words, “We need a big hit. He can do that. He has the knack.”
Yankee starter C.C. Sabathia left the game facing one batter in the eighth with the Yanks ahead, 5-1. Sabathia commented on his performance, “I just was making good pitches when I had to. He also gave credit to rookie catcher J.R. Murphy, “I didn’t have to shake him off one time.”
David Robertson followed Sabathia in the eighth and Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Girardi explained why he brought in the veteran closer in a non-save situation, “We cannot afford to lose any more games. I’m going to get him in there when I can.”
Sabathia remains perfect against San Francisco. He is now 3-0 with an ERA of 1.66.
The next game, a Saturday matinee, will pit Ivan Nova (8-5) vs. Ryan Vogelsong.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Bronx News Sports: Andy Pettitte Announces Retirement: 'I'm Done' B y Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 20- Two days before the official Yankees salute to retiring Mariano Rive...
Posted by Bronx News at 2:30 PM
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 20- Two days before the official Yankees salute to retiring Mariano Rivera at Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte announced he would retire at the end of the 2013 season.
Pettitte previously retired at the conclusion of the 2010 season, but re-signed with the Yankees on March 16, 2012.
It was expected that the veteran lefty, the oldest starting pitcher in the majors at the age of 41, would retire at the end of the year, but the timing was a surprise.
Pettitte, who is scheduled to make his last start in Yankee Stadium on Sunday, explained his reasoning, “This was to be it and nothing that happened during the season changed my mind. I really just planned on announcing it the day after the season ended in a conference call. [But] I want all our fans to know now-while I’m still in uniform-how grateful I am for their support throughout my career. I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap to them and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees special.”
The only controversy arose because Mariano Rivera is to be honored for his lengthy, outstanding and unique career with the Yankees prior to Sunday’s game. Pettitte was aware of the feelings of the fans towards the renowned Yankee closer and stated the following, “I’ve been blessed being around him all these years. We’ve had a great run. It [Sunday] is his day. He means so much to me and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him.”
He also explained to reporters on Friday that Rivera encouraged him to announce the retirement and told him it only makes his [Rivera’s] day better.
Another connection between the two great Yankees hurlers is that in combination they share the win/save major league mark with 72.
Pettitte’s career alone is also worthy of honor. His 10-10 record this year has raised his lifetime won/loss mark to 255-152. He ranks 39th in major league history in number of career wins. He only follows Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing in victories as a Yankee with 218. The left-hander was an American League All-Star in 1996, 2001 and 2010.
The recognition of Pettitte as a pitcher any team would want on the mound in a crucial contest was earned in post-season play. He has the most starts in the post-season with 44 and the most victories with 19. Pettitte was an integral member of the most recent World Championship teams of the Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. With two wins in two starts, Pettitte was chosen the MVP if the 2001 American League Championship Series (ALCS) in 2001 against Seattle.
At a press conference on Friday, Pettitte explained why he is ending his career now, “The family thing is obviously a big part of this decision, but the biggest thing is I’m done, mentally and physically.”
Explaining why he is looking forward to his retirement, he remarked, “I’ve been retired, so I know what I’ll do, be with the kids, sharing my faith in Jesus Christ, getting involved with my church and travel.”
Strangely, Pettitte’s final start will come in Houston, his hometown during the final weekend of the regular season.
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 20- Picture two ballplayers from the Bronx on the baseball diamond and in opposite dugouts. Both are all-city stars and dreaming of the day when they could be a part of a Major league Baseball franchise. It can happen, and with the San Francisco Giants it is a reality.
Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, after the Giants 2-1 series finale win over the New York Mets, Juan Perez and Johnny Monell were in the visitor’s clubhouse packing their bags for their next series. A trip across the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to the Bronx and a meeting with the New York Yankees is also a part of the reality.
Yes, Yankee Stadium, the venue where every ballplayer from the Bronx hopes to be one day. Just like a fighter who dreams of fighting at the “Meca” known as Madison Square Garden.
Perez played high school ball at Dewitt Clinton, and Monell a few minutes away at Christopher Columbus. They opposed each other more than once in PSAL league games and were eventually drafted as first round picks by the Giants.
It is a story of success and a chapter taking place in two big league ballparks this week, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. It is the first time the Giants are playing two New York teams in the same week.
But it used to be that way all the time. Back in the old days when the Giants were a New York team, they played the Yankees and Dodgers all the time in New York at the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium. Perez and Monell were not around to see that, but they have heard the stories.
Now they have their own story. It is success and they can share that with family, friends and the kids of New York City who play on the same baseball fields that they once occupied.
“This has been awesome, something I always thought about,” said Perez who started in left field Thursday afternoon and batted seventh in the lineup of manager Bruce Bochy.
Perez did not disappoint the many family and friends that were in the Citi Field crowd of 22,897. He had a career high three hits for the Giants, walked, and drove in a run. A majority cheered, obvious rooting for the Giants with orange shirts and jerseys.
Monell came off the bench Wednesday night. In the series at Citi Field, he went hitless in two at bats. Before their major home coming against the Yankees, three games in the Bronx beginning Friday night, Monell was getting ready for an annual rookie ritual, something all teams do on the big league level to their rookies in September.
It was another script, this time wearing outfits as “Naked Cowboys” and walking out of the Giants’ clubhouse with other rookies, and wearing similar gear that had nothing to do with baseball.
They were now in the big leagues, and loving every minute of it. Perez, the 26-year old who came to the Bronx from Santiago, Dominican Republic was a 13th round draft pick of the Giants in 2008. That year, at Western Oklahoma Junior College, he hit .465 with 37 home runs and knocked in 102 runs.
“We will play him more and get him a start against the Yankees,” said Bochy. That certainly will make his parents, family and friends proud. Perez said he does not know how he will handle the demand for tickets. Yankee Stadium is home and more so than Citi Field.
On this final road trip of the season for the Giants, Perez is staying with his wife, daughter and sister in the University Heights section of the Bronx, a few minutes from the Stadium.
But the ticket demand will be easy. Ballplayers, even from the inner city have a way of handling the pressure. After all, getting to the big leagues requires adjustment and has its share of pressure that is more demanding.
“It has been a major adjustment for me,” said Perez. “Getting here, different pitching, and not making many mistakes… It has been amazing,” he said about the five year journey to get where he is now.
But more amazing is the script, and how his teammate Monell is sharing the same experience. How they will have a similar homecoming in the Bronx makes this a better story. When asked, Bochy would not commit to having both of his rookies on the field at the same time in the Bronx.
Monell, the 27-year old left- handed hitter was also a teammate with Perez last year at double-A Richmond where he led the club with a .449 slugging percentage. He tied Perez for the most home runs with 11.
The script and amazing journey will resume in the Bronx tomorrow night. And, more importantly Perez, Monell, and the Giants may have a major impact as to the Yankees post season chances.
COMMENT RICH MANCUSO: Ring786@aol.com Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
Posted by Bronx News at 5:03 AM
Monday, September 16, 2013
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 16- After an absence from the ring of nearly two years, former World Welterweight Champion Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey (37-4, 22 KO’s) made his boxing comeback at the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, Long Island on September 14. Clottey defeated his opponent Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson (14-13-3, 5 KO’s) of Escondido, California in a one-sided, 10-round unanimous decision. The judges’ scorecards read 100-89, 100-89, 99-90 in favor of the former champ. The bout was fought in the middleweight division.
At a Wednesday press conference prior to the bout, Clottey expressed his desire to return to the squared circle, “I’ve been off for a while, but I’m anxious to get back in the ring and start my path towards winning another world title. He spoke confidently of making a good impression in his comeback bout, “I have been thinking of nothing but a KO for this fight. This fight will not go the full distance.” Although, Clottey dominated the encounter, he was not able to fulfill his prediction to KO his opponent.
The Star Boxing card, “Rockin’ Fights 10” on September 14 was headlined by undefeated junior welterweight Chris Algieri (18-0, 8 KO’s), who stopped Wifredo Acuna in the seventh to continue his undefeated pro career. A special feature of the show was a live screen presentation of the heralded Floyd Mayweather/Saul “Canelo” Alvarez title fight that was seen by the crowd after the live bouts concluded.
Clottey, a 35-year old signed a contract with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing promotions in August. Clottey is not the first world champion to be guided by the experienced promoter/manager from the Bronx. The partnership is especially appropriate as the native of Ghana is now a resident of the Bronx, the borough that is the birthplace of the renowned promoter and the home base of his successful promotion, Star Boxing.
DeGuardia, very familiar with the newest addition to his stable of boxers, spoke in high praise of Clottey, “He’s fought the very best in the world including Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto and he fits very well in the mix in the top 10 middleweights in the world. His world title fight against Miguel Cotto was one of the most memorable bouts New York City fight fans had seen for many years.”
Clottey began his pro career in his native land in 1995. After winning 25 of his first 26 bouts, Clottey had his first bout in the U.S. in 2003. His first world title tilt was for the WBO Welterweight crown against Antonio Margarito on December 2, 2006. The 12 round loss by decision for Clottey may have been affected by Margarito’s hand wraps, which in some bouts were allegedly filled with plaster, but definitely was affected by Clottey breaking his hand early in the encounter.
That loss was followed by four impressive victories that gained the Ghanaian an IBF Welterweight Title bout over Zab Judah, for the crown vacated by Margarito. Clottey won his first world title by defeating Judah.
Clottey’s next two bouts were 12 round losses by decision to two of the most renowned boxers of the current age, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao.
The defeat by Cotto was on a split decision and was in Cotto’s “home” arena, Madison Square Garden.
Since Clottey’s most recent bout in November, 2011, he has put on weight and is now competing as a middleweight.
Posted by Bronx News at 1:01 PM
Photos by Gary Quintal
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 16- Mount Saint Michael fell to Holy Cross in Week Two action of the Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL).
The loss puts the Mountaineers at 0-2 while Holy Cross stands at 2-0. Mount fell behind early losing a fumble on the third play of the opening drive resulting in a return for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead after the missed extra point.
The Mountaineers would respond in the second quarter with a touchdown run from first and goal at the Holy Cross 9-yard line setting up a 6-6 tie with 5:34 remaining in the half.
Penalties and poor play would keep both sides tied until a Holy Cross touchdown pass off a roll out with only 12 seconds remaining in the game gave Holy Cross a 12-6 victory.
Posted by Bronx News at 10:49 AM
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Fordham Upsets Temple, 30-29
Mike Nebrich to Sam Ajala TD Pass with four seconds left lifts Rams
BRONX, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 15- WOW. There are many ledes that could be written for Saturday's Fordham-Temple football game at Lincoln Financial Field but that is the one that seems to be most appropriate is a simple, all uppercase, WOW. For the Rams used a touchdown pass and PAT with four seconds left to earn the school’s first ever win over an NCAA FBS team, 30-29.
Last Tuesday, as the team was exiting the practice field, head coach Joe Moorhead commented that the players didn’t realize that they were going to go on the road and have chance to beat an NCAA FBS team. Somehow between Tuesday and Saturday, the Rams received that message as Fordham used an explosive offense, gaining over 500 total yards, and a bend-but-don’t break defense, in a game that featured more reviews than an opening night Broadway play, to advance to 3-0 for the first time since 1988.
The last time the Rams defeated a team in what is now known as the FBS was when Fordham opened the 1954 season with a 13-7 win over Rutgers. Since making the move to the NCAA FCS (originally I-AA) in 1989, the Rams have played five games against FBS opponents (Buffalo in 1993 and 1995, Army and UConn in 2011 and Cincinnati last year), dropping all five.
Junior Mike Nebrich quarterbacked the offensive outburst, completing 23 of 36 passes for a career-high 320 yards and two scores while senior Carlton Koonce rushed 27 times for 168 yards and one touchdown. Koonce’s 168 yards brings his career total at Fordham to 2,162, good for seventh on the Fordham all-time rushing list.
Fordham’s Sam Ajala led all receivers in the game with seven catches for 134 yards and the game-winning score while Tebucky Jones grabbed seven passes for 105 yards.
After a relatively low scoring first half, the second half went back and forth, and it seemed likely that the team with the ball last would win, which is almost what happened. Trailing 29-23 with 13 seconds left, the Rams lined up at the Temple 29 where Nebrich took the snap and rolled out of the pocket to the right. Just before he got hit, he lofted a pass to the end zone that seemed to be intended for junior Brian Wetzel. But Ajala outleaped his defender and came down with the ball in the end zone for the score to tie the game at 29.
Temple called a time out before junior Michael Marando was able to attempt the point after and then asked for a review to determine whether Ajala was pushed out of bounds or went out on his on the scoring play (the third review of the drive). When the touchdown was upheld by the replay official, the Owls again try to ice Marando by calling a time out before his attempt. But following the second time out, Joseph’s Sullivan’s snap to Wetzel was perfect and Marando calmly put the ball through the uprights to put Fordham up 30-29.
The Owls still had one last chance as they fell on the ensuing kickoff on their own 25 but DeAndre Slate, one of just three Fordham pass rushers, got to Temple quarterback Connor Reilly and sacked him to end the game.
The Fordham offense was firing on all cylinders from the start, taking the opening kickoff and driving to the Temple one but Koonce, who had a 48-yard carry on the third play of the game, lost three yards on fourth and goal and the ball was turned over to the Owls.
Temple moved out to the Fordham 33 but on fourth and six, Stephen Hodge got to Owls quarterback Clinton Granger and sacked him, forcing Granger to fumble and the ball was recovered at the Fordham 45 by Nick Merino.
The Rams couldn’t take advantage of the turnover but did use the second Temple turnover of the game, a Levon Williams interception, to get on the board. The Williams interception gave the Rams possession on the Temple 25 but Fordham couldn’t move the ball and settled for a 44-yard Marando field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 49 seconds on the clock.
The score would stay at 3-0 until Fordham attempted a fake punt that was sniffed out by Temple as Brett Biestek was tackled short of the first down and the Owls took over on the Fordham 41. Eight plays later, Granger rushed it in from the one to give Temple a 7-3 lead with 10:27 remaining in the second.
The lead was short-lived for the Owls as the Rams took the ensuing kickoff and took just four plays to cover 75 yards, the big play a 40-yard completion from Nebrich to Tebucky Jones one play before a Koonce 16-yard scoring rush as Fordham went up 10-7 just 1:24 later.
The Owls missed out on a chance to pull to within one when a Jim Cooper 23-yard field goal bounced off the left upright.
The Rams increased their advantage to six as Marando hit a 47-yard field goal as time expired to cap a 14-play, 50-yard drive.
Fordham boosted the lead to 13 midway through the third as Koonce kept a drive alive with a 21-yard carry on fourth and one from the Fordham 43. Koonce then gained 16 yards on a carry before Nebrich hooked up with Wetzel for an 18-yard scoring strike with 6:21 on the clock.
Reilly came on to quarterback the Owls and the Temple offense responded, covering 88 yards on ten plays to make it a 20-14 game on a four-yard run from Kenny Harper with 3:03 left in the third.
On the Owls first possession of the fourth quarter, Reilly capped a 77-yard drive with a 15-yard keeper to put Temple up for the first time in the game, 21-20, 2:15 into the quarter.
The Rams regained the lead, 23-21, when Marando connected on his third three-pointer of the day, a 24-yarder, with 7:03 remaining.
Temple again answered quickly, taking advantage of a long kickoff return to score on a seven-yard Reilly pass to Chris Coyer and go up 29-23 with 4:34 on the clock.
After Temple went up 29-23 the Rams took over on their own 29 with 4:29 remaining. The Rams faced a fourth-and-two from the Temple 49 but Nebrich was able to pick up the two yards for the first down. Three plays later, Fordham again faced a fourth down call, needing six yards to keep its upset hopes alive and Nebrich again came up big, picking up a few inches over six yards to keep the Rams in the game and give himself the chance for the game-winner. Both fourth down plays were reviewed by the officials.
Stephen Hodge led the Fordham defense with eleven tackles, nine solo, including one sack and he forced a fumble and broke up a pass. Victor DiFusco added eight tackles for the Rams while Hancock finished with seven.
The Rams will return to action next Saturday, September 21, as they host Columbia University on Jack Coffey Field at 1:00 p.m. for Homecoming 2013. The game will also be the annual Liberty Cup game.
Posted by Bronx News at 9:13 AM