#Fordham Knocks Off Army West Point, 37-35
Rams beat second NCAA FBS team in three years
BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS)- The motto of the 2015 Fordham University football Rams is “So What?” as in: You lost over 30 seniors to graduation? “So What?”. You have 18 new starters due to those losses. “So What?” You’re opening your 2015 season with 30 freshmen and their first collegiate game will be at Army West Point. “So What?” There were loud shouts of “So What?” in the visiting locker room at Michie Field tonight as the Rams pulled off another win over an FBS team, defeating Army West Point, 37-35.
Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead may want his agent to start shopping the screen rights for the game as what the Rams accomplished over the weekend is usually seen only in Hollywood scripts. Starting a quarterback who hasn’t thrown a pass in over two years. No problem. Starting a placekicker who had never kicked a field goal in a college game. Big deal. Starting nine new players on defense after allowing over 350 rushing yards to Army last year. Fuhgeddaboudit.
Junior Kevin Anderson, who last attempted a pass in a game as a senior in high school in 2012, looked like he’d been a three-year starter, completing 15 of 23 passes for 322 yards and rushing for a score, while Patriot League preseason offensive player of the year Chase Edmonds showed why he was the 2014 Jerry Rice Award winner as he rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries with three scores and also caught six passes for 140 yards.
Defensively, the Rams allowed Army 256 rushing yards, more than 100 fewer than last year, and came up with big plays when needed, especially on a late two-point try by the Black Knights. Trailing by eight, 37-29 with 2:32 left, Army scored on a 27-yard pass to make it a two-point game, 37-35. The Black Knights went for the two-point conversion to tie the game but the rush attempt was thwarted by the Fordham defense, led by Marcus Fulmore and Niko Thorpe.
The game got off to an unexpected start for the Rams as Anderson fumble the first play from scrimmage, with Army recovering on the Fordham eight. Three plays later it was a 7-0 Army lead.
The Rams responded with a scoring drive with the big play being a 46-yard run by Edmonds to put the ball on the Army 22. Three plays later, Anderson took it in from the six to knot the game at seven.
The Black Knights scored on their next possession but Fordham responded again, moving 62 yards on seven plays with Edmonds covering the final 14 to tie the contest at 14 with 4:28 left in the first.
An 87-yard connection from Anderson to Edmonds early in the second quarter set up a 22-yard Makay Redd field goal, his first collegiate field goal, as Fordham took a 17-14 lead three minutes into the period.
Army West Point roared back, scoring on a 15-yard run, to take a 21-17 lead with5:10 left in the half but the Fordham offense responded with an eight-play, 85-yard drive, capped by an Edmonds one-yard plunge, to retake the lead, 24-21.
The Black Knights were looking to score before the half but JQ Bowers intercepted a pass for the Rams that was turned into a 27-yard Redd field goal as time expired and Fordham took a 27-21 lead at the break.
Both defenses tightened up to open the second half as each squad went three-and-out on their first possession.
Army‘s second drive of the second half ended after three plays and as the Black Knights attempted a punt, but the snap sailed over the punter’s head who ran it out of the end zone for a safety to increase the Fordham lead to 29-21.
Later in the period, the Black Knights scored on a one-yard rush and made good on the two-point conversion to tie the game at 29.
On the ensuing possession, the Rams moved from their own 18 to the Army West Point 10 where Edmonds took a handoff around the left side and to the end zone to give Fordham a 35-29 lead. The PAT snap was bobbled by holder Joe Pavlik but he wisely got up and ran to the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 37-29 Fordham lead with 12:04 left.
Later in the period, Army West Point scored on a 27-yard completion and then lined up for the two-point try that was turned aside by the Rams.
The Black Knights had one last chance for a win but a fourth down pass from midfield was incomplete with 28 seconds remaining and the Rams kneeled on the ball for the win.
Niko Thorpe led the Fordham defense with 11 total tackles, seven solo and one for loss, while Hodge added eight, five solo.
Fordham returns to action on Saturday, September 12, as they host the Villanova Wildcats on Jack Coffey Field at 6:00 PM.