Football Dominates in Blowout Victory Over Bucknell

The excitement around the Fordham football program is currently at a high point that it has not seen in some time, and that excitement has only increased with each of the team’s four consecutive wins, the latest coming in dominant fashion against Bucknell.

Tim+DeMorat+had+a+spectacular+game+against+the+Bucknell+Bison+at+Jack+Coffey+Field.+%28Courtesy+of+Fordham+Athletics%29

Tim DeMorat had a spectacular game against the Bucknell Bison at Jack Coffey Field. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Dylan Balsamo, Managing Editor

The excitement around the Fordham football program is currently at a high point that it has not seen in some time, and that excitement has only increased with each of the team’s four consecutive wins. 

Those four wins include their latest triumph on Saturday, a squandering at home on Jack Coffey Field against Bucknell University by a score of 66–21. Not only is this win the Rams’ fourth in as many weeks, but it also puts them at an undefeated 2–0 in the Patriot League. It is their first time undefeated after two games in conference since 2016. Combined with last week’s 56–7 romping of Wagner College, Fordham Football has scored 50 or more points in two consecutive games for the first time in school history.

Fordham had 697 total yards of offense, a season-high for Patriot League squads and a top-10 in all of the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in 2021. It was also the third consecutive game for the team with 500 or more offensive yards.

With over five dozen points on the board, there were obviously multiple faces under Maroon helmets that had standout afternoons. No player, however, had a bigger game than Tim DeMorat. The senior quarterback continues to climb his way up the ranks of program history. In the eighth 300-yard passing game of his career, DeMorat tied the school record with six touchdown passes in the game (previously achieved twice), while also completing 26 of 36 total passes and tossing the football for 218 yards. And he did all of that before exiting the game early in the third quarter.

DeMorat’s numbers over this four-game span of wins for Fordham have been nothing short of remarkable. He has completed 87 of 129 passes (67.4%) and thrown for 1,242 yards with 15 touchdown passes. In terms of where DeMorat ranks in the depths of Rams football history after this victory, he now sits third all-time in career touchdown passes with 57, third in career completions with 620 and fourth in career passing yards with 7,323. 

After his exit from the game on Saturday, DeMorat was succeeded by four different quarterbacks who took the Rams the rest of the way: senior Sean Holland, sophomores Grant Wilson and Joey Gulbin and junior Tom Sharkey. Fordham’s three remaining touchdowns were all recorded on the ground.

DeMorat’s top target for the day was junior wide receiver Dequece Carter, who had 10 catches and caught two of the six touchdown passes for 87 total yards. Senior receiver Fotis Kokosoulis may have only had six receptions for 76 yards, but he recorded three touchdowns himself. 

On the ground, the Rams also rushed for 343 yards on Saturday afternoon, 137 of those coming from senior running back Trey Sneed on 15 carries. Sophomore running back Taj Barnes had 61, a career-high.

The defense had an impressive day too, continuing to fill the void left by injured senior linebacker Ryan Greenhagen, who missed the last two weeks and had to put his historic campaign on hold. The Rams’ defense allowed 269 total yards on Saturday and recorded nine tackles for loss. Freshman linebacker James Conway continued his dominant stretch over the same period of time as DeMorat’s and Fordham’s overall. He finished the game with 10 tackles, his fourth consecutive week with double digits in that department.

Fordham’s kickers also had standout afternoons. Junior Nick Leinenweber converted the extra point on all nine of Fordham touchdowns, putting him at a perfect 30-for-30 on extra point kicks in 2021. Fellow junior kicker Michael Barnard had kickoffs for the afternoon, and 10 of his 11 were long enough to reach the end zone for touchbacks, with the outlying one dropping at the Bucknell eight-yard line.

The Rams were firing on all cylinders on Saturday.

For his efforts in the game, DeMorat was, unsurprisingly, named the GEICO Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week. It is his fourth time receiving the honor this season alone, as he leads the conference in touchdown passes and is fourth overall in the FCS. The league, and the country, has taken notice of DeMorat and the season he and his team are having.

Fordham head coach Joe Conlin expectedly expressed satisfaction with a 45-point margin of victory while still accepting the win with a firm lip and a continuous look to what’s next during the postgame press conference.

“I thought the guys played hard,” Conlin said. “Obviously, we need to clean up the turnovers on offense, but defensively, other than a couple of miscues in the first half, I thought we played a pretty good game.”

Those turnovers were the four fumbles the Fordham offense had that resulted in them losing the ball four times. But after 66 points scored, it is one of very few errors to point out. Conlin was speaking with a determination to meet his expectations for the team this season and seemed to be in emotional control while guiding the program through a time of rapid incline.

Fordham will look to continue that incline as the challenges within the Patriot League get tougher. The Rams will host the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 1:00 p.m. on Jack Coffey Field. Last time these two teams met was in October of 2019, when Lehigh edged out a 30–27 overtime win.

But this time around, Fordham hopes its early season challenges and its recent success will result in more good times for the team and the program overall.