Football Improves to 2-0 With Narrow Win Over Monmouth


DeMorat etched his name in the Fordham history books last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

For the first time since 2013, Fordham Football is 2-0 to start the season. Then, it was victories over the University of Rhode Island and Villanova University in the season’s opening weeks that propelled the Rams to a 12-2 campaign and a Patriot League Championship. Now, two huge road wins over Wagner University and Monmouth University have the Rams hoping for similar fortunes in 2022.

Led by a record setting day from senior quarterback Tim DeMorat, the Rams out slugged the Monmouth Hawks 52-49 on Saturday afternoon in New Jersey in a contest that saw both teams amass over 700 yards of total offense. DeMorat tied both his own single-game touchdown mark of six and became Fordham’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns with 78, breaking the mark previously set by Kevin Anderson from 2014-17. All told, DeMorat completed 34 of 51 passes for a career high 452 yards to go along with his six scores. For his effort, he was named FCS National Player of the Week. He currently leads the FCS through two weeks in passing touchdowns and passing yards per game.

Like last week, it was another slow start for the Rams in the first quarter. Monmouth jumped out to a 20-7 lead after 15 minutes of play thanks to an Alex Bryant 60-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tony Muskett and a 95-yard scoring run from running back Jaden Shirden. Fordham fought back in the second quarter thanks to three touchdown passes from DeMorat: one to senior Fotis Kokosioulis, one to junior Mekai Felton and one to senior Dan Byrnes. For Kokosioulis, history was made as well. His catch was one of 15 for him on the day, good enough for a new school record. These three scores were enough to put the Rams on top 28-26 heading into the halftime break.

In the second half, more back and forth action ensued. A two-yard touchdown run from sophomore Julius Loughridge opened the second half for the Rams, but Monmouth responded with an 80-yard score from Shirden. A field goal from each side meant that the Rams had a narrow 38-35 lead to start the fourth quarter.

Just 14 seconds into the final quarter of action, DeMorat found Felton for a 22-yard score to put Fordham up 10, his second touchdown catch of the day. However, this lead did not last long. After an Owen Wright rushing touchdown got Monmouth within three, DeMorat marched the Rams back down the field looking for more insurance. With Fordham in the red zone on the Monmouth 16-yard-line, DeMorat was picked off by Terrell Smith to keep the Hawks in the game. The ensuing drive would end in another touchdown for Wright, putting Monmouth on top 49-45 with four minutes to play in regulation.

With the ball down by four, the Rams began their game-winning drive from their own 25. Graduate student running back Trey Snead ran for 43 yards on Fordham’s final offensive series, including a huge 20-yard run on fourth-and-two that set the Rams up in Monmouth territory. On third down from the Monmouth 14, DeMorat threw a beautiful, game-winning touchdown to Kokosioulis in the corner of the endzone to put Fordham up 52-49 with under a minute to play. 

Still needing a stop to secure the victory, the Rams defense put their rough day behind them and came up huge, stopping Monmouth on fourth down with four seconds left on the clock to seal the win.

Speaking on his team’s victory after the game, Fordham head coach Joe Conlin said, “Obviously it was a great effort. Tremendous resilience shown by our guys … the defense came up big with a few stops right before the half and in the second half there at the end.”

Conlin also commented on the play of his offense. “Obviously, offensively we had a great day. Timmy [DeMorat] had a great day, Fotis [Kokosioulis] had a great day, our running backs did a great job. You’d like it to not be that high scoring and that close, but a road win is a road win so you take it any way you can get it.”

Fordham’s offense was truly clicking on all cylinders Saturday. In addition to the historic play of DeMorat, Sneed finished with 110 yards rushing, while Loughridge added 94 yards and touchdown. In the receiving game, Kokosioulis led the way with his record-breaking 15 catches to go along with 130 yards and two scores.

Defensively, the Rams will look to sure up a bit in the coming weeks. They’ve allowed a total of 80 points through the first two weeks of the season and allowed over 700 total yards against Monmouth. Graduate student linebacker Ryan Greenhagen led the Rams on Saturday with six solo tackles.

Next, Fordham will finally return to Jack Coffey Field for their home opener this Saturday against the University of Albany on Homecoming weekend. That game is set for a 1 p.m. start and can be watched live on ESPN+ or listened to on WFUV 90.7 FM.