Football Slams Lafayette, Improves to 8-2


The Rams picked up another key victory Saturday on their quest to earn an FCS Playoff Berth. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Football kept their impressive 2022 season rolling this past Saturday with a 45-10 win over Lafayette College at Jack Coffey Field. The win moves the Rams to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in Patriot League play.

Led by another strong effort from senior quarterback Tim DeMorat, Fordham’s offense once again eclipsed the 40-point mark, something they have done in each of their 10 games so far this season. 

DeMorat finished the day with 482 yards on 32/45 passing and six total touchdowns. The Florida native continues to lead the entire Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in both passing yards (4,107) and passing touchdowns (47).

Supporting DeMorat offensively were three of his main receiving targets, all of whom had big games. Seniors MJ Wright, Fotis Kokosioulis and Dequece Carter each eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards, with Kokosioulis and Carter adding two touchdowns each. With his 117 yards on the day, Kokosioulis surpassed 1,000 yards for the season, becoming just the sixth Fordham player to do so.

Early in the season, the narrative surrounding Fordham Football was that they possessed an elite offense but a lackluster defense. This led to some high-scoring thrillers, including a 52-49 win over Monmouth University and a narrow 59-52 loss to Ohio University.

Half of this narrative seems to be true with one game remaining in regular season play. While Fordham’s offense has continued to operate at a historic pace, their defense has stepped up in recent weeks. They held Bucknell University to 17 points last week and allowed just 10 to Lafayette on Saturday. In fact, the Leopards generated just 180 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice thanks to a stout performance from defensive coordinator Mark Powell’s squad.

Sophomore linebacker James Conway was front-and-center once again for the Rams defense, recording a team high nine tackles in addition to a sack. Graduate student Ryan Greenhagen and senior B.J. Ferguson were right behind with seven tackles each, while senior Stephen Williams II chipped in with an interception.

After the game, Fordham head coach Joe Conlin said he was proud of the effort from his defense. “I thought they played great. They really stood up to the run game … What we did this week better than any was get to the quarterback. We were able to sack [Lafayette quarterback Ah-Shaun Davis] five times. If you can do that, that’s really helpful.”

While we have seen several slow starts from Fordham in the first quarter this season, the Rams asserted their dominance over Lafayette right from the jump on Saturday. After both teams exchanged punts to begin the game, Fordham’s second possession started with a 59-yard bomb from DeMorat to junior Mekai Felton to set the Rams up deep in Lafayette territory. DeMorat then punched the ball in from one yard out to give Fordham an early 7-0 lead.

After a short field goal from junior Brandon Peskin late in the first, Fordham continued their strong play into the second quarter. The interception from Williams and a key fourth down stop from the Fordham defense kept Lafayette off the board. After the stop, DeMorat capped off an eight play, 77-yard drive with another rushing score, extending Fordham’s lead to 17-0. Lafayette got on the board late in the first half with a field goal, but the Rams answered right back with a 30-yard touchdown from DeMorat to Carter to send Fordham into the halftime break up 24-3.

Lafayette began the scoring in the third after a failed fourth down conversion gave the Leopards the ball inside Fordham territory, with Davis finding Chris Carasia for the 14-yard score. But the Rams had a quick and immediate response on their ensuing possession. In just four plays, the Rams moved the ball 72 yards for the touchdown as Carter hauled in another touchdown from DeMorat.

Another long 33-yard touchdown pass from DeMorat to Kokosioulis gave the Rams a comfortable 38-10 lead to begin the fourth quarter. That same duo struck again midway through the fourth for the final touchdown of the day before Fordham’s starters made way for the second unit. The Rams were able to see out the rest of the game, topping Lafayette 45-10.

Fordham have now won two in a row after their heartbreaking loss against Holy Cross on Oct. 29 to improve to 8-2 on the year. With just one week remaining in the regular season, Fordham needs a win against Colgate University this Saturday to keep their FCS Playoff hopes alive. The Rams are likely in line for an at-large bid as things stand, but a win Saturday is essential to make that a certainty. 

Colgate has had a down season at 3-7, although the Raiders did defeat Fordham in last year’s regular season finale 45-31. That game was in Hamilton, but the Raiders will have to make the trip south to Jack Coffey Field this year to try and cause the upset. Fordham and Colgate are set to kick off on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game can be streamed live on ESPN+ or listened to on WFUV 90.7.