Football Upended by Assumption, 30-24
Sept. 25, 2010
Bronx, N.Y. - It was Homecoming at Fordham's Jack Coffey Field on Saturday but only one alumnus went home happy. That one was Assumption head coach Cory Bailey, a 1998 Fordham graduate who was an All-Patriot League lineman, who led his Greyhounds to a 30-24 win over the Rams.
With the loss, Fordham evens its record at 2-2 on the year while Assumption remains unbeaten at 4-0.
"Give credit to Assumption as they played well and we didn't," said Fordham head coach Tom Masella. "They controlled the tempo and we could stop them defensively."
There was no secret to Assumption's success as the Greyhounds controlled the tempo of the game and dominated the time of possession. The Greyhounds held the ball for 43:39 compared to Fordham's 16:21 and kept Fordham to just eight offensive possessions while picking up 26 first downs compared to Fordham's 15.
Despite the difference in possession time, the Rams had a chance to pull out the win at the end of the game. After Assumption used a 34-yard Brian Nowak field goal to take a 30-24 lead with 25 seconds left, Xavier Martin returned the ensuing kickoff 31 yards to give Fordham the ball on the Assumption 47. On the first play from scrimmage Blake Wayne hit Patrick Miller on the Greyhound 25 and he lateraled to Jason Caldwell who took the ball to the 17 with six seconds left on the clock. On the last play of the game, Wayne tried to connect with Stephen Skelton in the end zone but overthrew the tight end as the clock hit zero.
The game started out well for the Rams as Fordham took the opening kickoff and covered 67 yards on just four plays to take a 7-0 lead on a one-yard Xavier Martin rush 1:05 into the game. Wayne opened the drive completing a pair of passes to Caldwell, the first a 23-yard gain and the second a 39-yard pick up, to put the ball on the Assumption five. After Martin gained four yards on first down he finished the drive with the one-yard scoring rush.
The Greyhounds came right back, using a trick play on the first play of their offensive possessions to key a 63-yard, seven play scoring drive and knot the game at seven. On the first play, quarterback Andrew Kupec handed off to Herb Woodward and Woodard pitched ball back to Kupec who found Marcus Nichols deep down the middle for a 36-yard gain.
Later in the drive, the Greyhounds faced a fourth and one from the Fordham 18 but Woodward was able to pick up two yards to keep the drive moving. Three plays later, Kupec found David Canney in the end zone with a seven-yard scoring strike with 9:51 left in the first.
After the Rams went three and out, Assumption mounted an 18-play, 90-yard drive, capped by a Lance Mitchell one-yard scoring run that put the Greyhounds up 14-7, 3:47 into the second half.
Fordham took the ensuing kickoff and moved to the Assumption 29 where Patrick Murray came on to kick a 46-yard field goal to pull the Rams to within four, 14-10, with 9:46 remaining in the half. Wayne completed three of his four passes on the drive for 25 yards.
The Greyhounds responded with another long drive, covering 74 yards on 16 plays with Nowak connecting on a 24-yard field goal as Assumption regained a seven point lead, 17-10, with 3:11 left in the first half. The Rams almost forced the Greyhounds into a three-and-out but Assumption went for it on fourth and one from its own 28 and Kupec pushed through the line for a two-yard gain.
Fordham came back to tie the game at 17 just before the half as Wayne used his feet to keep the drive alive, gaining 20 yards on a third and two call from the Assumption 47. Two plays later, Caldwell took a reverse 27 yards for the score with 1:08 remaining in the half.
The Greyhounds started the second half much as they did the first half, using along drive and a 22-yard Nowak field goal to take a 20-17 lead with 5:32 left in the third. The scoring drive covered 58 yards on 16 plays and lasted 9:28. Once again Assumption converted a forth down early in the drive, courtesy of a Fordham offside call on fourth and one from the Assumption 46.
The Rams answered with a long drive of their own, moving 72 yards on 16 plays to regain the lead, 24-20, on a Martin one-yard scoring plunge. Wayne opened the drive with a 15-yard completion to Skelton and then found Caldwell with a seven-yard pickup. Later in the dive, the Rams faced a fourth and one from the Assumption 38 and Wayne hit Skelton in the right flats for a nine-yard gain and a Fordham first down. Six plays later Martin capped the drive with the score.
The Fordham defense then held the Greyhounds to a three and out and took over on its own 33 following the Assumption punt. But the Fordham offense couldn't move the ball and punted the ball back to Assumption with 12:24 remaining.
As they did for most of the day, the Greyhounds used a long, time-consuming drive to take a 27-24 lead on a four-yard pass from Kupec to Nichols with 5:41 left. The big play of the drive with a fourth and nine call on the Fordham 19 where Kupec appeared to have overthrown Nichols but the Rams were called for pass interference on another receiver, giving Assumption a first and goal on the seven.
Fordham took the ensuing kickoff and moved from its own 13 to the 44 but a Wayne pass to Martin on fourth and four gained only two yards and the Greyhounds took over on the Fordham 46 with 3:40 left.
Kupec drove Assumption to the Fordham 17 where Nowak connected on his third field goal of the game to put the Greyhounds up 30-24 with 25 seconds remaining. The Rams almost stopped Assumption on third and six from the 31 but Kupec found Nichols for a ten-yard completion with just over two minutes remaining.
Caldwell finished with six catches for 101 yards while Wayne completed 16 of 27 passes for 183 yards.
The Rams will next be in action next Saturday, October 2nd, when they travel to Worcester, Mass., to face Holy Cross in a Patriot League matchup at 1:00 p.m.