BRONX, N.Y. - Fordham gave its fans in the stands, and those watching the first football broadcast on Patriot League Network, plenty to cheer about by building an early lead and hitting on big plays throughout the night for a 51-26 win over Rhode Island in the season opener for both teams on Thursday evening at Jack Coffey Field.
Junior quarterback Michael Nebrich led the way by completing 17-of-25 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns, and also rushing for 31 yards and a score. The Rams (1-0) went up 24-3 less than five minutes into the second quarter, and held at least a 12-point lead the rest of the way. Five of Fordham's seven touchdowns were 25 yards or longer, including a 61-yard interception return by JQ Bowers when Rhode Island was trying to make it a one-score game.
Fordham's contest was the first on a four-game weekend for the Patriot League. On Saturday, three teams are on the road as Georgetown heads to Wagner, Holy Cross goes to Bryant and Colgate plays an FBS opponent when it visits Air Force.
Twitter notes from Fordham's game are included below, along with the recap, box score and video highlights from the contest.
*Fordham scored 50 points in a season opener for the second year in a row (55-0 over Lock Haven in 2012).
*It was the first time Fordham had 50 in an opener against an FCS opponent.
*Fordham scored the game's first two touchdowns in the opening seven minutes, and led by double digits the rest of the way.
*Sam Ajala and Brian Wetzel each had a pair of touchdown receptions.
*Fordham forced three turnovers while not committing any of its own.
*Quarterback Michael Nebrich had 298 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns.
*Payton Award candidate Carlton Koonce ran for 90 yards on only 14 carries.
*Freshman running back Kendall Pearcey had his first collegiate touchdown in the fourth quarter.
*Austin Hancock had 10 tackles while Jake Dixon had nine tackles and an interception to lead the defense.
*Fordham was outgained 433-416, and gave up 277 rushing yards in the game.
*Fordham had touchdowns of 29, 32, 4, 61, 49, 64 and 16 yards.
*Fordham won its home opener for the fourth year in a row, and beat Rhode Island at home for the third straight time.