Fordham, Bucknell Open with Victories as Patriot League Football Season Kicks Off



Aug. 30, 2014

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Fordham picked up where it left off last year while Bucknell showed plenty of offensive firepower as well as each team won at home to open the 2014 football season on Saturday.

The No. 11/12 Rams (1-0) got three touchdown passes from Mike Nebrich while freshman Chase Edmonds ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-23 rout of St. Francis (Pa.). Fordham won its season opener for the third year in a row.

Bucknell (1-0) won its fourth consecutive season opener by surviving with big plays for a 42-38 triumph over VMI. The Bison had three touchdowns of 50 yards or longer, that last of which came early in the fourth quarter when Josh Brake had a 62-yard punt return to break a 35-35 tie with the eventual game-winning score. C.J. Williams had 164 rushing yards and two scores on the ground for the Bison, while Evan Byers put up a career-high 23 tackles.

Three other teams fell in their openers, including a gut-wrenching loss for Holy Cross. The Crusaders (0-1) led 13-0 in the fourth quarter before Albany came back for a 14-13 victory, scoring the winning touchdown on a 79-yard fumble return with 44 seconds to play in the contest. The Patriot League's two new head coaches fell in their debuts as Dan Hunt and Colgate (0-1) dropped a 30-10 final at FBS Ball State while Rob Sgarlata and Georgetown (0-1) lost 21-3 at home against Wagner.

Full recaps and box scores from each game are posted below along with a synopsis from each contest.

at No. 11/12 Fordham 52, St. Francis (Pa.) 23
Box Score
*No. 11/12 Fordham built a 38-3 lead and cruised to a 52-23 season-opening win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday at Jack Coffey Field.
*Chase Edmonds set a Fordham freshman rushing record with 181 yards and also scored twice.
*Mike Nebrich threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while Kendall Pearcy scored twice on the ground.
*Fordham led 10-0 after the first quarter, 24-3 at the half and 38-3 at the end of the third quarter.
*The Rams held a 427-242 edge in total yardage, and only allowed 36 passing yards.
*Victor DiFusco led the Fordham defense with 12 tackles, while Marlon Crook had seven stops and 2.5 sacks.
*Fordham won its eighth straight game at Jack Coffey Field, setting a school record for longest home winning streak since the venue opened in 1970.
*The Rams won their season opener for the third year in a row, scoring 50 points or more each time.

at Bucknell 42, VMI 38
Box Score
*In a game filled with big plays, Josh Brake's 62-yard punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as Bucknell topped VMI 42-38 in its season opener at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
*Brake broke a 35-35 tie when he ran back the punt for a score with 13:08 to play in the game.
*VMI connected on a field goal with 5:26 left to get within 42-38, but Bucknell sealed the win by picking up four first downs to run out the clock.
*The Bison never trailed in back-and-forth game that saw four ties.
*Bucknell went up 14-0 in the first quarter as Matt DelMauro scored a pair of touchdowns, the second on a 56-yard run.
*VMI answered with a pair of touchdowns, but Bucknell re-gained the lead on a 50-yard pass from R.J. Nitti to Brake.
*VMI again tied the game at 21-21 before C.J. Williams ran in from one yard out with seven seconds to play to give the Bison a 28-21 edge at the half.
*Williams scored again to put the Bison up 35-28 in the third quarter, with VMI tying it up late in the period before Brake gave the Bison the lead for good in the fourth.
*The Bison ran for 235 yards in the game, with Williams totaling 164 and two scores on the ground and DelMauro putting up 95 yards and a touchdown as well as a receiving touchdown.
*Nitti was 14-of-25 for 230 yards and two scores in the game.
*Evan Byers led the Bucknell defense with a career-high 23 tackles.
*Bucknell won its season opener for the fourth year in a row.

at Albany 14, Holy Cross 13
Box Score
*Holy Cross suffered a crushing loss as Albany rallied from a 13-0 deficit in the fourth quarter for a 14-13 win at Bob Ford Field on Saturday.
*The Crusaders appeared to have the game in hand in the final minute, but Albany's Neil Morrison picked up a fumble and returned it 79 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 44 seconds left.
*Holy Cross took a 13-0 lead at halftime, with a pair of field goals before Peter Pujlas threw a one-yard touchdown to Jake Wieczorek with eight seconds left until the half.
*The Crusaders missed a pair of second-half field goals with the chance to pad the lead.
*Pujals threw for 323 yards and a touchdown, with Wieczorek catching seven passes for 149 yards and a score.
*Luke Ford led the Holy Cross defense with 11 tackles.
*Holy Cross held a 440-263 edge in total yardage.
*The Crusaders dropped their season opener for the fourth year in a row, and lost by one point in the opener for the second straight year.

at Ball State 30, Colgate 10
Box Score
*Colgate opened at an FBS opponent for the second year in a row as the Raiders fell 30-10 at Ball State on Saturday.
*James Travellin scored a rushing touchdown to bring Colgate within 13-7 in the second quarter, but Ball State added another touchdown before the half and 10 third-quarter points to pull away.
*Colgate was outgained 514-227 in the game, including 311-90 on the ground.
*Jake Melville threw for 137 yards, while John Quazza had six catches for 92 yards.
*Four Raiders had double-digit tackle totals, led by Chris Morgan with 14.
*Dan Hunt was making his debut as Colgate head coach.

Wagner 21 at Georgetown 3
Box Score
*Wagner spoiled the head coaching debut of Rob Sgarlata by pulling away in the second half for a 21-3 win at Georgetown on Saturday.
*The Hoyas were down 7-3 at halftime before Wagner scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter to win 21-3.
*Kyle Nolan threw for 185 yards for the Hoyas, while Jake DeCicco caught eight passes for 75 yards.
*Three players had 10 tackles on the Georgetown defense, while Alec May had nine stops and a pair of sacks.
*Georgetown dropped its home opener for the first time since 2009.