Sept. 16, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After posting the first victory in a decade for a Patriot League football team against an FBS opponent, Fordham reaped the rewards on Monday when three of its student-athletes received weekly honors from the League.
Three juniors were honored from the Rams as quarterback Mike Nebrich was named Offensive Player of the Week, linebacker Stephen Hodge took home the Defensive Player of the Week award and placekicker Michael Marando was namaed Special Teams Player of the Week for their roles in the win. Nebrich threw for 320 yards, including the game-winning 29-yard touchdown pass with four seconds to play, while Hodge had 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble and Marando made all three of his field-goal attempts and each of his three extra points in the game.
The remaining honor went to Holy Cross freshman linebacker Kyle Young, named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for making 10 tackles in a 52-21 win over Central Connecticut. Honorable mention status went to a pair of Lehigh seniors in wide receiver Lee Kurfis and defensive back Tyler Ward as well as Holy Cross senior linebacker Tyler Zeoli.
Patriot League Football Weekly Awards (Sept. 14)
Offensive Player of the Week
MIKE NEBRICH, FORDHAM Jr., QB, 6-1, 205; Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary
Nebrich made big plays throughout the final drive of Fordham's historic 30-29 win at Temple on Saturday, capped by a 29-yard touchdown pass to Sam Ajala with four seconds left to send the Rams to their first-ever win over an FBS opponent. He also ran for two fourth-down conversions on the final drive, narrowly picking up both a 4th-and-2 and 4th-and-6 to keep the Rams alive. Nebrich completed 23-of-36 passes for a career-high 320 yards and two touchdowns in the game, and also ran for 29 yards. He completed 4-of-7 passes on Fordham's game-winning drive to go with the key rushing plays. Nebrich stands seventh in the country with 313.0 yards of total offense per game, and has led the 3-0 Rams to their best start since 1988. The victory over Temple was the first for a Patriot League team over an FBS foe since 2003, and first-ever for a League squad over an opponent from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference. Nebrich is named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Defensive Player of the Week
STEPHEN HODGE, FORDHAM Jr., LB, 6-0, 202; Medford, N.J./Shawnee
Hodge had an outstanding effort in a big Fordham win for the second week in a row as he made a team-high 11 tackles with a sack, forced fumble and pass breakup in the 30-29 victory at Temple on Saturday. The 11 tackles marked a career high, with nine coming as solo stops. Hodge leads the Patriot League with 29 tackles this season, and is tied for second with two sacks. He is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Special Teams Player of the Week
MICHAEL MARANDO, FORDHAM Jr., PK, 5-7, 157; Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian
Marando played a key role in Fordham's 30-29 upset at Temple by making all three of his field goal attempts and each of his three extra points in the victory. Marando made kicks of 44 and a career-high 47 yards in the first half as Fordham took a 13-7 lead at the break, and hit a 24-yard field goal to put the Rams ahead 23-21 in the fourth quarter. Marando also came through under pressure with the game-winning extra point with four seconds left, coming after a lengthy delay that included a Temple timeout and a review of Fordham's touchdown. Marando stands 13th in the nation with 10.0 points per game. He is named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time.
Rookie of the Week
KYLE YOUNG, HOLY CROSS Fr., LB, 6-0, 200; Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury
Young totaled a team-high 10 tackles in Holy Cross' 52-21 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday. He made five solo stops in his first start at outside linebacker and was a key part of a Holy Cross defense that allowed only 346 total yards in the game. Young is named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the first time.
LEE KURFIS, LEHIGH Sr., WR, 6-2, 190; West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin
Kurfis became the first player in Patriot League history with consecutive 200-yard receiving games when he tallied 10 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-25 win at Monmouth on Saturday.
TYLER WARD, LEHIGH Sr., DB, 6-0, 180; Charlottesville, Va./West Albemarle
Ward had 11 tackles and his first career interception in Lehigh's 28-25 win at Monmouth on Saturday.
TYLER ZEOLI, HOLY CROSS Sr., LB, 6-1, 212; King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion Area
Zeoli recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble which the Crusaders returned for a touchdown to go up 38-21 on their way to a 52-21 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday.