Oct. 5, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - No. 12/13 Fordham turned a battle of ranked Patriot League squads into a rout in the second half as the Rams pulled away for a 52-34 victory over No. 10/13 Lehigh on Saturday at Jack Coffey Field in a game shown on CBS Sports Network.
Fordham never trailed in the game, but the score was still close into the third quarter as the Rams held a 31-28 advantage. The Rams scored the next three touchdowns to take command and go on to the victory, as quarterback Mike Nebrich completed 26-of-36 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 56 yards and a score.
The Rams improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1988, when they were still a Division III member. Fordham beat Lehigh (4-1) for the first time since 2007 and put up the seventh-straight win since 2003 for the home team in a matchup of top-25 Patriot League squads.
With Fordham ineligible for the Patriot League title, the game did not count towards the Patriot League standings. The one that did count as the first League contest in the standings this season was in Easton, as Lafayette (1-3, 1-0 PL) came away with a 31-7 victory over Bucknell (1-3, 0-1 PL) to win its League opener for the eighth time in the last 10 years. Ross Scheuerman ran for a career-high 188 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
Colgate and Holy Cross each played exciting games against Ivy League opponents, with the Raiders (1-4) posting their first win of the year with a 41-20 triumph over Cornell. Colgate had a 24-0 advantage in the second half to pull away. Holy Cross (2-4) completed its non-League schedule with a heartbreaking loss, falling 41-35 at home against Harvard in triple overtime despite 345 yards passing and four touchdowns for freshman quarterback Peter Pujals.
Recaps , box scores and a synopsis from all of Saturday's games are included below.
at No. 12/13 Fordham 52
, No. 10/13 Lehigh 34
*No. 12/13 Fordham scored three straight touchdowns in the second half to pull away for a 52-34 win over No. 10/13 Lehigh.
*The Rams scored with 1:25 left in the third quarter and 12:01 and 6:18 left in the fourth to turn a 31-28 game into a 52-28 lead.
*Fordham never trailed, taking an early 10-0 lead before the teams exchanged touchdowns to get to the 31-28 margin.
*Fordham quarterback Mike Nebrich went 26-of-36 for 384 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 56 yards and a score.
*Nebrich has completed 73.5% of his passes for 1,764 yards and 16 touchdowns with just one interception this season.
*Sam Ajala caught seven passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns for the Rams, while Brian Wetzel had 11 receptions for 133 yards, all in the first half.
*Carlton Koonce ran for 127 yards and a score in the game.
*Ian Williams led the Fordham defense with 11 tackles, including 10 solo stops.
*Fordham outgained Lehigh 630-429 as both teams picked up 29 first downs.
*Lehigh's Brandon Bialkowski was 28-of-46 for 324 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a score.
*Lee Kurfis had nine receptions for 102 yards, his sixth-consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
*Fordham improves to 6-0 for the season, matching the 1988 Division III team for the best start since the Rams opened 7-0 in 1930.
*Fordham beat Lehigh for the first time since 2007, snapping a five-game series win streak for the Mountain Hawks.
*The Rams beat a top-10 team for the second time this season, also knocking off No. 8/11 Villanova 27-24 on Sept. 7.
*Lehigh saw its 16-game regular-season road winning streak come to an end, as well as its 10-game road winning streak in Patriot League contests.
*It was the first matchup of ranked Patriot League teams since 2009, and seventh-straight time since 2003 that the home team won a top-25 League contest.
*The contest was broadcast to a national audience on CBS Sports Network, and did not count towards the Patriot League standings for either team.
at Lafayette 31, Bucknell 7
*Lafayette won its Patriot League opener for the eighth time in 10 years with a 31-7 triumph over Bucknell.
*The Leopards held the Bison to 80 yards of total offense and only 1.3 yards per play, and limited Bucknell to 16 rushing yards.
*Lafayette took a 21-0 lead with 11:44 left in the second quarter.
*Ross Scheuerman carried 20 times for a career-high 188 yards and two touchdowns, including a 78-yard run to close the scoring in the fourth quarter.
*Scheuerman also had four catches for 69 yards and finished with 280 all-purpose yards.
*Lafayette had a balanced attack with 193 rushing yards and 235 through the air for 428 yards of total offense.
*Andrew Dzurik went 22-of-37 for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and overcame three interceptions.
*The Lafayette defense had 13 tackles for loss and five sacks, with three of those coming from Tyrus White.
*Lafayette snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to last season, and beat Bucknell for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings.
*Bucknell's Kyle Sullivan set a Patriot League record for punts (13) and punting yards (474).
*Matthew Steinbeck had two interceptions for the Bison, while Matt Johnson had two sacks.
*Bucknell has lost three in a row and dropped its League opener to the Leopards for the second straight season.
Colgate 41 at Cornell 20
*Colgate earned its first win of the year by holding a 24-0 second-half advantage for a 41-20 victory at Cornell.
*The Raiders went ahead for good when they took a 23-20 lead on a six-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jake Melville with 7:55 to play in the third quarter.
*Jimmy DeCicco added touchdown runs of four and 77 yards in the fourth quarter for a 35-20 lead, and Melville tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nat Bellamy to complete the scoring.
*DeCicco carried 22 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns to lead a ground game that amassed 258 yards.
*Gavin McCarney started at quarterback and completed 14-of-18 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 74 yards before leaving the game in the third quarter.
*Melville threw for 60 yards and a score and rushed for 54 and a touchdown off the bench.
*Daniel Cason notched eight catches for 120 yards in the game.
*Mike Armiento tallied 11 tackles and two interceptions, including one he returned 85 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
*Armiento also had a 49-yard interception return which set up Colgate's final touchdown.
*Demitri Diamond led the defense with 12 tackles as Colgate also recorded four sacks.
*The Raiders beat Cornell for the fifth straight time and 15th in the last 17 meetings.
Harvard 41 at Holy Cross 35 (3OT)
*Harvard outlasted Holy Cross with a touchdown in the third overtime for a 41-35 win in Worcester.
*The Crusaders took a 21-14 lead with 3:11 to play in regulation, but Harvard evened the score on a touchdown with 38 seconds left.
*Both teams scored touchdowns in each of the first two overtimes, but Holy Cross missed a field goal in the third OT before Harvard scored the winning touchdown.
*Holy Cross outgained the Crimson 461-342, and totaled 30 first downs in the contest.
*Freshman quarterback Peter Pujals had another big day with 33-of-50 passing for 345 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
*Mike Fess had 11 receptions for 117 yards and two scores.
*Gary Acquah led the defense with seven tackles and one of the team's six sacks.
*Holy Cross lost to Harvard in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2005-06.