Fordham Destroys St. Francis In Season Opener
The third meeting between The Fordham Rams and St. Francis, PA Red Flash was a rout. On the Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx, NY, a determined, well oiled machine took the field and played well in all areas to win 52-23.
The tone was set from play one with a 65 yard kickoff return by Fordham’s freshman Chase Edmonds. In addition to his regular offensive numbers, it was an example of why head coach Joe Moorhouse thinks special teams execution is important. “We played solid, not spectacular, in all three phases.” Moorehouse explained. “We get a 65 yard return. We talk about special teams being one third of a game and we want them to make a positive impact.”
The first quarter was a feeling out process with Fordham leading 10-0 after one on the strength of a defense that was terrific and, the heroics of St. Francis back Khairi Dickson (247 yards, 33 carries) not withstanding, they kept consistent pressure on Max Ward, sacking him five times and holding St. Francis to 35 passing yards.
In much of that action was linebacker Brett Biestek, whose speed and physical presence unnerved the “Red Flash.” “Special teams and defense was lights out in the first half.” Moorehead pointed out. “As for Dickson, we kept him capped for the most part. We did defend the pass well and keep them off the board.”
In the second quarter it was obvious that Mike Niebrich was going to have a great game, throwing for three touchdowns and making it rain completions with Tebucky Jones leading the way with five receptions for 72 yards.
A 24-3 halftime lead was opened to 38-3 in the third as Fordham ran more and the results were Kendall Pearcey getting 36 tough yards and scoring twice in the red zone. But it was freshman Chase Edmonds, who helped offset his counterpart Dickson with a freshman record 182 yards on 19 carries, that was the workhorse.
“It was a good first step. Coach emphasized from the beginning that running back is always a question mark,” Edmonds explained. “Chase conducts himself on the field, in practice and and study with great habits. He gives the game the respect it deserves.” Moorehead added.
St. Francis, though outgunned and mostly outplayed, rallied behind Khairi Dickson, who scored twice in the fourth. But, unlike last year, Fordham was not going to take the foot off the gas pedal. “The effort was there. We had a little difficulty with new formations and new guys but once we figured things out, we rolled a bit.” Mike Niebrich explained. “We took them lightly last year, but this year we knew they would be a tough team. We didnt change who we are. We played our style of football throughout the game.”
Fordham will now visit Villanova next next week.
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