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Fordham Football: The Unforgettable 2013 Season

For anyone who is up to date at all on college football, they have to know the name Fordham now. The Rams have ascended in a major way and have truly made a name for themselves. They have gone from being the hunters and sneaking up on teams to being the hunted with the biggest target in their conference. Now every team on their 2014 schedule will be looking to prove a point by beating the Rams. (But as a devoted and hopeful fan I know my boys are going to deliver and have another historic season.)

Now let me just list some of the many team highlights of the 2013 season:

    • Averaged 37.6 points-per-game
    • Scored 67 touchdowns
    • 2,162 rushing yards
    • 5,052 passing yards
    • Recorded 25 sacks
    • 3 1,000+ yard wide receivers, 1 1,000+ yard rusher
    • Scored 50+ points 5 times accumulating 526 points for the season and breaking the school record of 418 set by the 2003 squad
    • Set school single season records with 7,214 total yards of offense completely destroying the former mark of 5,377 set by the 2009 team, and 5,052 passing yards, shattering the former record of 3,708 also set in 2009
    • 34 members with 3.00+ GPA 
    • 22 players named to 2013 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll
    • Ranked #9 in the final 2013 NCAA FCS Sports Network Poll and #10 in the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll, the highest ranking ever for the Rams at the end of the year (the previous best was 12th following the 2002 season)
    • Won first 10 straight games of the year for the first time in school history
    • Were ranked as high as fifth in the NCAA FCS polls, Fordham’s highest ever ranking on the FCS level
    • First irst win over an NCAA FBS team (Temple)
    • First win over a top-ten ranked NCAA FCS team on Jack Coffey Field (Villanova)
    • First ever home NCAA FCS championship win on Jack Coffey Field (Sacred Heart)
    • The most non-conference wins in a season (6)
    • 2013 Fordham Football Success Featured on NFL Films Lombardi: 6 Boroughs

There were also quite a few individuals who stood out from the impressive pack:

Carlton Koonce, Senior RB:

  • Fordham Bill Tierney Spirit Award
  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • 2nd straight 1,000-yard rushing season, gaining 1,462 yards, (3rd best single season total in school history)
  • 307 carries, 9 touchdowns, caught 41 passes for 276 yards and 2 scores
  • Set the school single season rushing record in 2012 with 1,596 yards and graduated with 3,283 career rushing yards, 2nd best in school history

Sam Ajala, Junior WR:

  • Fordham Offensive Player of the Year
  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • ECAC D1 FCS All-Star Team
  • Beyond Sports Network All-American
  • Sports Network All-American
  • College Sports Madness All-American
  • Fabulous Fifty FCS All-American
  • Associated Press All-American
  • 93 passes for 1,646 yards, both team highs, with 14 touchdowns breaking Javarus Dudley’s school record of 1,439 receiving yards and tied Dudley’s school mark for receiving touchdowns in a season, both set in 2003
  • 2nd in NCAA FCS in total receiving yards, 2nd in Patriot League, and 4th in the NCAA FCS in receiving yards per game with 117.6
  • Tied for 4th in top 20 nationally in receiving touchdowns and 12th in receptions per game

Brian Wetzel, Junior WR:

  • All-Patriot League Second Team
  • 89 receptions for 1,094 yards and 14 touchdowns (tied for team lead and tied school record with 14 touchdown catches)
  • Averaged 6.4 receptions per game, 4th in the Patriot League and 19th in the NCAA FCS
  • Averaged 78.1 receiving yards per game, 5th in the Patriot League
  • Led Patriot League with average punt return yards of 8.0, 8th in FCS
  • Had 7 100+ yard receiving games

Tebucky Jones, Jr, Junior WR:

  • All-Patriot League Second Team
  • 85 receptions (3rd on team) for 1,154 yards (2nd on team) and 5 touchdowns
  • Averaged 6.5 receptions per game, 3rd in Patriot League and 15th in the FCS
  • Averaged 88.8 yards per game, 4th in the Patriot League and 23rd in the  FCS
  • 5 100+ yard receiving games including a 224 yard game vs Yale

Brett Biestek, Senior DL:

  • Fordham Academic Achievement Award
  • First Team Capital One Academic All-America® honors
  • 43 NCAA FCS players named to the 16th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team
  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • 1 of 14 spots on the Academic All-Patriot League Team
  • Academic All American
  • 58 tackles, 40 solo, 14.5 for loss of 74 yards, 5 sacks for loss of 36 yards, 5 QB hurries, 4 pass breakups, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked kick

Stephen Hodge, Junior LB:

  • Fordham Defensive Payer of the Year
  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1 of 14 spots on the Academic All-Patriot League Team
  • ECAC D1 FCS All-Star Team
  • Beyond Sports Network All-American
  • Sports Network All-American
  • College Sports Madness All-American
  • NCAA Statistical Champion with 6.7 solo tackles per game
  • Team-high 124 tackles, 16 for loss, 5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles (8th in FCS), 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception
  • Tied for most in League history for Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against
    1. FBS Temple – 11 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
    2. FCS Georgetown – 14 tackles,1 sack
    3. FCS Holy Cross – 15 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 forced fumble 

Dan Light, Junior TE:

  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • 1 of 14 spots on the Academic All-Patriot League Team
  • ECAC D1 FCS All-Star Team
  • Beyond Sports Network All-American
  • Fabulous Fifty FCS All-American
  • 66 receptions for 588 yards (both 4th best on team) and 2 touchdowns. Led all NCAA FCS tight ends with 66 receptions which is also a school record for tight ends while the 588 yards is the 2nd best season for a tight end in school history
  • Averaged 4.7 receptions per game, 8th in the Patriot League
  • Averaged 42.0 receiving yards per game, 10th in the Patriot League

Jordan Chapman, Junior DB:

Jordan Chapman

  • Fordham Special Teams Player of the Year
  • All-Patriot League Second Team
  • Blocked a field goal attempt on the last play of the game against Bucknell that secured Fordham’s 23-21 win and a 10-0 season-opening win streak for the Rams
  • Recorded 64 total tackles (5th on the team), 54 solo, including two for loss, 5 interceptions (tied for team lead), 11 pass deflections (2nd on team), 2 fumble recoveries

Jorge Solano, Freshman WR:

  • Caught 10 passes for 116 yards and 1 score
  • Returned 43 kickoffs for 909 yards (both single season school records), averaging 21.1 yards per return (5th in Patriot League), and 1 touchdown
  • Returned opening kickoff 96 yards for a score at Saint Francis

Michael Marando, Junior K:

  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • Connected on 19 of his 26 field goal attempts (2nd most in school history) and 63 of his 64 PATs beating school record of 47 by Micah Clukey in 2003
  • Scored 120 points as a kicker beating Patrick Murray’s 105 mark in 2012
  • Led Patriot League and was 12th in the NCAA FCS with 1.36 field goals per game
  • 2nd in Patriot League and 18th in the NCAA FCS in scoring 8.6 points per game
  • Converted a PAT in the closing seconds to give the Rams the win at Temple

Joseph Pavlik, Freshman P:

  • All-Patriot League Second Team
  • Punted 52 times for 2,050 times with an average of 39.4 yards per punt, 4th in Patriot League
  • Had 5 punts over 50 yards with a long of 57
  • Placed 24 of 52 punts inside the opponent’s 20 yard line
  • 2013 Patriot league Academic Honor Roll

Ian Williams, Senior DB:

  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • Recorded 86 total tackles (2nd on team), 66 solo, with 2 sacks, 15 pass breakups (1st in Patriot League and 7th in FCS), 4 interceptions (2nd on team)
  • Named College Sporting News National Defensive Player of the Week and ECAC and Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week following the Bucknell game
  • Named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week following the Columbia game
  • Named to the CFPA Defensive Back Watch list in 2013

Jake Rodriques, Senior LB:

  • Fordham Bill Tierney Spirit Award
  • 5th on the squad in tackles with 65, 42 solo, 3.5 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, broke up 2 passes, and had a team-high 9 QB hurries
  • Over his career, he was a 3-year starter at linebacker who recorded 215 total tackles, 133 solo, 18 for loss, 8 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 3 pass deflections
  • Ranked among the Patriot League leaders in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks
  • Named to the 2013 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll

And let’s not forget the breakout star who basically has video game stats, quarterback Michael Nebrich:

  • Fordham Most Valuable Player Award
  • All-Patriot League First Team
  • All American and Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year
  • ECAC D1 FCS All-Star Team
  • Beyond Sports Network All-American
  • Sports Network All-American
  • College Sports Madness All-American
  • Fabulous Fifty FCS All-American
  • Walter Payton Award (FCS MOst Outstanding Player) finalist coming in 5th place
  • NCAA Statistical Champion with 376.4 total yards per game
  • NCAA Statistical Champion with 353-of-480 passes for a 73.5% completion percentage (just off the FCS single-season record of 75.2%)
  • 3rd in passing yards per game with 336.9, 2nd in passing efficiency with 171.3, 3rd in completions per game with 27.2, and 4th in points responsible for per contest with 20.5
  • Set a Fordham record with 524 passing yards in a win against Holy Cross completing 39 of 49 passes (both career highs)
  • Named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week a record 5 times
  • Completed 353 of 480 passes for 4,380 yards and 35 touchdowns, setting school records for completions, passing yards and touchdown passes in a season
  • Rushed for 513 yards on 154 carries, averaging 3.3 yards per carry, with 9 scores
  • Recorded his second 100-yard rushing game (1 of just 2 Fordham quarterbacks to rush for over 100 yards in  game) with a 102-yard game versus Villanova

But the Fordham Football Rams are not just awesome for what they do on the field; they are amazing for what they do off the field as well. 

The Rams officially adopted 12-year-old Jonah Shainberg through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. Jonah was diagnosed with a brain tumor 7 years ago and underwent a wide array of treatments for 2 years. The tumor caused Jonah to suffer a serious stroke which left the right side of his body quite weakened. He had been undergoing therapy to regain control of his right side.

Jonah and his father Joshua attended one of Fordham’s practices as they prepared for the game against Temple which was held at the Philadelphia Eagles stadium. At the end of the team’s practice, the squad ran a play where quarterback Michael Nebrich handed the ball to Jonah who raced 60 yards for the touchdown. The rest of the team met Jonah in the end zone and proceeded to carrying him to the locker room on their shoulders.  

Jonah bravely spoke to the team about his illness and expressed his excitement to be involved with the Rams. He also led the team breakdown. Afterwards captains Jake Rodriques, Ian Williams, Steven Tapia, and Carlton Koonce led Jonah to his new locker which was full of Fordham football goodies including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats as well as a signed football. Jonah was thrilled to be a part of the team and the boys were more than happy to be around someone with such a positive attitude. They developed a very strong connection throughout the season and Jonah continues to inspire the team with his spirit. 

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The Fordham Football team has a chapter of Uplifting Athletes that raised money and awareness for extra renal rhabdoid tumors. They selected this rare disease in honor of a boy named Ty Campbell whom the team adopted in 2011 but passed from an aggressive cancer called Chordoma.

Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit organization that aligns college football with rare diseases. Each campus chapter is run directly by football student-athletes who work to raise awareness of the chosen rare disease through outreach, research, education and advocacy. These rare diseases affect less than 200,000 Americans and so very little attention is paid to them, but that doesn’t mean they are not important so Fordham football is did a great service by holding special events, fundraising campaigns and awareness drives to attract fans and media, which in turn made their chosen rare disease more popular and generated new money for research.

2013 Lift for Life

The Rams truly are an organization for the people. The boys are always so willing to help and do it with smiles on their faces. They are big fans of contributing to the community and using their skills to help those around them which is part of the university’s tradition of teaching cura personalis and magis.

A group of Rams periodically go to a POTS soup kitchen to volunteer with the homeless and the needy. They are also part of the Jump Start program in the Bronx where they read to kids. They host football workshops of sorts to show the kids in the community proper technique such as the Passing Demonstration at the Bronx Terminal Market. The Rams also volunteered their time for Sandy relief helping break down worn homes and cleaning up the area to allow for rebuilding. They even host an annual “Be The Match” bone marrow drive and so much more.

The Fordham Football Rams are a great group of guys. The 2013 Rams will never be forgotten because they gave Fordham the most exhilarating year they’ve ever seen and made every single member of the university truly #ProudToBeARam!

Fordham Football: The Come Up

rams6

I am the biggest Ram fan around. I eat, sleep, and breathe Fordham. No one represents my school more than I do. No one has more Fordham pride.

My dedication to my university is serious. I am a rising senior who is proud to say that I have not missed a football game since my freshman year. I have lost my voice a countless number of times cheering on my team and screaming at the opposing players. It truly is a rush.

Freshman year, I started by recruiting people to comes to the games with me. I’d even try to get people to buy and wear the same gear to the games so we could all look like a unit in support of our Rams. And of course, mascot pictures were necessary.

rams2The team only won 1 game my freshman year……but that did not stop me from going to every single game. And still taking more pictures with the mascot. But with a 1-10 season, it was difficult for me to convince people to come to games because they just thought we were going to lose again. Unfortunately they were right freshman year.

rams3Then my sophomore year a whole new coaching staff came in including new head coach Joe Moorhead whose alma mater is Fordham and he was a quarterback here. The man is an absolute genius. He plays such smart football. The team quickly went from a 1-10 season to a 6-5 winning season, the second biggest turnaround in all of FCS history. They even shut out Lock Haven 55-0 during the first game, a huge boost of morale for the team. How sweet was the ringing of the victory bell that night, a long held Fordham tradition.  

ffb1With the boys winning more games and showing some promise, it was a little easier to get people to come to the games. The crowd seemed to be really into our team, and really not supportive of the opposing teams. By that, I mean the heckling got crazy. That’s just part of the game though.

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The boys only lost conference games by a collective 8 points all season. Those 8 points cdould have given them a 9-2 season. Coach Moorhead took that idea to heart and the next year put a lot of emphasis on the details. He told the team to focus on the hurdle in front of them before looking at the next one or they were likely to trip. And focus they did. 

Not Lombardis Fordham FootballMy junior year the Rams won game after game game. Celebrations were definitely in order and the Ram fans were now confident and overjoyed that their team had become such a stunner. The stands at Jack Coffey Field became so full for every single game to the point where standing room only tickets had to be sold. The Rams had become a hot commodity.

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But support did not stop at Jack Coffey field. Fans willingly took trips to support their tea, during the away games. Various trips. The hours driving or sitting on a bus did not matter to the fans who were just happy to finally be able to have a football team they could boast about and be proud of. It was a really beautiful sight. Fans like me even went above and beyond and made signs for the different games to show the boys that we were really on their side. 

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Hail, men of Fordham, hail! Every traditional song was sang. Every regular football chant was chanted. And many, many new chants came about. The 12-2, 2013 football season was one that will not easily be forgotten. 

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Look out for my next article where I will highlight the standouts of the 2013 season. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hype Lines

Most people just know the chorus to songs and only sing along when it comes on. But in every song there is always that one line that EVERYBODY chimes in on. It’s the line that everyone yells out in some sort of dramatic way. That’s the hype line. 

Here are a few hype lines from random songs, both old and new (there may be some expletives in here):

Waka Flocka Flame – Rooster In My Rari

“Throwin throwin throwing dough
Throwing dough, throwin dough
Throwing dough, throwin dough
Bitch I said throwing stacks!

throwin dough

Wiz Khalifa – We Dem Boyz

“You got a ass so fat, let’s make a baby!”

Kiss my fat ass

Katy Perry ft. Juicy J – Dark Horse

“She’s a beast, I call her karma.”

beast karma

Kendrick Lamar ft. MC Eiht – m.A.A.d City

“Every time I’m in the street I hear YAWK! YAWK! YAWK! YAWK!”

kendrick

Bobby Shmurda – Hot Nigga

“Mitch caught a body ’bout a week ago!”

shmurda

ASAP Ferg ft. A$AP Rocky – Shabba Ranks

“Short nigga but my dick tall” or “Skinny nigga but my dick long (pause)”

tall

ASAP Ferg – Work Remix

“Her ass fat, you could park ten Tahoes on it!”

tahoes

Jay Z ft. Rick Ross – FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt

“Hov just landed in Rome, nigga
All hail, Caesar’s home, niggas”

jay z

Kanye West ft. Big Sean & Jay Z – Clique

“I’m way too black to burn from sun rays!”

kanye

Migos – Fight Night

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!”

ali

The Weeknd ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Wiz Khalifa – Or Nah (remix)

“You gon’ make them eggs cheesy with them grits or nah?”

eggs

There are so many more songs and so many more hype lines out there. Apparently the more vulgar they are the more we like them. We don’t know why, but we just remember those lines. It just happens. We can’t help it. But just remember, when you’re chillin’ in the club posted up in the corner, make sure you turn up with everybody else during the hype lines!

waka hype