Football denied upset over No. 9 Fordham with 30-27 overtime loss

Ajan Caneda, Copy Editor

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In front of the energetic Bison faithful, the football team gave No. 9 Fordham all it could handle, but the Bison fell minutes short of the upset and were handed a heartbreaking 30-27 overtime loss on Nov. 7. Despite the loss, the defense held Fordham well below its season averages in points, passing offense, and total offense.

The record for the Orange and Blue stands at 7-2 overall (3-1 PL). With its win, Fordham clinched at least a share of the Patriot League crown and gained an automatic NCAA berth.

“The game went the way I expected: close. Our matchup with Fordham was a good one,” head coach Joe Susan said. “It is a reflection of the effort of the student-athletes on our team and the commitment everyone in our program has made to be the best that we can be.”

Both teams knew what was at stake in this game and played with an extra chip on their shoulder. This was shown through four ties and the largest lead by either team being just seven points. Quarterback Trey Lauletta ’15 started for the Orange and Blue after R. J. Nitti ’17 was sidelined due to injury.

Lauletta threw for 191 yards on 13-26 passing. He also engineered three touchdown passes to Jake Hartman ’15, Patrick Kelly ’15, and Will Carter ’17.

Fordham earned a 7-0 advantage late in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the teams alternated scores. Hartman continued his momentum from his three-touchdown performance against Lafayette by grabbing a 12-yard touchdown pass from Lauletta. The drive included a 4th-and-12 conversion by Carter. Both teams added field goals before the Rams posted one more touchdown to bring them to a 17-10 halftime lead.

The highlight in the third quarter was a 13-play, 75-yard drive that culminated into a touchdown pass to Kelly, which led to an exciting fourth quarter that began tied at 17.

The Bison looked destined for the upset after Evan Byers ’15 sacked the Fordham quarterback and forced the fumble that was nabbed by Doug Whitlock ’18. Deep in Ram territory, the Bison took full advantage, as Lauletta connected with Carter for a 28-yard touchdown pass and assumed the 24-17 lead with 3:15 left.

Fordham responded 1:10 later after several big plays brought them to a 24-24 standstill. The Bison had one last chance for a game-winning drive but were held to a punt that ended regulation.

The Rams won the toss and elected to start on defense in overtime. Derek Maurer ’15 connected on a long 44-yard field goal in the Orange and Blue’s drive. However, Fordham delivered the final blow with a 10-yard touchdown pass to escape with the win in this extremely hard-fought game.

“We have very good players on our team. More, they are great people,” Susan said. “The lessons we learned as a team were reinforced two weeks in a row. You must play at your best until they chase you off the field. At times it is 60 minutes, at times it is more.”

The tandem of Byers and Demetrius Baldwin ’15 combined for five of the six Bison sacks. Louis Taglianetti ’16 showcased his active hands with two interceptions. Nick O’Brien ’17 finished with a team-high 11 tackles, followed by Byers’s nine.

Matt DelMauro ’16 had 28 rush attempts for 77 yards, while Carter added 120 receiving yards to go with his touchdown.

The Bison’s final road game will be against Holy Cross on Nov. 15 at 12:30 p.m.

 

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