The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

September 28, 2013

Historic game for Red Flash

LORETTO — Those who are aware of college football’s history, know the Fordham Rams.

The recent history of the New York-based program has seen its ups and downs since the program, in its second incarnation, rejoined Division I in the late-1980s.

That being said, ranked non-conference teams that are 4-0 normally don’t visit St. Francis University.

That changes today at noon.

Fordham – ranked No. 16 in both the FCS Coaches and SportsNet polls – is the first ranked non-conference opponent to visit Loretto since the Red Flash joined Division I in football.

The program is still looking for its first win over a ranked opponent since jumping the program up to Division I-AA – now Division I FCS – in 1993.

The Rams – coached by Joe Moorhead – hold wins over Rhode Island (51-26), Villanova (27-24), Temple (30-29) and Columbia (52-7).

St. Francis (1-2) tallied its first win last week when it toppled Lincoln 38-7 at DeGol Field.

Kyle Harbridge posted a season-high 230 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the Red Flash’s win over Lincoln. His 467 yards lead the squad with Khairi Dickson’s 156 yards qualifying for second on the team.

When the Red Flash go to the air – only 49 times in three games – Max Ward has been the team’s top passer, logging 219 yards with a touchdown. Terell Smith’s 148 yards leads St. Francis in receiving as does his one touchdown catch against James Madison.

The Rams’ offense has generated 1,905 yards in its four games with solid balance between the air and ground. Carlton Koonce (90 carries, 449 yards) and Michael Nebich (62 carries, 247 yards) pace Fordham on the ground. Nebrich also supplies the Rams’ passing attack, passing for 1,124 yards and nine scores.

Sam Ajala’s 24 catches for 378 yards led the Rams’ passing attack.    

The Rams beat St. Francis 41-0 in Johns-town in their only meeting back on Oct. 16, 1948. The next day’s edition of the Johns-town Tribune noted that 2,500 fans attended the contest, which featured three fourth-quarter touchdowns by Fordham.

With one of the largest crowds in DeGol Field history expected today, the St. Francis University ticket office is advising fans to purchase tickets in advance of arriving on campus.

Fans attending today’s game are asked to purchase and print tickets at home via SFUathletics.com/tix to help alleviate congestion and to ensure that fans can get to their seats prior to kickoff.

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