Bronx, N.Y. (November 24, 2013) – The Fordham University football squad learned it’s reward today for having the most successful regular season in school history, a berth in the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship. And not only did the Rams receive the bid, Fordham will also get to host a first round game as they welcome the Sacred Heart University Pioneers, the 2013 Northeast Conference champions, to Jack Coffey Field on Saturday, November 30, at 1:00 PM in a game that will be televised live on ESPN3.
The NCAA FCS championship appearance will be the third for Fordham, the first since 2007 (the other occurred in 2002), while the Rams will be hosting an NCAA FCS playoff game for the first time ever. In 2002, Fordham won its first ever NCAA FCS playoff game with a 29-24 win at Northeastern before being eliminated by Villanova in the second round, 24-10. In 2007, Fordham dropped a first round decision at Massachusetts, 49-35.
The Rams also played in the 1987 NCAA Division III championship, defeating Hofstra, 41-6, in the first round before falling to eventual national champions, Wagner, on Jack Coffey Field in the second, 21-0. That game was the first ever NCAA championship game played on Jack Coffey Field.
The Rams finished the regular season with an 11-1 record, setting the school mark for most wins in a season in the modern era (since 1920).
On the field, the Fordham offense has been prolific, setting school single season records for most points (4610 and most total yards (6,252) in a season, surpassing the former scoring record of 418 and the former total yardage mark of 5,377, both set by the 2003 squad.
Individually, junior quarterback Mike Nebrich has completed 284 of 379 passes for 3,576 yards and 28 touchdowns. He breaks Mark Carney’s record of 27 touchdown passes in a season, set in 2001, and ties John Skelton’s mark of 284 completions in a season, set in 2009. Nebrich’s 3,576 yards this year is second only to Skelton’s 3,708 yards in 2009.
Nebrich has a wealth of receivers to throw the ball to, including juniors Sam Ajala, Tebucky Jones, Jr., and Brian Wetzel. Ajala has 78 catches for 1,398 yards on the year, 41 yards behind Javarus Dudley’s school record of 1,439 set in 2003, while Wetzel has 77 receptions for 938 yards and 13 scores and Jones has hauled in 76 passes for 1,067 yards and four touchdowns. Ajala and Jones become the first receiving tandem in Fordham history to have 1,000 receiving yards in the same season while Wetzel’s 13 receiving touchdowns is one shy of Dudley’s single season record set in 2003.