Wagner today, Fordham tomorrow

Wagner+today%2C+Fordham+tomorrow

Matthew Barrett

Senior Ross Scheuerman attempts to break a tackle against Wagner last Saturday. Scheuerman is fifth in career rushing yards among all active FCS players. 

Photos by Hana Isihara ‘17

In the second quarter of Saturday’s football game, Wagner may have thought it caught a break when sophomore quarterback Drew Reed went down with a shoulder injury. What the Seahawks were not prepared for was the powerhouse performance sophomore backup quarterback Blake Searfoss.

Searfoss followed Reed’s 61 yards and a touchdownin the first quarter with 173 yards on 14 of 23 passing and two touchdowns.

“Obviously at first I felt a little nervous, but once I was in there I felt prepared,” Searfoss said. “My coaches prepared me well; it was just a matter of execution.”

On top of Lafayette’s success through the air, senior tailback Ross Scheuerman continued to assert his dominance against Wagner as one of the top players in the FCS. Scheuerman had 128 yards on the ground, as well as 91 receiving yards, to go along with two fourth quarter scores that sealed the win for the Leopards. With one minute and 29 seconds remaining, Scheuerman broke free of the Wagner defense and galloped 55 yards into the end zone. Scheuerman now ranks fifth among FCS players in all-purpose yards per game.

The Leopards defense was able to provide just enough support for the offense this week, but will have to do more against the high-octane Fordham Rams’ offense for today’s game. A Lafayette defense that ranks 11th in total defense and sixth in yards allowed rushing per game, with be put to the ultimate test.

Fordham ranks tenth in the FCS in total offense averaging 489.2 yards per game, a very impressive statistic considering the Rams got axed by Villanova 50-6 just three weeks ago. Freshman running back Chase Edmonds ranks first in the FCS in all-purpose yards per game with 207.8 and senior quarterback Mike Nebrich ranks seventh in passing yards per game with 290.

With injury to Nebrich last season, the Leopards were able to defeat the Rams 27-14. The Leopards were able to create five turnovers and were able to limit the Rams to only 108 yards on the ground as a team. Similarly, Lafayette will have to limit their turnovers on the offensive side of the ball against Fordham; Fordham has scored 78 points off of turnovers this season.

With the possibility of Reed out for another week, Searfoss will again assume the role as starting quarterback against Fordham.

“We’ll do nothing [differently]…Blake runs the same offense [as Drew],” head coach Frank Tavani said. “It’s not like your going from a 6’5’’ guy to an option guy; we’ll look to where we can attack their [Fordham’s] defense the best way possible.”

Fordham intercepted Drew Reed four times last season and will look to do the same against Searfoss with only one game under his belt.

“Obviously they are going to be a tough opponent,” Searfoss said. “It’s been a short week, they have a tough secondary so we’ve been working hard on our protection and trying to establish a solid run game, so that we can establish our pass game. We have to go out, make big plays, and be able to fill our roles.”

Going against a defense that allows 156 yards on the ground per game and ranks 48th in the FCS in rushing defense, Lafayette will look to continue its dominance running the football and minimize turnovers through the air to defeat Fordham.

Sophomore Drew Reed sets the ball for a hand off during the Wagner game before being pulled for a shoulder injury in the second quarter. Reed is question- able for Friday’s game against Patriot League rival Fordham.
Sophomore Drew Reed sets the ball for a hand off during the Wagner game before being pulled for a shoulder injury in the second quarter. Reed is questionable for Friday’s game against Patriot League rival Fordham.