Bucknell game-winning FG blocked after late fumble recovery

NEW YORK – Fordham fumbled while trying to kneel-out the victory with 55 seconds to play, but blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt as time expired to preserve a 23-21 victory over Bucknell on Saturday that kept the Rams undefeated.

Bucknell (4-5, 2-3 Patriot League) busted through the line when the Rams were in victory formation and recovered on its 35. The Bison drove into field goal range, but Derek Maurer’s kick was blocked.

“I always tell our team that the game is not over until they call you off the field,” said Bucknell head coach Joe Susan. “When you play against a team this good, you have to take advantage of your chances. This was a good college football game, but it is a tough one from an emotional standpoint. Our guys will bounce back and be ready next week.”

Carlton Koonce caught a 22-yard pass from Michael Nebrich to give Fordham an early lead, but Bucknell came back on a 2-yard run by Wesley. Michael Marando added a field goal and the Rams (10-0) led 10-7 at the half.

Fordham led 17-7 after a 63-yard pass from Peter Maetzold to Sam Ajala, but Bucknell’s Josh Brake replied with a 63-yard strike to CJ Williams, then caught a 5-yarder from Wesley to give the Bison a 21-17 edge.

Marando added two field goals in the fourth.

After the fumble, two Brandon Wesley completions brought the Bison to midfield and then a pass interference call moved Bucknell to the Fordham 19-yard line and into field goal range. A rush by Wesley to center the ball and then a quick spike set up the potential game-winning field goal followed. With no timeouts left, the field goal unit ran onto the field. Maurer lined up for a 37-yard attempt, one yard shy of his career-long, but the trajectory was low and was blocked.

Bucknell was trying to win its fourth straight and defeat its second ranked opponent in three weeks.

Bucknell7 0 14 0-21

Fordham7 3 7 6-23

First Quarter

For-Koonce 22 pass from Nebrich (Marando kick), 8:21.

Buck-Wesley 2 run (Maurer kick), 3:02.

Second Quarter

For-FG Marando 39, 5:56.

Third Quarter

For-Ajala 63 pass from Maetzold (Marando kick), 9:41.

Buck-Williams 23 pass from Brake (Maurer kick), 5:34.

Buck-Brake 5 pass from Wesley (Maurer kick), :37.

Fourth Quarter

For-FG Marando 28, 12:42.

For-FG Marando 19, 8:09.


Team statsBuckFor

First downs2221




Return Yards1841




Time of Possession28:2431:40


RUSHING-Bucknell, Williams 15-63, Wesley 8-53, DelMauro 7-31, Regan 1-1. Fordham, Koonce 28-84, Maetzold 6-12, Nebrich 2-10.

PASSING-Bucknell, Wesley 20-40-3-225, Brake 1-1-0-23, Williams 1-1-0-18, Team 0-1-0-0. Fordham, Maetzold 21-35-1-318, Nebrich 7-10-0-70.

RECEIVING-Bucknell, Kaslander 5-85, Brake 4-49, Carter 4-42, Williams 2-24, Lebo 2-18, DelMauro 2-9, Wesley 1-18, Friend 1-15, Sullivan 1-6. Fordham, Light 7-53, Ajala 6-123, Wetzel 6-92, Koonce 4-35, M.Jones 3-49, Solano 2-36.