New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Jack Coffey Field has been good to Fordham in recent years, but the Road to Frisco passes through top-seeded New Hampshire, and the Rams feel up to the task after an impressive start to the FCS playoffs Saturday.
Mike Nebrich threw for 421 yards and four touchdowns as Patriot League champion Fordham passed by Sacred Heart in the first round for the second straight year, this time by a 44-22 score.
Fordham (11-2) will head to Durham next Saturday to face New Hampshire (10-1), the nation's No. 1-ranked team, in the second round. It won't be the same as playing at home, where the Rams have won 10 straight games and 17 of their last 18.
But the Rams appear ready for the challenge. Nebrich, who completed 29-of-50 pass attempts with two interceptions, threw two touchdowns each to Brian Wetzel (eight receptions, 166 yards) and Tebucky Jones Jr. (eight receptions, 139 yards).
Fordham took command of the game by scoring on its final play of the second quarter - Wetzel's 14-yard reception with nine seconds left to make it 24-16 - and its first play of the third quarter - Jones' 97-yard reception at the 11:45 mark to make it 31-16.
The Rams outgained Sacred Heart 511 yards to 314. Chase Edmonds rushed for 91 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown, and Michael Marando kicked three field goals.
RJ Noel threw two touchdown passes to Tyle Dube for Sacred Heart (9-3), a co- champion out of the Northeast Conference, but was intercepted twice by All- Patriot League cornerback Ian Williams. Sean Bell rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries and Keshaudas Spence scored on a 22-yard run in the loss.
Fordham won last year's first-round matchup, 37-27.
The 24-team FCS playoffs lead up to the Jan. 10 national championship game in Frisco, Texas.