LEWISBURG, Pa. – Chase Edmonds ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns and Kevin Anderson was 17-for-32 for 327 yards and threw for two touchdowns as Fordham defeated Bucknell 36-22 Saturday afternoon at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in the final game of the 2016 season for the Bison.
Bucknell (4-7, 3-3 Patriot League) was led by 95 yards on the ground by Chad Freshnock - who received his second-most carries of the year (28) with regular starter Joey DeFloria out due to injuury - while freshman QB John Chiarolanzio came off the bench to complete 14 of 33 passes for 140 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bison posted five sacks, including a career-high 2.5 by Abdullah Anderson, while Brice Sydnor posted a career-high 14 tackles from his safety position. Bret Berg added eight tackles, one pass breakup and a first-quarter interception return for a touchdown. Anderson also had two blocked field goals, helping to keep the game close in the first half.
Bucknell was within one score of Fordham (8-3, 5-1 PL) late in the fourth quarter after a Freshnock touchdown. The Bison attempted an onside kick, which the Rams recovered. Edmonds, the nation’s leading rusher, then zig-zagged down the field for 44 yards to set up his own touchdown with 1:30 left to seal the game for the Rams.
The Bison offense struggled early in the game as it had just 21 yards in the first quarter and 95 overall in the first half. However, Bucknell trailed just 21-9 at halftime thanks to its defense. Berg’s interception return on the first play of a Fordham drive gave the Bison their first points and tied the game at 7-7.
After a perfectly-placed 28-yard punt by Berg was downed at the one-yard line, Anderson went down in the end zone for a safety, bringing Bucknell to within 14-9 with 2:51 to play in the first half.
The Bison received the ensuing kickoff and started their drive near midfield with a chance to score a touchdown and take a lead into halftime. Fordham forced a 3-and-out and Berg was called on to punt for the sixth time in the first half.
On the third play of the next drive for the Rams, Anderson connected with Robbie Cantelli for a 74-yard touchdown pass to help Fordham take a 21-9 lead into halftime.
Bucknell opened the second half with an efficient 7-play, 59-yard drive that concluded with an interesting play. Freshnock tried to leap over the offensive line and into the end zone from one yard out, but the ball was knocked loose just as he crossed the goal line. Andrew Podbielski recovered the fumble in the end zone, resulting in a Bison touchdown.
The score remained 21-15 until the fourth quarter. Edmonds converted a 4th-and-1 from the Bucknell six-yard line and then scored his second touchdown one play later to give Fordham a 29-15 edge with 14:45 left in the final period.
The Bison’s next drive was their longest of the game as they ran 13 plays and covered 29 yards before turning the ball over on downs.
Bucknell narrowed its deficit to 29-22 later in the quarter when Freshnock scored his ninth rushing touchdown of the season, completing a 10-play, 58-yard drive. Chiarolanzio completed four passes on the drive, including two to Will Carter and two to Kyle Kinner. Following that score the Bison attempted their onside kick.
Bucknell finished the game with 275 yards of total offense, while Fordham posted 500. The Bison held the Rams below their season average for points (40.5). Fordham began the game converting 4 of 6 third down opportunities, but was just 2-for-7 the rest of the way. The Bison were 5-for-17 on third downs and 2-for-4 on fourth downs.
Kinner led Bucknell in receptions (7) and receiving yards (55), while Carter had four catches for 50 yards. He finished his career with school records for both receptions (195) and receiving yards (2,744).
Austin Longi (8 rec., 114 yds.) and Cantelli (3 rec., 113 yds.) both went over 100 yards receiving for Fordham.
Prior to the game Bucknell recognized its 18 seniors -- Griff Barth, Ned Bent, Bret Berg, Thomas Bodolus, Devlin Brennan, Will Carter, Julie'n Davenport, Anthony DelRusso, Troy Glenn, Cary Hess, Nathan Medrano, R.J. Nitti, Nick O'Brien, Ryan Riethmiller, Alexander Romango, Ben Schumacher, R.J. Sheldon and C.J. Williams -- during Senior Day ceremonies.