Wideout Gerry McDermott has been one of Fordham's few bright spots this year. The Penn secondary has no excuse this time because now they have advance warning -- Gerry McDermott is coming to town. Last year, McDermott caught nine passes for 125 yards against the Quakers, sparking a Fordham comeback that almost won the game for the Rams. McDermott, the most prolific wide receiver in Fordham history, stands out as one of the few bright spots in a Rams season that has been nothing but bleak thus far. Winless Fordham has been outscored 167-45 in its four games this season, but as for McDermott, he's been doing his part. The graduation of record-setting quarterback Steve O'Hare and his backup Dan Madine produced a controversy of sorts for first-year Fordham coach Dave Clawson. Sophomore Mark Carney emerged as the starter and has learned quickly to depend on McDermott, a second team All-Patriot League selection at receiver last season. Already this season, McDermott has amassed 259 yards on 22 receptions. And with his 18-yard scoring catch in a 42-14 loss at Cornell two weeks ago, he set the Fordham record for career touchdown receptions with 22. Although Fordham's offense has been, well, offensive, for most of the year, McDermott continues to turn in solid performances every Saturday despite a new quarterback and a new head coach. In Fordham's first game of the year -- a 49-7 whipping at the hands of Lehigh -- McDermott had nine receptions for 95 yards against the third-best pass defense in Division I-AA. But record-setting and turning heads is nothing new to McDermott. The 6'3", 204-pound receiver cut his teeth at St. Peter's Prep in Kearny, N.J., where the team won a state championship in 1995, his senior season. En route to the title, he broke the school's career and seasonal receiving records and also set the single-season scoring record. Unfortunately for the Quakers, success for McDermott against the Red and Blue is nothing new either. Last year, Penn eked out a 34-31 victory at Jack Coffey Stadium in a game that was a lot closer than it should have been -- thanks in large part to McDermott. He and O'Hare each turned in monster performances, leading an improbable Rams comeback that almost dealt Penn a disheartening defeat. The Quakers, led by quarterback Matt Rader, marched all over the Rams, going up 34-14 midway through the fourth quarter. But Rader went out with a mysterious laceration on his arm and the McDermott-and-O'Hare show began. McDermott, already with two touchdown catches on the day, grabbed a three-yard scoring catch, bringing the score to 34-21 and igniting the Rams' run. Of O'Hare's 325 passing yards, 125 that day went to McDermott. But when Fordham's offense stalled, Penn ran out the clock to hold on for a wild, three-point victory. Memories of McDermott and the comeback that wasn't should be fresh in the minds of the Penn secondary on Saturday. Free safety Hasani White and cornerback Joey Alofaituli both started last year against Fordham and after the game White said the Penn defense "was on [its] heels the whole game." White, Alofaituli and the rest of the Quakers secondary might want to pay extra attention to McDermott this time, lest they end up as footnotes in his record book.Comments powered by Disqus
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