Villanova blows by weaker Towson in final road game

Nathan McGann

Against then No.1-ranked Richmond, the Wildcats had to wait for a missed field goal as time expired before celebrating the victory. Against Towson on Saturday, the celebrating came just a bit sooner. In its final road game of the regular season, Villanova dismantled the Tigers 49-7, scoring 35 points in the first half alone. The Wildcats scored on all five of its first half possessions, leaving Towson with no chance of recovery.

The Wildcats’ rushing attack was out in full force as Villanova tallied 282 yards on the ground, dwarfing Towson’s 48. Six different Wildcats eclipsed 20 yards rushing in the game. The defense was equally as stellar, holding the Tigers to 225 yards of total offense. Villanova had four sacks and forced two turnovers on the day. For the fifth time this season, the Wildcats’ defense allowed no more than one opposing touchdown.

“It was one of those ‘take care of business days,'” said Head Coach Andy Talley. “We went down there and the kids played really well. There was no let up or lack of effort. It was just another game.”

It took only five minutes to begin the scoring when junior running back Aaron Ball walked into the end zone for an eight-yard score.

That was followed by what was arguably the best play of the day. Finding themselves in the red zone once again, Villanova junior quarterback Chris Whitney handed off to junior receiver Matt Szczur. Szczur faked a rush before dumping a perfect pass to a wide open Whitney in the corner of the end zone. This was Whitney’s first career reception and Szczur’s second touchdown pass this season. Villanova would score three more times before the close of the first half.

With control of the game firmly on the Villanova sideline, Whitney was benched for the second half to give backup senior quarterback Antwon Young some much needed playing time. Coaches discovered after the game that Whitney’s right shoulder was injured at some point during the contest. As of Monday, he is unable to throw a football and is being evaluated.

Young didn’t skip a beat. Early in the third quarter, he called his own number and ran straight up the middle, untouched for a career-long 82-yard touchdown.

“Antwon played really well,” Talley said. “He had an 82-yard touchdown run, and he threw the ball and ran the option well.”

Sophomore running back Lawrence Doss added another touchdown run to bring the score to 49-0. Towson got on the board late in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. There was no further scoring in the final quarter.

Whitney’s injury comes as a blow to the national champion contending Wildcats, but the quarterback’s injury was not the only one suffered on Saturday. Junior running back Angelo Babarro aggravated his nagging toe injury. And senior offensive lineman Brian Brannigan also reaggravated his foot injury. Junior linebacker Marquis Kirkland left the game with a high ankle sprain, while sophomore receiver Norman White and junior linebacker Anthony Johnson both suffered concussions. Their statuses for the upcoming game are currently unknown.

Villanova will look to close out its regular season and a conference title when it hosts rival Delaware on Saturday. The Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak and looking to impress the selection committee that will decide their fate come playoff time. For now, Villanova will continue to feast on the bottom feeders.

“To this team’s credit, against the three lesser teams we have played in the league, Northeastern, Rhode Island and Towson, they just took care of them,” Talley said.