Football: Homecoming not so sweet for ‘Cats

Tim Richer

Besides the Homecoming festivities last Saturday at Villanova, the home fans had little to be excited about after the Wildcats’ loss to Towson University, 21-13.

The Tigers (5-2, 2-2 A-10) dominated the football, controlling the ball for 17 more minutes than Villanova and totaling 425 yards of offense.

Sloppy play hurt ‘Nova (2-5, 1-3 A-10) throughout the entire game, beginning with a botched snap on the opening drive, leading to a safety. The Wildcats committed three turnovers.

“We’ve met the enemy, and that’s us,” said head coach Andy Talley said. “We beat ourselves.”

Despite the poor start, Villanova went on a 62-yard drive on their second possession that ended in a one-yard rushing touchdown by running back Matt Dicken. The point after touchdown was blocked, resulting in an unusual 6-2 score.

The touchdown was one of two for Dicken on the day; he accounted for both of the Wildcats’ scores and ran for 78 yards. Dicken leads the team with six rushing touchdowns this season.

“Matty showed he was ready to play and is really surfacing at the right time,” Talley said. “He has earned more time this season and will be our starting back next season.”

Towson regained the lead midway through the second quarter with a touchdown pass from Sean Schaefer to Ryan Meehan. After that, the Tigers never looked back.

Villanova made an effort to come back late in the game but never caught up. ‘Nova blocked a punt late in the third quarter that was recovered by Dicken. The next possession led to Dicken’s second rushing touchdown, cutting the score to 15-13.

Early in the fourth quarter, Wildcat linebacker Darrel Young forced a Towson fumble deep in Villanova’s zone, getting the ball back to ‘Nova with a chance to take the lead.

However, on the second play of the ensuing drive, quarterback Marvin Burroughs threw an interception. Towson scored on the next play to seal the game.

For the second straight week, Villanova was unable to move the ball consistently. The offense was only able to compile 166 total yards and just 71 in the air. The Wildcats were playing without either starting wide receiver since Chris Polite and Anton Ridley were both injured.

‘Nova’s offense ended up hurting their defense, allowing the differential in time possession and four extra offensive series.

“Marvin [Burroughs] had his first real bad game this year,” Talley said. “We’re not executing on offense in general.”

The Villanova defense was unable to compensate for the offensive struggles. Towson quaterback Sean Schaefer threw for 324 yardsand two touchdown passes. The Tigers added 101 rushing yards.

Towson’s aerial assault is nothing new this year. Schaefer has thrown for at least 250 yards in five of his six games this season.

The Wildcats will look to get back on track next Saturday when they travel to William and Mary (2-5, 0-4 A-10) to play the Tribe in a battle to stay out of last place in the Atlantic 10 South.

“We just need to stay positive,” Talley said. “It’s not easy since we’re not winning, but we need to keep playing hard.”