Football: Villanova shows promise against top team

Tim Richer

Despite jumping out to a fast start, the Wildcats fell to the University of Massachusetts 31-21 on Parents Weekend.The game, held at Villanova Stadium, marks the sixth straight loss for the ‘Cats (0-3, 0-1 A-10), dating back to the last three games of 2005.Villanova was fired up to play early, after being knocked by Coach Andy Talley for displaying a lack of emotion in last week’s game against Lehigh.”I asked for a special effort this week and got it,” said Talley. “We played really hard. We went toe-to-toe with one of the heavyweights in our league.” The Wildcats started off the game quickly with a 48-yard reverse to wide reciever Phil Atkinson. They followed up that play with a 24-yard running touchdown from running back DeQuese May. May rushed seven times for 49 yards on the day and tallied five receptions for 46 yards including a reception in the end zone.Massachusetts (2-1, 1-0 A-10), ranked No. 9 in the latest College Sports Network Division I-AA poll, took over the game from that point.Beginning in the second quarter, the Minutemen outscored the Wildcats 31-14, fueled by a high powered UMass offense that produced 490 yards.The Minutemen allowed the Wildcats back into the game when kicker Chris Koepplin missed field goals on two consecutive drives in the third quarter when the Wildcats were only down by three. ‘Nova was unable to take advantage and punted on both of its ensuing possessions. UMass put the game out of distance with its final score when wide receiver Brandon London hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Liam Coen with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter. That marked the second touchdown pass from Coen, who tallied all 350 passing yards on 21-of-28 passing. London contributed 104 receiving yards, including the touchdown.”We were in it until the fourth,” Talley said. “You’re not going to stop that team on offense, you just need to slow them down. We had some good stops, but our offense was not able to capitalize.” This Saturday’s game marked the third impressive performance of the season for the Minutemen. UMass began the season with a 28-7 win over Colgate at home. On Sept. 9 they put together a very strong showing at Division I-A Navy, losing only by one. One of the bright spots for Villanova was the play of quarterback Marvin Burroughs, who gained 245 yards on 19-of-30 passing, with one touchdown pass and no interceptions. Safety Allyn Bacchus recorded 11 tackles for his second straight double-digit tackle game.Center Christian Gaddis continued his stellar play this season. Coach Talley noted that his star center has played three great games this season.The Wildcats will go for their first win on Saturday at 7 p.m. game against the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (1-0), at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.”We need to pick up a win this weekend,” Talley said. “We’re a strong 0-3 team, but the bottom line is we need to win.”