Football: Wildcats’ offense clicks on all cylinders vs. Lehigh



Tim Richer

The Wildcats picked up their first win of the ’07 season on Saturday after defeating the Lehigh Mountain Hawks by a score of 30-20 at Goodman Stadium in Bethlehem, Pa.

‘Nova, supported by another strong game from quarterback Antwon Young, jumped out to a fast 20-3 start in the first half and never looked back. Young, in only his second career start, threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats offense was too much for Lehigh to contain.

The field conditions were rough for the players as the temperature on the field exceeded 100 degrees the entire game. Despite the heat, both teams put up great offensive numbers as Villanova collected 420 total yards of offense compared to Lehigh’s 393. The Wildcats total was a large upgrade after collecting 189 yards the previous week against Maryland.

Young impressed onlookers with his running ability and arm strength. He added 55 rushing yards to go along with his impressive passing numbers. Early in the second quarter, Young showed off his arm when he hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Brandyn Harvey for a 60-yard touchdown pass that traveled 65 yards through the air.

“It was one of the best passes ever thrown since I’ve been here,” said Head Coach Andy Talley, Villanova’s coach of the last 23 seasons.

In addition to Harvey’s score, tight end Michael Bradway caught a 15-yard touchdown pass, and running back Matt Dicken ran in his first touchdown of the season to put the ‘Cats up 20-6 at halftime.

Villanova was unable to maintain the large lead as Lehigh scored on its first drive of the second half when quarterback Sedale Threatt connected with wide receiver Sekou Yansane for a 38-yard touchdown pass, putting the score at 20-13. Threatt threw for 302 yards on the day, 99 of which were to Yansane.

After the ‘Cats converted a 35-yard field goal from Joe Marcoux to start the fourth quarter, the Mountain Hawks fired back with a touchdown drive that was capped by a Kwesi Kankam 1-yard touchdown run to cut the Wildcat lead to 23-20. On the ensuing possession, Young threw for his third touchdown of the day when wide receiver Phil Atkinson put together a dazzling 47-yard reception in the end zone.

Freshman linebacker Terrance Thomas was the defensive star of the game for the Wildcats, providing the defense with eight tackles and a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter. Junior linebacker Darrel Young also had a strong game, collecting 12 tackles.

“Terrance played really well for a freshman against a real misdirection offense,” Talley said of his rookie linebacker. “He’s playing beyond his years and showing a lot of maturity.”

For the second straight week, the Wildcats suffered costly injuries during their game. Junior defensive lineman David Dalessandro left the game before halftime with a leg injury, never to return. Linebacker Michael Holland, Villanova’s leading tackler against Maryland, was lost for the season due to a torn ACL in the second quarter.

Villanova will hosts the Maine Black Bears (1-1) in its season opener at Villanova Stadium at 6 p.m. on Saturday.