Wildcats keep playoff hopes alive

James Green

The No. 19 Villanova Wildcats (6-3, 3-3) extended their winning streak to three in a row as they destroyed the Rhode Island Rams, 48-9.

‘Nova traveled up to Rhode Island holding onto its playoff hopes with a string, and they came away with another solid victory. They are now headed into a showdown with No. 13 William & Mary.

The ‘Cats last three wins in the A-10 have all been blowouts, winning by over 30 points in each game and have averaged over 40 points a game. This is a great improvement for a team that had lost it’s first three games within the conference and was looking to just get back to five hundred by the end of the year.

With two games left in the season the ‘Cats most likely will have to win their last two games to make the playoffs. This however, will be a monumental task, as they will have to travel on the road to face No. 13 William & Mary and then end their season against No. 6 Delaware.

‘Nova’s latest conquest has added to the development of many of Villanova’s young players. Sophomore quarterback Marvin Burroughs continued his dominance, as he threw for over 210 and hit 13 of 21 passes with two touchdown passes. Burroughs also ran for 28 yards on six carries and added a running touchdown.

The real offensive leaders for the ‘Cats were their two running backs, Martin “Mo” Gibson and Terry Butler. Gibson ran for 103 yards on 13 carries which had a 10-yard touchdown gallop. Butler ran for 73 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown run of 12 yards.

Rhode Island actually got on the board first with a sustained drive, driving the field for touchdown, but missed the extra point.

The ‘Cats tied it up, when Burroughs scampered in from four yards out. The touchdown was set up by a fortuitous mistake play. Burroughs dropped back and was intercepted by Ram’s Chad Waltrip; however, when Waltrip was returning the ball, T. Butler forced him to fumble and Villanova’s Alex Suder recovered the football setting the ‘Cats up with good field position.

The ‘Cats took the lead for good, but it wasn’t the offensive side of the ball that gave them the lead. Ram’s running back Jayson Davis took the handoff and tried to make a move, but Darrell Adams stopped him in the backfield, Davis fumbled the football. Adams scooped it up and put Villanova up 14-6 and gave them the game for good.

On the defensive side of the ball ‘Nova was lead by Jamil Butler and Brian Hulea. J. Butler had 10 tackles, including three and a half forcing the Rams to lose 19 yards. Hulea had nine tackles and had one and a half tackles forcing the Rams to loss four yards.

The ‘Cats will try to keep their playoff hopes alive this weekend when they travel to William & Mary to face off against the Tribe.

The Tribe are 6-2 on the season and are 4-1 in the division, their only loss coming to No. 6 ranked Delaware.