Wildcats clawed by late-surging William & Mary

James Evans

The Wildcats loss last Friday to William & Mary dropped their record to 6-4 on the season, dropped them out of the rankings for the first time in 39 weeks it could also possibly put them out of the playoff hunt, as they fell 37-29.

Villanova traveled to Virginia last weekend hoping to extend their winning streak to four games. It looked good at the beginning, Mo Gibson returned the opening kickoff 95-yards and Villanova jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead.

However, the Tribe did not waste much time tying the game up, as they took the ensuing kick and drove the field in less than five minutes Jon Smith touchdown run knotted the game at seven all. For the remainder of the first quarter both team traded possessions back and forth, as both teams had three and outs.

Villanova reclaimed the lead at the start of the second quarter when quarterback Marvin Burroughs found John Dieser in the end zone, to put the ‘Cats up by a touchdown. The big play on the drive was a 47-yard pass by Burroughs to Anthony Wright, which gave the ‘Cats a first and goal just inside the 10 yard line.

The teams continued to trade touchdowns and late in third quarter it was tied at 21. However, after a punt by the Tribe’s Mike Mesi, the ‘Cats backs were against the wall, as they were at their own two yard line.

Three plays later the Tribe were able to stop the ‘Cats in the end zone, which resulted in a safety, and a 23-21 lead for the Tribe. A lead they would not relinquish, enroute to their victory.

William & Mary struck twice again, scoring touchdowns on two Smith runs of one and 17 yards, to extended their lead 37-21.

The ‘Cats fought back and scored a touchdown, when Burroughs hit Phil DiGiacomo with a two yard touchdown pass and then converted the two point conversion when Burroughs found Dieser. However, the drive by the ‘Cats left them with only 32 seconds left to go on the clock and the onside kick by Adam James bounced out of bounds to seal the Tribe victory.

Burroughs continued his good play, throwing for 270 yards, three touchdowns and running for 48 yards. However, he did throw an interception and was sacked four times.

The defense was led by Jeremy Morgan, Allyn Bacchus and Brian Hulea. Morgan and Bacchus had their best games of the season, as Morgan collected 13 tackles, including one for a loss and Bacchus had 11 tackles.

Hulea had another great game recording 10 tackles and joining with Jamil Butler for a tackles for a loss of yards.

The ‘Cats will have a bye week before they head down for the season finale with rival Delaware. It was Delaware that last year ended the ‘Cats playoff chances, with a 20-17 win. The game will be played on Nov. 20 at Delaware at 1 p.m.