‘Cats collapse in final minutes

James Evans

Once again, the Villanova Wildcats (3-3, 0-3) found themselves on the wrong side of a high scoring affair, as they lost 34-30 against the Northeastern Huskies (3-2, 2-1), at Parsons Field on Saturday.

The Wildcats had a chance to pull out the win twice with just two minutes remaining; however, Villanova was snake bitten.

“We came up short, its right there that’s why it hurts so much,” Marvin Burroughs said.

First, Villanova’s quarterback Burroughs rolled out right and was looking to go downfield, but Huskie Charles Hughley picked off his pass at his own 30 yard line, stopping the drive. After a defensive stand Villanova received the ball at the 37-yard line, with just less than 45 seconds left in the game. Burroughs quickly moved the ball down the field, by completing three-straight passes, to set up a second down and four yards to go from the Huskie 22 yard line. However, after three incomplete passes the Huskies regained control and knelt down to seal the game. On fourth down the ’Cats had a chance to win it, but Burroughs tried to hit Chris Polite with a pass, but Jamil Young broke it up.

“In the last series, Terry Butler was wide open and if he [Burroughs] saw him it’s a touchdown,” coach Andy Talley said.

On the day Burroughs played extremely well, as he completed 31 of 41 passing attempts and threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns. Burroughs longest pass of the day was to J.J. Outlaw, a 53-yard touchdown pass that gave the ’Cats a 30-27, that they could not hold.

“It was an option route, if the man bites on it, we have the option to take centerfield [deep down the middle],” Outlaw said. “I saw my defender running with me, I looked at Marv [Burroughs] to let him know and I tried to sell the out and cut up field.”

However, even with the big play ’Nova was able to pull out the win.

“I think this was a game either team could have won and it was a real hard fought game,” Talley said. “In a shootout between A-10 teams, I think home teams will win.”

Once Villanova drove within the 25-yard line, Adam James would have been able to come one and hit a field goal to tie the game, however, because of a botched extra point attempt earlier, Villanova was forced to go for the touchdown.

“If we had that extra point, then we only would have needed a field goal and not a touchdown,” Talley said.

Extra points were very hard to come by in this game, as the Wildcats missed one, but Northeastern, had two blocked and failed on two-two point conversation attempts.

With the loss the ’Cats have evened up there record with three wins and losses and are now five hundred and haven’t won a game in their conference. Villanova came into the season with high hopes and were expected to win the South Atlantic 10; however, the rough patch that they have hit has now put their chances of making the playoffs this year on thin ice. They would most likely have to run the table for the rest of the season and that is not an easy task. They have home games against Richmond, Towson and William & Mary left and will travel to Rhode Island and Delaware. However, right now the playoffs are the furthest thing from this team’s and this coach’s mind.

“We need to get ready for Richmond, to make the playoffs we have to run the table,” Talley said. “However we can’t think past the Richmond game. In our league, eight wins should be enough, but we need to think about Richmond right now.”

The Wildcats will be coming home to play Richmond this Saturday at the Stadium at 1 p.m., in hopes that they can end their two-game losing streak.