Dukes rain on Wildcats

James Evans

Sloppiness was the word of the day on Saturday. It described everything, from the game to the weather, as James Madison bested the Wildcats, 17-0.

The Parent’s Day Weekend game was wet, windy and cold, as just over 3,000 huddled together and watched in disappointment as the Dukes held the ‘Cats to an amazing -2 yards on 46 rushing attempts, while the Dukes racked up 111 yards on 52 attempts.

The first half ended scoreless as both teams defenses were able to shut down the other, but were also helped out by the offenses that had a combined five turnovers in the first half. Also, both teams ended up fumbling inside their opponents own five yard lines, giving up golden opportunities to get on the board.

A band snap in ‘Nova’s territory gave the Dukes great field position at the 11 yard line. Five plays later, James Madison running back Justin Rascati plunged into the end zone for a 7-0 Dukes lead, when they took it into the fourth quarter.

Once again, bad positioning for the ‘Cats led to points for the Dukes. After a sack, a rush for no yards and finally an incomplete pass, ‘Nova was facing a fourth down at its own 13-yard line.

Once again the weather came into play and it ended up with points for the Dukes. A bad snap led to a safety for James Madison and gave them a 9-0 lead.

The ‘Cats struggles on offense continued as they were once again forced into a turnover.

On the ensuing punt after the safety James Madison had great field position at the 50-yard line, however Rascati fumbled the football and Villanova’s Darrell Adams recovered the football at the 40-yard line.

However, Joe Casamento’s pass was intercepted by the Dukes Cortez Thompson, who returned it 20 yards and set up James Madison for another score. Six plays later, the Dukes Alvin Banks took it in from 14 yards out and posted a 17-0 lead for the Dukes, with less then six minutes left in the game.

The ‘Cats had the ball two more times, but couldn’t break through and the Dukes were able to take a knee and seal there first ever shutout against an Atlantic 10 opponent.

The ‘Cat’s offense was led by Terry Butler who ran for a total of 38 yards on 16 carries. Also, Marin Gibson gained 24 yards on 10 carries, but also fumbled inside the Dukes five yard line.

The quarterback position saw a change mid way through the second quarter, when head coach Andy Talley decided to substitute Joe Casamento for Marvin Burroughs to see if it could provide a spark for the Wildcats. However, this move did not.

Casamento was seven for 18, piling up 53 yards, but was also intercepted twice and sacked four times.

Burroughs struggled as well, completing only four of his 11 passes for 40 yards, was sacked three times and fumbled twice, only losing the ball once.

The defense was led by Raymond Ventrone, Jamil Butler and Brian Hulea again, as they collected 10, 9 and 8 tackles, respectively. J. Butler had a sack to go along with his nine tackles.

Also, D. Adams had five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.

Furthermore, Bryan Adams also played a pivotal role on the defense, with seven tackles and a fumble recovery.

Villanova travels to Philadelphia this weekend to take on the UPenn on Saturday at 7 p.m.