‘Cats rally late for win

James Evans

Villanova improved to 2-0 on the season as the ‘Cats defeated host Lehigh Sept. 11, 22-16. The win also catapulted the ‘Cats to No. 5 in the nation.

Trailing all game, the ‘Cats running back Terry Butler took the handoff from Marvin Burroughs and plunged into the end zone from one yard out to give the ‘Cats a six-point lead with only four minutes left in the game.

The ‘Cats were down 16-0 in the second quarter, when Burroughs found J.J. Outlaw with an eight-yard pass to cut into to the Lehigh lead, and ‘Nova went into the half only trailing by nine.

After a return of 20-yards on a punt by Outlaw, the ‘Cats were faced with a short field and they took advantage.

After a couple of runs by Burroughs, Martin Gibson found a seam and broke free for a 16-yard touchdown run, to cap the six play, 53-yard drive. The touchdown was Gibson’s first of the season and also, cut the lead to just two points.

At the start of the fourth quarter the ‘Cats had an early chance to take the lead. Villanova brought the ball inside Lehigh’s 25-yard line before they were stopped. Adam James attempted field goal then sailed right, and Lehigh hung on to the lead.

However, the defense hung tight, and an interception by Brian Hulea deep in Lehigh’s territory set up the game-winning touchdown for the ‘Cats.

The defense once again played stellar. After an early touchdown in the second quarter that lead to a quick 16 points for Lehigh, the ‘Cats defense rose to the challenge and did not let up a single point for the next three quarters.

The leaders on the defense were Hulea, Jamil Butler and Raymond Ventrone, who had a total of 10, eight and eight tackles, respectively. Hulea, to go along with his 10 tackles and interception, also had a sack. J. Butler added to his sack total for the season, as he recorded two of his own, while Ventrone had a 13-yard sack.

Also, Allyn Bacchus and Darrell Adams combined for a sack on Lehigh quarterback Matt Borda and Terrence Taylor added one of his own, for a 10-yard loss.

The offense was lead by the running game, as the ‘Cats combined for 147 yards on the ground and also had two touchdowns. The leaders in the running game were T. Butler, Gibson and Burroughs, who had 50, 41 and 40 yards rushing, respectively. Gibson averaged just less than seven yards per carry.

The ‘Cats struggled to begin the game, as they had four straight three and outs and was intercepted once. But then, the ‘Cats broke the streak, when Burroughs found Outlaw to cap the 10 play 80-yard drive.

Burroughs was 13 for 23 and had 100 yards passing, two picks and a touchdown pass, but one of the interceptions was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.

James has a great day punting, kicking five times for an average of 40 yards a kick, highlighted by his first quarter punt of 50-yards.

The ‘Cats look to improve their home record, when they play James Madison tomorrow in the Parent’s Day weekend game. The game begins at 1 p.m., with Wildcat Village opening at 11:30 a.m.