Football team shuts out Colgate with tough defense



Cailin Brophy

In its first two games of the season, the Villanova football team has been firing on all cylinders and is right where it wants to be heading into its first conference matchup of the season against Maine.

On the heels of their landmark victory over Division I-A opponent Rutgers, the Wildcats shut out the Colgate Raiders of the Patriot League 20-0 on Saturday, in yet another impressive display on both sides of the ball.

To say that the Wildcat defense was stingy is an understatement. ‘Nova held a Colgate team which head coach Andy Talley said, “runs for a living,” to a pitiful 134 yards of total offense while allowing a mere 23 yards rushing.

Linebackers Jamison Young and Brian Hulea were menacing on defense, with Hulea recording eight tackles and Young notching five to go along with a sack. In the end, the ‘Cats had forced two turnovers and sacked Colgate quarterback Tom McCune twice, while allowing him to complete 12 of 23 passes for 111 yards.

In contrast, ‘Nova signal caller Brett Gordon put his counterpart to shame, orchestrating yet another big-time offensive performance.

Gordon recorded his second-straight 300-yard passing game, completing 27 of 39 attempts for a monster 392 yards.

The ‘Cats were productive from the get-go against the Raiders, jumping out to an early 10-0 lead in the opening stanza.

With 6:03 remaining in the first, kicker Adam James, who is continuing to prove his worth, put a 26-yard field goal through the uprights to give ‘Nova a 3-0 lead.

Villanova snuck in another score with nine seconds remaining when tailback Terry Butler caught a pass off a screen and ran it in 43 yards for the touchdown.

Before heading to the locker rooms at intermission, James came on again, this time nailing a 19-yard field goal, giving the ‘Cats a commanding 13-0 lead at the break.

The first half was a complete embarassment for the Raiders, who could muster only 11 yards, while seeing their quarterback McCune complete only one of seven passes.

The third quarter proved to be a scoreless affair for both teams, with Villanova continuing to snuff out any opportunities Colgate attempted to produce on offense. With 9:22 remaining in the contest, Gordon handed the ball to Butler on the two-yard line, and the tailback dove in for the final score of the contest to give the ‘Cats the win.

‘Nova’s ability to make the necessary adjustments on offense proved to be as much of a key to victory as the superb defensive effort.

“Colgate did a heck of a job in shutting down our running game,” Talley said.

He highlighted the play of Gordon, who was able to take the game to the air where the Raiders were unable to stop the ‘Cats. For his efforts, the fifth-year quarterback earned team offensive player of the week honors.

Running back Butler made just as smooth of a transition.

“He [Butler] did the things we asked him to do, including the big run on the screen play,” Talley said. By game’s end, Butler had amassed 106 receiving yards on six catches, including the swing screen out of the backfield for his 43-yard touchdown run.

Tight end Matt Chila also quietly put in a strong performance for the Wildcats, notching six receptions for 95 yards, including a 33-yard catch.

The undefeated Wildcats will open up their Atlantic 10 schedule at Villanova Stadium tomorrow when they face co-defending conference champs Maine in their home opener.

The game will take place under the lights, with kickoff set for 6 p.m.