Fast Start Powers ‘Cats Past Bison


Courtesy of Maggie Mengel

Fast Start Powers ‘Cats Past Bison

Nick France

In front of the packed Parent’s Weekend crowd, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Bucknell Bison 49-7 in what was a nice bounce back win after last weekend’s loss to Towson.

Villanova’s defense started off great, as a strip-sack led to a fumble recovery by Ryan White on Bucknell’s very first offensive play. The offense quickly took advantage of this field position as Aaron Forbes fought his way into the end zone for a touchdown. The Wildcats offense refused to be stopped, scoring on all four of their first quarter drives. These scores consisted of a short run by Matt Gudzak, a 90 yard catch and run by Josh McGrigg, and a 33-yard run by Adeyemi DaSilva on an option pitch. McGrigg’s 90 yarder was the longest passing play in Villanova history. The defense was put at a disadvantage early when Julian Williams was ejected for targeting for the second time this season. However, they still would shut down the Bucknell offense with four tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception in the first quarter alone.

After a Zach Bednarczyk interception, the Bucknell offense went three and out. On the following punt, however, Villanova’s Josh McGrigg fumbled the punt return, which set up the Bucknell offense at Villanova’s 12 yard line. The Bison would easily punch it in on a Logan Bitikofer rushing touchdown. The Wildcats would score on a one yard touchdown run by Aaron Forbes following a Jaquon Amos interception. Just before the half, the Wildcats would score again, this time on a Bednarczyk quarterback keeper, and Villanova would head to the locker room up 42-7.

The remainder of the game was largely uneventful, as Villanova mostly played their backups in the second half. A garbage time touchdown by Villanova’s D’Andre Pollard would settle the final score at 49-7.

Despite the blowout score, the game was not always pretty. The Wildcats had four turnovers in the first half, including three fumbles and one interception in the end zone. Even still, there were many great things in this victory. Wide receiver Josh McGrigg finished with five receptions and 187 receiving yards, along with one touchdown, all in the first half. The Wildcat offense also racked up 308 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, utilizing ten different rushers.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats also forced their fair share of turnovers. The Wildcats picked off the Bison’s Logan Bitikofer three times, and recovered one fumble. In addition, they sacked the quarterback three times, with Malik Fisher and Datrell Reed each getting to the quarterback once, and Jeff Steeb and Michael Taylor combining for one more.

With the victory, the Wildcats record is elevated to 3-1. The team will return to CAA conference play next Saturday with an away game against the Stony Brook Seawolves.