Wildcats Dominate in Win Over Lehigh


Courtesy Villanova Athletics

Wildcats Dominate in Win Over Lehigh

Nick France

The Villanova Wildcats cruised to a 31-9 victory against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Saturday elevating their record to 2-0.

The game got off to a slow start, with the first three drives being less than five plays. However, following an interception by Lehigh’s Keith Woetzel, the Mountain Hawks took a fourteen play drive to the Villanova four-yard line, where kicker Ed Mish nailed the field goal. Villanova then responded by taking nine plays to punch in a Justin Covington rushing touchdown.

In the second quarter, the Wildcats began to separate themselves from the home team. The ‘Cats struck early in the second with a Jarrett McClenton catch and run for a 62-yard touchdown. Following a three-and-out by Lehigh, the Wildcats scored once more thanks to a seven play, 81-yard drive capped off by a four-yard touchdown from Bednarczyk to Ryan Bell. By the end of the half, the game was already turning into a blowout, with the score 20-3.

From then on, the Wildcats rolled to the victory. In the 3rd quarter, Drew Kresge nailed a 35 yard field goal after a 67-yard drive stalled out. Later on in the third quarter, a weak Lehigh punt from their own end zone set Villanova up at their own 31. They then scored once more with a 28-yard pass to Jarrett McClenton.

The fourth quarter breezed by as the Wildcats let some backups in and ran out the clock. A garbage time touchdown pass from Lehigh’s Brad Mayes settled the final score at 31-9.

Although the game was mostly an easy win for Villanova, it certainly had its messy moments. For example, the Wildcats committed nine penalties for 75 penalty yards. In addition, the struggles on special teams continued as Drew Kresge missed two field goals.

On the bright side of things though, the offense and defense both clearly came out to play.

The Wildcats had 406 yards of offense, with an even 215 on the ground and 215 in the air. While no Wildcat had more than 100 yards rushing, five different backs finished with at least 20 yards. On top of that, Zach Bednarczyk continued to lead the team effectively, throwing three passing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the defense held the usually-stellar Lehigh offense to only 176 yards. The combination of an early injury to running back Dom Bragalone and the lights-out play of the Villanova defense led to Lehigh only mustering 32 rushing yards. Chris Benford led the team with six tackles, and also had an interception.

Ultimately, the Wildcats once again showed they are coming into 2018 ready to win. They will look to continue their momentum in their home opener against Towson next week.