Wildcats look to bounce back against seventh placed Richmond



After falling to Elon the Wildcats are eager to get back to winning ways against Richmond

Staff Writer Dave Jarman

Despite holding a 14-10 lead after three quarters of play, Elon freshman quarterback Davis Cheek threw a go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to defeat the Wildcats 19-14 on Homecoming last Saturday. Red-shirt freshman Kyle McCloskey recorded his first official collegiate start, and completed nine of his 20 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns and tacked on another 65 yards on the ground. 

While the Wildcats had over 100 yards on the ground and through the air, they had costly penalties that did not allow the offense to sustain drives and put up points.  

“We don’t play consistently enough on offense to sustain drives,” Head Coach Mark Ferrante said. “We hurt ourselves even more with things like holding penalties and we are not consistent enough to overcome first and 20 or second and 16 and so on.” 

Cheek was able to throw for 357 yards, as he tore up the Wildcat secondary, with the help of receiver Kortez Weeks who had 205 yards on 11 receptions and propelled Elon to their fourth come-from-behind victory this season.  

The Wildcats are battling adversity to multiple players with season ending injuries, including starting quarterback Zach Bednarczyck and safety Rob Rolle.  “We’re playing a lot of young guys,” Ferronte added. This includes 11 of 13 freshman scholarship players, due to the multiple injuries the Wildcats have had this season.

Their aspirations for a playoff birth are slim, and there is no margin of error for the rest of the season.  

The schedule does not get any easier, as the Wildcats’ next opponent has the same aspirations as they do. Richmond comes in to Villanova Stadium this Saturday with an offense that averages 35 points per game with a lethal aerial attack. 

Red shirt senior quarterback Kyle Lauletta leads the FCS in total passing yards with 2,953, and has averaged 369 yards per game. As a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, Lauletta is able to sling the ball around because of the talented weapons in his arsenal. 

Lauletta’s receivers Cortrelle Simpson and Dejon Brisset both average 102 receiving yards per game and have combined for 12 of Lauletta’s 26 touchdown passes. Lauletta is a very proficient pocket passer and is not afraid to roll out and extend drives with his feet. 

Additionally, the Spiders’ ground game averages 104 yards per game, led by a trio of running backs that have combined for 647 yards this season in Collins Gordon, Deontez Thompson and Jay Palmer. Looks like the Wildcats defense will have another tough challenge this Saturday.  

The Wildcats’ offense needs to establish the run If you take away McCloskey’s 65 yards on the ground, the Wildcats rushed for a measly 47 yards, 40 of which came from junior running back Aaron Forbes.   

Kickoff is set for 1pm this Saturday at Villanova Stadium.