Wildcats take down Saint Francis, continue to second round of FCS playoffs

Claire Ferry

Head coach Andy Tally’s legacy hasn’t come to an end just yet, as the No. 9 Wildcats held off Saint Francis 31-21 at Villanova Stadium this afternoon.

In the first round of the FCS playoffs, it was Villanova’s first half dominance that was the deciding factor. The team scored on its first five drives, posting all 31 points before the two-minute warning. Among the highlights was a 59-yard pass from Zach Bednarczyk to Ryan Bell with eight seconds left in the first quarter. Bednarczyk finished the day 18 of 27 passes for 254 yards and three TDs.

As Saint Francis rallied back in the second half, the Villanova defense held its ground. The Red Flash tallied half as many all-purpose yards as the ‘Cats—264 to 495 yards, respectively.  Jeff Steeb, notching six tackles and two sacks, and Tanoh Kpassagnon, adding five tackles and three sacks, led the Villanova defense.

Villanova’s run-game defense and first half offensive rhythm were impressive, and 10 penalties against Saint Francis for over 100 lost yards made a convincing comeback near impossible.

The Wildcats continue on to the second round of FCS tournament play next Saturday at South Dakota State. Kickoff is set for 3p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3.