‘Cats fall to Richmond without Bednarczyk



David Jarman

In a battle of two highly ranked CAA teams, No. 13 Villanova traveled to Richmond to take on the No. 6 Spiders. The Wildcats turned the ball over three times and were unable to score on offense as the Spiders came away with the 23-0 victory on their homecoming. 

After both teams went three-and-out on their opening drives, Richmond struck first with a three-play, 75-yard drive. A 56-yard touchdown pass to Brian Brown gave Richmond the early lead. Brown, the leading receiver for the Spiders, tore up the Villanova secondary as he finished with seven catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.

After Richmond extended their lead to 10-0 with an early second quarter field goal, Bednarczyk and the Villanova offense moved the ball down the field efficiently with plays gaining 13, 17, and 19 yards, respectively.

With 7:24 remaining in the first half and Villanova threatening on the Richmond 11-yard line, Bednarczyk threw his second interception in the red zone to Richmond Linebacker Billy Caughell. That turnover rendered an 8-play, 54-yard drive by the Wildcats useless, and it was a major turning point in the game

With 1:38 remaining in the first half, backup sophomore quarterback Adeyemi DaSaliva entered the game in place of Bednarczyk who was suffering from a headache.  

With the Wildcats down 10-0 to start the third quarter, senior defensive back Jason Ceneus fumbled a punt, which was recovered by the Spiders. Richmond would capitalize on the turnover with a field goal.

DaSilva and the Villanova offense moved the ball in the second half but could not put points on the board against the second best defense in the CAA. The Wildcat defense held its own, allowing one touchdown and three field goals before the Spiders scored a touchdown late in the 4th quarter extend the score to 23-0.  Senior linebacker Austin Callitro and junior safety Rob Rolle led the Wildcats with a combined 23 tackles, four tackles for loss, and two pass break ups.

As the Wildcats shift their attention to a solid Albany team next Saturday, the health of Bednarczyk will be their main concern.