No. 6 Villanova picks up first victory of the year against No. 16 Fordham



Pat Ralph

Sixth-ranked Villanova captured its first win of the 2015 season this past Saturday night with a 14-7 road victory over the No. 16 Fordham Rams.

Junior running back Javon White carried the Wildcats’ offense in the contest with a career performance of 143 rushing yards on 23 carries. Senior quarterback John Robertson played a part in all of the Wildcats’ points in the game by throwing a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Kevin Gulyas and running for a score himself. Robertson finished the game 12-of-18 for 161 passing yards and 49 rushing yards.

With the rainy conditions barring both teams from exploding offensively, the Wildcats’ defense stepped up with an outstanding performance at Jack Coffey Field. The ’Cats limited Fordham to just 182 yards of total offense and forced three fumbles in the win. Junior linebacker Austin Calitro registered a career-high 10 tackles in the contest, while senior linebacker Don Cherry added nine tackles of his own to the cause. Junior linebacker Corey Majors and sophomore linebacker Ed Shockley finished with five and four tackles, respectively. Villanova linebackers combined for an astounding 28 tackles in the game.

While it was not a very pretty performance on the offensive side of the ball, the Wildcats did a much better job at moving the ball through the hostile conditions than did the Rams. Villanova outgained Fordham 239-71 in rushing yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. In comparison to Fordham’s aforementioned 182 yards of total offense, the Wildcats tallied up 400 yards of total offense in the contest.

Gulyas may have scored the only touchdown for the Wildcats other than Robertson, but senior wide receiver Aaron Wells led Villanova in the passing game with four catches for a career-high 87 yards. In addition to the Wildcats’ 161 passing yards in the game, the Wildcats racked up 20 first downs in the contest in comparison to only 12 for the Rams.

For the Rams, freshman wide receiver Corey Caddle had the lone score in the contest with a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kevin Anderson. Caddle finished with four catches for 49 yards, while Anderson went 9-of-22 for 85 passing yards in the contest. Sophomore running back Chase Edmonds, the FCS Freshman of the Year last season, was bottled up by the ’Cats defense all night. Edmonds was held to just 74 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Looking ahead, there is nothing but positives to take from Villanova’s performance at Fordham. Despite the not-so-great weather conditions and the fact that no points were scored in the second half, the Wildcats were able to find a way to win against a good Rams team. As the season continues, both sides of the ball will continue to improve and strengthen. Now with conference play ready to commence, the ’Cats will need to raise their game to another level in order to prove their standing as one of the best teams in the FCS.

The win improved Villanova to 1-1 on the season, while the loss dropped Fordham to 1-1. The Wildcats are now 22-5 all-time against Fordham.

Next up for the Wildcats is the home opener against the Blue Hens of Delaware this Saturday at noon at Villanova Stadium. If unable to make it to the CAA opener for the ’Cats, the game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet.