#6 Villanova Wildcats Overwhelm Albany Great Danes 48-31
The 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats, paced by their talented QB John Robertson who accounted for 5 touchdowns (2 passing, and 3 running), blasted the visiting Albany Great Danes 48-31 on Saturday night (November 15) at Villanova Stadium. Robertson continued his ascent up the ‘all-time’ lists in a number of career categories. Most significantly, he climbed into second place in career total offense in school history. The only player ahead of him is Chris Boden.
Albany appeared to be on its way to an early and quick lead on the opening drive of the game. They marched from their own 27 yard line to the Villanova 29. However, Cole King fumbled at the one yard line and Jason Ceneus recovered the ball for Villanova. It would be the first of two fumble recoveries for Ceneus in the game. The Wildcats took advantage of the miscue and drove 80 yards in 15 plays to score, with Robertson running it in from 9 yards out.
Albany tied the game on its next possession on a 4 yard run by Omar Osbourne, capping a 4 play 75 yard drive. The score did not remain deadlocked for very long. Villanova needed only 3 plays to score and take the lead 14-7 on a 37 yard pass play from Robertson to Kevin Gulyas. The two would team up later in the game for a 62 yard touchdown pass.
In the second quarter, Albany cut the Wildcats margin to 14-10 on a 29 yard field goal by Patrick Toole. Robertson then engineered another scoring drive which was culminated by his 22 yard touchdown dash. Later in the quarter, Villanova drove 99 yards in 13 plays to take a commanding 28-10 lead into the halftime break. Robertson capped the drive with a two yard TD run.
The Wildcats continued to pound the Great Danes in the 3rd quarter. On their opening drive of the second half, Robertson connected with Gulyas for a 62 yard touchdown. After Ceneus recovered another Albany fumble, Villanova scored on a 2 yard run by senior running back Kevin Monangai to make the score 42-10
Albany managed to score twice more to cut Villanova’s lead to 42-24. Villanova then went on an 80 yard drive in 12 plays with senior running back Austin Medley dashing 12 yards for the final Villanova touchdown of the game. Albany added a score with under a minute to go on a 25 yard pass from QB Will Fiacchi to Brian Parker to make it 48-31.
On the final possession of the game, Villanova Coach Andy Talley, rather than taking a knee, used the opportunity to reward senior running back Fred O’Connor, a four year walk on, with two carries. After the game, Albany Coach Greg Gattuso expressed his “displeasure” to Talley about doing so. This carried over to the post game interview when Gattuso again voiced his disapproval of Coach Talley not taking a knee. Talley responded by saying Gattuso’s position regarding O’Connor getting a chance to run the ball in the last home game of the regular season was off base and unwarranted.
Robertson, the do everything QB, threw for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 of 21 passes. Robertson also rushed 22 times for 168 yards and 3 scores. Monangai added 101 yards on the ground with a touchdown. His backfield mate Medley gained 64 yards and scored a touchdown on 9 carries. Gulyas had 3 receptions for 106 yards and 2 scores. Senior Poppy Livers caught 5 passes for 52 yards. With the win, Villanova improved their record to 9-2 overall, 6-1 CAA. Albany fell to 6-5 , 2-5 CAA. Fiacchi completed 21 of 28 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns. Parker snagged 5 passes for 103 yards and two scores.
Villanova finishes its regular season on the road against arch-rival Delaware at 12pm on Saturday November 22. Albany finishes its season hosting Stony Brook next Saturday afternoon.