It was a momentous night for long-time Villanova coach Andy Talley and the Villanova Wildcats football team on the mainline last evening. Villanova beat Penn, its cross-city rival, for the (lucky) 13th consecutive time in the series. Significantly it was also Talley’s 200th career win as Villanova’s head coach. With the victory, Talley became the 37th coach in all divisions of college football to win 200 games with one school.
The Wildcats took a 14-0 lead over the Quakers in the first quarter. The first score came on a 15 yard pass from QB John Robertson to WR Joe Price. It was the first of three touchdown passes thrown by Robertson over the course of the game. The next touchdown was scored after a lengthy Quaker drive faltered. Penn’s attempt at a 37 yard field goal was blocked and was scooped up by Villanova’s Craig James, who ran 73 yards to pay dirt.
Villanova extended the lead to 21-0 in the second quarter when Poppy Livers, who had an outstanding game, scampered 50 yards off of a Robertson pass to culminate a 7 play, 90 yard drive. Livers ended the first half with 5 receptions for 108 yards.
In the second half, Penn scored a touchdown to cut the Wildcats margin to 21-6, on a 9 yard toss from QB Billy Ragone to Spencer Kulcsar. The extra point was missed. Villanova then scored two more touchdowns. The first came on a 36 yard dash by Robertson; the last one was Livers second touchdown of the game (a 5 yard pass from Robertson).
Robertson, who for the second straight game rushed for over 100 yards, threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin Monangai, the Wildcats’ hard driving running back, tacked on 102 rushing yards. Livers finished the night with 8 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats defense also came up big in the win. Villanova effectively shut down the Quakers ground game. And although the Quakers had some success throwing the ball, Villanova also picked off three passes. Safety Joe Sarnese had two interceptions, while Corey Reeder had the other. Villanova also recovered a fumble, allowing the Wildcats to win the turnover battle 4-0.
With the win, Villanova improved its record to 2-2 on the season. Penn dropped to 1-1. Villanova next hosts William & Mary at 1pm on Saturday, October 5. Penn opens Ivy League play next Saturday playing host to Dartmouth in a 1pm game at Franklin Field.
[Photos by Dan Drufovka, article by Stephen Miller]
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