The Villanova Wildcats hosted the Fordham Rams in their home opener on September 8th, on a rainy Saturday night. Due to the stormy weather, the kickoff was pushed back two hours. The teams last met in December 2002 when the Wildcats downed the Rams 24-10.
Fordham drove 91 yards in 18 plays on its first possession to score on a 6 yard run by QB Michael Nebrich. The drive consumed 7 minutes and 10 seconds. Villanova immediately retaliated with Joe Sarnese taking the kickoff 85 yards to the Rams 15 yard line. After a penalty on the Wildcats, QB John Robertson threw a 25 yard strike to star wide-out Norman White for a touchdown. Mark Hamilton converted the extra point to tie the game 7-7. The Rams briskly marched 27 yards in 5 plays and scored on a 50 yard field goal by Patrick Murray to retake the lead 10-7.
The Rams scored again with 4:53 left in the second quarter on another field goal by Murray, this one from 37 yards out, to expand their lead to 13-7. Fordham threatened again as the first half was coming to a close. The Rams drove from their own 37 yard line to the Wildcats 9 yard line. Joe Sarnese, however, intercepted an errant pass in the end zone with 12 seconds left on the first half clock to end the drive.
In the second half, it was an entirely different story, as the Wildcats found their sea-legs and took control of the game. Led by the M&M running combo (Austin Medley and Kevin Monangai) and red-shirt freshman QB John Robertson, the Wildcats dominated the Rams gaining over 200 yards rushing in the second half. Medley finished with 125 yards rushing on 16 carries, 87 yards coming in the second half. Monangai, after being held to 9 yards on 2 carries in the opening half, tacked on 90 more in the second half on 11 additional carries. Robertson, who played the entire game, threw for 1 touchdown and ran for one more in the 4th quarter to ice the game. Joe Sarnese’s interception was the first of his career. Ronnie Akins also had a pick for Villanova.
[Photo credit: Christian Hafer]
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