Villanova vs. Richmond: Cats Squash Spiders in Halloween Weekend Contest

Game Action

The 5th ranked Villanova Wildcats, coached by Andy Talley, entertained  the 14th ranked Spiders of Richmond, coached by first year Head Coach Latrell Scott, in a key Colonial Athletic Conference game on Saturday. The Cats were 3-1 in the CAA coming into the game while the Spiders had a 2-2 mark in league play. Overall Villanova leads the series with Richmond 20-9.

Richmond Offense

The Wildcats came into the game riding a 14 game home winning streak. Nova last lost at home on October 25, 2008 when James Madison completed a hail-mary pass on the final play of the game to win 23-19.

Chris Whitney

Led by senior QB Chris Whitney, Villanova got on the board with just under six minutes to go in the 1st quarter, scoring on a 45 yard touchdown run by Whitney. The drive covered 87 yards in 10 plays. Whitney’s 45 yard run matched the longest of his career. Nick Yako converted the extra point to make it 7-0 Villanova.

Aaron Ball & Norman White Celebrate

Nova scored again on its next drive on a 5 yard pass from Whitney to Norman White. It was the fifth straight game in which White has caught a touchdown pass. The highlight of the drive was a 36 yard run by Whitney which put him over the 100 yard rushing mark in the first quarter (5 carries for 103 yards).

Line of Scrimmage

Richmond then mounted a drive from their own 30 to the Villanova 1 yard line but failed to score on four straight plays. On fourth down Marquis Kirkland and Eric Loper stuffed Richmond RB Tyler Kirchoff to force a turnover on downs.

James Pitts

The Wildcats then extended their lead to 21-0 at the 2:51 mark of the 2nd quarter on a 28 yard burst by Aaron Ball. The drive was set up by an interception from Nova cornerback James Pitts.

Whitney ended the first half with over 100 yards rushing and completed 6 of 11 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.

In the 3rd quarter, Richmond scored on a 1 yard plunge by Kendall Gaskins. The touchdown was set up by a 32 yard completion from QB (and punter) Nick Hicks to Tremayne Graham. The drive covered 58 yards in 6 plays.

Tremayne Graham Returning a Kick

Villanova failed to gain a 1st down on its first four possessions of the 2nd half. The Wildcats regained the ball when Rakim Cox batted down a pass behind the line of scrimmage; John Dempsey recovered the ball and ran it back to the Richmond 12 yard line.

Montel White Passing

Several plays later, Whitney threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to TE Chris Farmer to put the Wildcats up 28-7 which proved to be the final score.

Chris Whitney Stiff Arm
Villanova’s defense forced four turnovers (two interceptions: one by James Pitts and one by Eric Loper and two fumble recoveries: one by Marquis Kirkland and the other by John Dempsey). In addition, the defense held Richmond to only 59 yards rushing on 40 carries.
Spider Fans
For the triumphant Wildcats, senior Chris Whitney led the way with 116 yards rushing on 11 carries. Whitney also passed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 9 completions in 16 attempts. Aaron Ball  and Angelo Babbaro each rushed for 40 yards. Norman White caught 3 passes for 17 yards and one touchdown and Ball caught two passes for 37 yards. For Richmond,  backup QB Nick Hicks completed 8 of 17 for 117 yards. Tre Gray had five receptions for 62 yards.
Richmond Offense
Once again, Matt Szczur did not suit up for the Wildcats.
Next up for Villanova is an away game At Rhode Island on November 6th.
In other local action, both Temple & Penn won on Saturday. Temple beat Akron for their second shutout victory in a row, and Penn defeated  Brown.
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