Villanova vs. William and Mary: Tribe Triumphant as Wildcats Fall Short

Powered by senior tailback Jonathan Grimes of Palmyra, New Jersey, William & Mary beat Villanova 20-16 at Villanova stadium on Saturday in a CAA conference game. Grimes gained 137 yards on 31 carries and scored both of the Tribe’s touchdowns.

In a game where the lead seesawed back and forth, Villanova gained the first lead 3-0 on a 25 yard field goal by Mark Hamilton at the 7:21 mark of the first quarter. The key play in the drive, which followed a poor punt by William & Mary, was an 18 yard pass from Christian Culicerto to Dorian Wells. The Tribe came right back to take the lead 7-3 on a 1 yard run by Grimes. Drake Kuhn added the extra point.

Villanova retook the lead when Culicerto hit Wells with a 15 yard pass to cap a four play, 57 yard drive at the 11:44 mark of the second quarter. The Tribe, on its next possession, drove down the field to go ahead 14-10 on a 22 yard run by Grimes. The drive went 75 yards in 10 plays. An interception by freshman linebacker Joey Harmon deep in Tribe territory gave the Cats another scoring opportunity. Mark Hamilton brought the Wildcats within one point of the Tribe on a career long 45 yard field goal with1:39 left in the first half.

Following a miscue by William & Mary on a punt at the outset of the 3rd quarter, Hamilton kicked a 25 yard field goal to put the Wildcats ahead 16-14. However, once again, William & Mary bounced right back and drove from their own 30 yard line to the Wildcats’ 17 yard line. On 4th down, Drake Kuhn kicked a 34 yard field goal to put the Tribe in the lead for good, 17-16.

In the 4th quarter Kuhn added another field goal to extend the Tribe’s lead to 20-16. Villanova made one last effort to retake the lead and win the CAA contest by marching from its own 16 yard line to the William & Mary 23 yard line where B.W. Webb picked off an errant pass by Culicerto. William & Mary then was able to run out the clock and give the Tribe a hard fought 20-16 win.

With the win William & Mary improved to 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the CAA. Villanova fell to 1-4, 0-2 in the CAA. For the victorious Tribe, Alex Gottlieb grabbed 4 passes for 81 yards and D.J. Mangas caught 5 passes for 67 yards. Michael Graham threw for 171 yards on 13 of 24 attempts. Villanova was led in rushing by freshman Jamal Abdur-Rahman with 43 yards on 4 carries. Dorian Wells led the receivers with 6 receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown. Christian Culicerto completed 15 of 24 for 132 yards, one for a touchdown, and threw one interception. Ronnie Akins had 11 tackles for the Wildcats while James Pitts and Dillon Lucas each added 10 tackles.

Next week Villanova travels to New Hampshire to take on UNH and The Tribe plays at Delaware. The Wildcats Craig James did not play because of an injury and Austin Medley, who missed the Penn game with an injury, was dressed for the game but did not play.

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