Wildcats Fall to Boston College, 24-14, in Season Opener
Aug 31, 2013
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Sophomore wide receiver Jamal Abdur-Rahman (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored two touchdowns in the first quarter but Villanova (0-1) was stymied by the Boston College (1-0) defense the rest of the way in a 24-14 loss at Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Abdur-Rahman rushed for 47 yards and a score on a fake punt during the game's first drive, and also caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback John Robertson (Paramus, N.J.) later in the opening period.
In between those two drives the Eagles got on the board with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Chase Rettig to Alex Amidon, but neither team could score in the second quarter and the Wildcats maintained a 14-7 lead at halftime. Boston College took over the game defensively in the second half and forced three turnovers to keep the Villanova offense from repeating the fireworks it started the game with. A pair of touchdowns seven minutes apart in the third quarter first tied the game and then gave Boston College the only lead it needed. A field goal with 5:18 left in the fourth quarter secured the win for the Eagles.
Robertson finished the day 16-of-25 through the air for 158 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the Wildcats in rushing with 94 yards on just 13 carries. Abdur-Rahman ran five times for 57 yards and a touchdown, while making four receptions for 41 yards and a score. Junior wide receiver Poppy Livers (Seaside, Calif.) was the top target for Robertson and finished the day with career highs of eight receptions and 90 yards.
The day started off with Villanova making a statement on its first possession of the season. On fourth down at the Boston College 47-yard line the Wildcats faked a punt and Abdur-Rahman ran virtually unnoticed up the left side for a touchdown which gave Villanova a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
On the Eagles first possession a one-yard touchdown pass from Chase Rettig to Bobby Wolford finished off a methodical 13-play, 70-yard drive and tied the score at 7-7 with 7:08 to play in the first quarter. The key play of the drive came when Rettig found Amidon for a 24-yard completion on fourth-and-1 from the Wildcats 45-yard line. Boston College eventually got down to the one-yard line and was stopped on first and second down before Rettig threw the first of his two touchdown passes for the game.
Villanova needed just six plays to go 75 yards on its second drive and retake the lead at 14-7. Robertson broke away for a 37-yard run which took the Wildcats down to the Eagles 23-yard line. On second-and-5 at the 18-yard line Boston College forced a fumble and the ball was up for grabs before sophomore wide receiver Mike Burke (Columbia, Pa.) recovered the ball at the 27-yard line. That brought up third and long but Abdur-Rahman then caught a short pass from Robertson and ran the ball in the rest of the way for his second touchdown.
After both teams were stalled offensively for the remainder of the first half Boston College received the ball to open the third quarter and Rettig threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Amidon which knotted the score at 14-14 with 11:40 left in the period. Amidon accounted for 13 of the 23 completions by Rettig in the game and wound up with 146 receiving yards, while Wolford had six receptions for 84 yards.
Villanova punted on each of its next two possessions after the Eagles tied the game. Boston College then took the lead with consecutive big plays which made the score 21-14. Starting from their own 40-yard line the Eagles immediately moved across midfield on a 34-yard strike from Rettig to Wolford. That play was followed by Andre Williams running for 26 yards and a touchdown.
The first two Wildcats drives in the fourth quarter resulted in an interception and a lost fumble, with the latter turnover giving Boston College the ball with a 10-point lead and just 2:36 to play. Villanova had a total of four turnovers in the game, including a second interception thrown by Robertson during desperation time with just under two minutes to play.
Nate Freese kicked a 39-yard field goal for the Eagles with 5:18 left in the fourth quarter which closed the scoring in the game.
Rettig was 23-of-30 for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Williams led the Boston College running game with 23 carries for 114 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.
Next up for the Wildcats is a road game against Fordham next Saturday (Sept. 7). Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Bronx.