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Second Half Rally Comes Up Short as Villanova Falls to Temple 16-13
Sept. 9, 2017

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Philadelphia, Pa. -

The Wildcats (1-1) scored 13 points and tied the game with just minutes remaining but a field goal by Temple (1-1) gave the Owls the win by a final of 16-13. 

The Owls scored a field goal with 1:13 remaining in the first quarter to go up 3-0.  Midway through the second quarter both Temple and Villanova missed field goals on back-to-back possessions.  Drew Kresge attempted a 42 yard field goal for Villanova, but hit the left upright with 2 minutes to go in the second quarter.  The Owls drove the ball down field on eight plays for a total of 75 yards in the two minute span to score with one second left on the game clock to go up 10-0 heading into halftime. 

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Villanova was able to limit the Owls to just a field goal after forcing fourth and five from 27 yards out.  It would take until there were just 46 seconds left in the quarter for Villanova to get on the board for the first time when Kresge got one to fall between the uprights and put the Wildcats within 10.

The Wildcat defense was able stop Temple on the first drive of the fourth and get the ball at the 14:01 mark.  Zach Bednarczyk was able to connect with Taurus Phillips for a 24 yard pass completion to get the ball at their own 33.  It was two plays later he connected with Ryan Bell for a 19 yard gain to put the ball of the Temple half. 

Sophomore wide receiver Zac Kerxton caught a 28 yard pass from Bednarczyk to set up a first and goal for the Cats.  On the first drive, Bednarczyk was able to connect with Phillips in the end zone to give the Wildcats their first touchdown of the game.  Villanova covered 91 yards in just under four minutes to bring themselves within three.

Villanova's defense came out strong, only allowing the Owls three plays for one yard before getting the ball back with just over eight minutes remaining. 

The drive started at the Villanova 47, after back-to-back rushing plays that got the Wildcats six yards, Bednarczyk connected with Bell for nine yards and a first down on the Temple 38.  On third and 19 Bednarczyk was able to find an open pocked and run for 15 yards to put the Wildcats in field goal range.  Kresge made the 34 yard field goal attempt to tie the game up with 3:23 left in regulation.

Temple quarterback Logan Marchi, was able to throw a 30 yards pass to Ventell Bryant to put the Owls on the Villanova half.  After a holding call, the Owls had the ball on the 39 yard line and were able to rush for seven yards over the next three plays.  Which forced their kicker, Aaron Boumerhi to come out and attempt a 49 yard field goal with a minute remaining.  Bourmerhi kick was good and gave the Owls a 16-13 win.

Villanova tried to drive over the final minute but Matt Gudzak, after catching a 16 yard pass, had the ball forced out by Temple's Shaun Bradley, with made the final 16-13. 

Bednarczyk went 27-for-41 for the day and threw for 382 yard, a career high.  While sophomore Changa Hodge finished with 100 receiving yards, this was his first career 100 yard game.  Phillips had 94 receiving yards and one touchdown while Bell had 88 yards.

Villanova' defense was led by Jeff Steeb who had eight stops on the day while Trey Johnson, Keeling Hunter, and Malik Reaves each added six of their own. 

Next, the Wildcats will play their home opener against the Lafayette Leopards on Saturday, September 16th.  Game time is set for 6 p.m.