Wildcats Top Lehigh 33-14 in Home Opener
Sept. 13, 2008
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Senior Joe Marcoux (Campbell Hall, N.Y.) was one of the keys to a strong special teams and defensive effort and Villanova (1-1) defeated Lehigh (1-1) by a count of 33-14 in its home opener on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats drew 11,101 for their first home game of the season, which fell on Parents' Weekend on campus.
Marcoux kicked field goals measuring 44, 23, 44 and 22 yards in going 4-for-4 on field goal attempts. The two 44-yard kicks also set new career highs. After a scoreless first quarter, Marcoux kicked a 44-yard field goal in the first minute of the second quarter to open the scoring with 14:12 left in the half.
Less than three minutes later, junior linebacker Osayi Osunde (Bloomsburg, Pa.) returned the first of four Villanova interceptions 56 yards for a 10-0 lead. Marcoux kicked a 23-yard field goal midway through the quarter to make the score 13-0 and the Wildcats later scored 17 unanswered points after the Mountain Hawks had cut the deficit to 13-7 late in the half.
Junior Aaron Ball (Los Angeles, Calif.) ran in a one-yard score with 1:33 remaining before the intermission to put Villanova ahead 20-7 at the break. Ball finished the day with 66 yards on 17 carries and the Wildcats outgained Lehigh 371-238.
In his first game back after missing the last five games of 2007 with an injury, junior quarterback Antwon Young (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) threw for 231 yards and a touchdown, going 22-of-35 with one interception. Classmate Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio) had five catches for 46 yards and ran 10 times for 55 yards.
A 44-yard field goal by Marcoux early in the third quarter and a 20-yard touchdown pass by Young to senior Phil Atkinson (Media, Pa.) with 23 seconds left in the period stretched the Villanova lead to 30-7.
Mountain Hawk quarterback J.B. Clark threw a six-yard pass for a touchdown to Sekou Yansane with 12:28 to play to make the score 30-14 and Marcoux closed the scoring with a field goal with 5:38 left.
Clark threw for 200 yards but finished 20-of-43 and was intercepted four times. In addition to the 56-yard return for a score by Osunde, the Wildcats had interceptions from sophomores Ross Ventrone (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Frederick Maldonado (West Chester, Pa.) and senior Salim Koroma (Germantown, Md.).
Yansane and Mike Fitzgerald each had five receptions for Lehigh and Matt McGowan ran for 29 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Tim Diamond had 14 total tackles (10 solo, four assisted) to lead all players and also finished with a 21-yard interception return, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Villanova is back in action next Saturday at Penn for a 3:30 p.m. contest.