Sept. 21, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Sophomore quarterback John Robertson (Paramus, N.J.) registered his fourth career game with over 100 yards rushing and No. 20 Villanova (1-2, 1-0 CAA Football) won its first game of the season, 35-6, over No. 16 Stony Brook (1-2, 1-1 CAA) in the Wildcats home opener at Villanova Stadium on Saturday afternoon. A near-sellout crowd of 11,617 was on hand as Villanova limited the visiting Seawolves to just a lone touchdown which was scored in the closing minutes of the game.
Robertson ran for 119 yards and a score on 20 carries while also completing 9-of-12 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. The tone for the game was set in the second quarter, when the Wildcats scored three touchdowns to build a 21-0 lead heading into halftime. A 36-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by junior safety Joe Sarnese (Ventnor, N.J.) extended the margin to 28-0 in the third quarter.
"I was very pleased with the overall play [by Villanova] today," Wildcats head coach Andy Talley said. "John [Robertson] had an outstanding game and when he plays that way we can beat a lot of people. I was also really happy with our defense. There was a good rhythm between the offense and defense for us tonight."
After committing nine turnovers in its first two games of the season Villanova protected the ball and was plus-two in the turnover column in today's game. Two of the Wildcats touchdowns came off of Stony Brook turnovers, including the fumble recovery by Sarnese as well as the first touchdown of the game which came on a drive that started after an interception.
Villanova ran for a season-high 266 yards in the game, with three players gaining 60 or more yards. Sophomore wide receiver Jamal Abdur-Rahman (Philadelphia, Pa.) ran for 65 yards on 11 carries and junior running back Austin Medley (Franklinville, N.J.) had 60 yards on three rushes. Nearly all the yardage for Medley came on a career-long 57-yard run at the end of the first quarter which set up the first Wildcats touchdown of the game.
There were just a few seconds remaining in the first period when Medley took the ball on second-and-four from the Villanova 39-yard line and raced all the way down to the Stony Brook four-yard line to close the quarter. On the second play in the second quarter the Wildcats ran a successful trick play to take the lead. Robertson pitched the ball to sophomore quarterback Cody Pittman (Los Alamitos, Calif.), who threw a four-yard touchdown pass to sophomore running back Gary Underwood (Cincinnati, Ohio) to give Villanova as big a lead as they would need in the entire contest.
Midway through the second period Robertson threw a 43-yard strike to junior wide receiver Clay Horne (St. Paul, Minn.), whose reception was the longest of his career and also accounted for his first career receiving touchdown. Robertson scored from two yards out with 2:46 to play before the intermission to extend the Wildcats lead to 21-0.
After both teams came up empty on their first drives of the second half the Seawolves started a drive at their own 35-yard line with 9:48 to play in the third quarter. Villanova stepped up defensively on consecutive plays, beginning with senior nose guard Antoine Lewis (Somers Point, N.J.) sacking Stony Brook quarterback Lyle Negron for a loss of 11 yards. On the next play, Negron completed a pass for nine yards to Louis Murray, but sophomore safety Cameron McCurry (Orange Park, Fla.) forced a fumble. Sarnese recovered the ball and returned it 36 yards for his first career touchdown.
In the fourth quarter Negron threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Eugene with 5:45 to play in the game, making the score 28-6. Senior defensive end Rakim Cox (San Diego, Calif.) blocked the point-after attempt and the Wildcats closed the scoring on a five-yard touchdown run by junior running back Kevin Monangai (Roseland, N.J.) with 1:50 remaining.
Senior cornerback Craig James (Mays Landing, N.J.) led all players with 10 total tackles in the game, while Lewis and Cox each were credited with a sack. Cox had an outstanding overall game, which included a forced fumble to go along with the sack and the second blocked kick of his career.
The bulk of offense for the Seawolves came through the air, with Negron competing 23-of-33 passes for 279 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Eugene had 12 receptions for 184 yards.
Villanova returns home next week to host Penn at 5 p.m.