Wildcats Topple Northeastern 56-7 in Conference Opener
Sept. 26, 2009
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Junior running back Aaron Ball (Los Angeles, Calif.) ran for over 100 yards in the first quarter alone and No. 2 Villanova (4-0, 1-0 CAA) ran for a season-high 410 yards in a 56-7 win over Northeastern (0-4, 0-2 CAA) on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2003 and won their conference opener for the third straight year.
Ball ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries and six different players scored touchdowns for Villanova, which registered individual 100-yard rushing and 100-yard receiving performances in the same game for the first time since 2005 against William & Mary. Senior wide receiver Brandyn Harvey (Spring Valley, Calif.) caught seven passes for 102 yards to join Ball as the `100-100' tandem in the game.
The rushing total for the Wildcats was their highest since 1991 and the third-highest single-game total in school history. Villanova has had just five games with even 300 yards rushing since 1999, but four of those games have come in the last seven outings dating back to last season.
On the third offensive play of the game, Ball ran 31 yards up the middle for a touchdown that got the Wildcats off and running. After the Huskies punted on their first possession, Villanova put together a 13-play drive in just 4:28 that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by junior running back Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio).
The Wildcats extended their lead to 21-0 before the end of the first period when senior quarterback Antwon Young (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) threw a one-yard pass for a touchdown to senior running back Tony Canci (Brookhaven, Pa.) with 1:40 remaining in the period. Canci had two catches for 15 yards, both of which were touchdown recptions.
Whitney ran for 98 yards on 10 carries and completed 7-of-11 passes for 84 yards and one touchdown. Young was 4-of-6 for 58 yards and a touchdown and also ran eight times for 35 yards and one score. Six of the eight touchdowns for Villanova in the game came on the ground, including a pair of scores for sophomore running back Lawrence Doss (Bellflower, Calif.), who ran for 36 yards on eight carries.
Late in the second quarter, Whitney threw a 14-yard pass to Canci for a touchdown that made the score 28-0 entering the intermission. Villanova had eight of its 12 drives result in a touchdown, with four of the scores coming on six plays or less.
Northeastern got on the board in the third quarter when Alex Dulski threw a 48-yard pass for a touchdown to Jordan Batts for the Huskies only points of the game. Dulski completed 16-of-31 passes for 138 yards, with Batts being the favorite target. Batts caught seven passes for 92 yards and the touchdown. Dulski was picked off three times as well, as the Wildcats increased their interception total to eight through the first four games.
Villanova resumed its quick pace of scoring just 32 seconds after the Huskies lone touchdown when Whitney ran in from 45 yards on the second play of the ensuing Wildcat drive. Young ran in for a one-yard score near the end of the quarter to stretch the margin to 42-7 after three periods.
This afternoon's game was the first of two straight at home for Villanova, which will host No. 5 William & Mary next week at 3:30 p.m. The contest will be aired live on VERSUS and stands to be the first-ever nationally televised game between two Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) teams.