Oct. 6, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Three unanswered touchdowns in a span of just over three minutes midway through the first quarter set a tone that lasted throughout the evening and Villanova (4-2, 2-1 CAA) routed William & Mary (3-3, 1-2 CAA) 63-24 on Saturday evening at Villanova Stadium in its annual Homecoming game. The Wildcats turned in their highest offensive point total in a decade with the win.
The Wildcats first five drives of the game all ended with a touchdown and none of those drives lasted longer than 2:47. With the score tied 7-7 less than six minutes into the game, Villanova started to build its big lead. The flurry initiated with a 39-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Antwon Young (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to senior Matt Sherry (Rumford, R.I.).
The Tribe fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Villanova recovered at the William & Mary 17-yard line. Young threw a 16-yard pass that junior Phil Atkinson (Media, Pa.) caught for a touchdown four plays later. The next Wildcat kickoff was also fumbled by the Tribe and Young ran in for a 1-yard score on the fifth play of a 21-yard drive.
Sherry caught seven passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns as the teams combined for 966 yards of total offense. Villanova generated a season-best 505 yards of offense as Young was an efficient 20-of-26 for 216 yards and four touchdowns.
The scoring output for the Wildcats was just two points shy of the school record of 65 points set against Buffalo on November 14, 1998 in a 65-35 victory. In tonight's game Villanova stretched a 35-17 halftime margin to 49-17 before closing the scoring with the last 14 points of the contest.
Part of the offensive tone for the Wildcats was set early on with the special teams play of junior Joe Marcoux (Campbell Hall, N.Y.). Marcoux drilled 10 kickoffs that amounted to 688 total yards, averaging 68.8 yards per attempt. The consecutive kickoff return fumbles by William & Mary each came on returns that started at the Tribe's one-yard line after 69-yard kicks by Marcoux.
The strong passing game for Villanova was complemented by 233 yards gained on the ground. Senior Matt Dicken (Cape May, N.J.) broke off for a 26-yard run on the team's first drive and he finished with 80 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Sophomore Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio) registered the first two touchdowns of his collegiate career, scoring on a 33-yard run late in the third quarter and catching a 25-yard pass from freshman quarterback Chris Whitney (Warminster, Pa.) in the fourth period.
Sophomores Brandyn Harvey (Spring Valley, Calif.) and Luca Ragone (Wyckoff, N.J.) were the other two Wildcats to catch a touchdown pass in the game. Harvey caught a 24-yard pass from Young in the third quarter and Ragone received a 31-yard pass from Atkinson in the second period.
After Villanova scored on the opening drive of the game, the Tribe responded with their own score to tie the game 7-7. William & Mary never pulled even the remainder of the game, despite quarterbacks Jake Phillips and Mike Potts combining to complete 26-of-48 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns.
Cameron Dohse caught six passes for 117 yards and a touchdown and Elliott Mack tallied most of his 105 receiving yards on a 73-yard touchdown pass from Phillips late in the third quarter. The Tribe turned the ball over three times on fumbles and Villanova responded with a touchdown all three times.
Junior Greg Miller (Willow Grove, Pa.), a member of the defensive line, had an outstanding game defensively as the Wildcats kept continual pressure on a strong Tribe offense. Miller made five solo tackles, including four tackles for losses totaling 17 yards. The tackles for loss included three sacks and Miller also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
Marcoux was perfect on all nine of his extra-point attempts and he posted his fourth consecutive game with a kickoff average distance of greater than 60 yards. His total and average distance in tonight's game were both career highs for a single game. Marcoux surpassed his previous career-best mark for kickoff yards by exactly 200 yards. He had accumulated 488 yards on eight kickoffs as a freshman in 2005.
Villanova goes back on the road next week to visit league power Massachusetts. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. in Amherts, Mass.