VILLANOVA, Pa. - On Saturday, Dec. 7, at Villanova Stadium, senior Brett Gordon completed 26-of-30 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, leading Villanova to a 24-10 victory over Fordham in the Division I-AA playoff quarterfinals. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 11-3 overall on the year and advance to the semifinals of the I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history. The `Cats will face the winner of tonight's McNeese State/Montana match-up in next Saturday's semifinals.
Villanova got on the scoreboard first as Adam James kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8:32 remaining in the first quarter.
With 2:58 remaining in the half and the Wildcats still clinging to a 3-0 advantage, Villanova used a little bit of offensive trickery to add to its lead. Gordon hit senior wideout Brian White who lateraled the ball to freshman Mo Gibson. Gibson scampered 25 yards off the hook and ladder for a Villanova touchdown to give the `Cats a 10-0 halftime lead.
Fordham (10-3) struck first in the second half on a 31-yard field goal by Matt Fordyce to slice the Wildcats' lead to 10-3. Villanova followed with a 14-play, 66-yard scoring drive in a span of 6:39 on the next possession, as Butler took the ball in from four yards out to increase the margin to 17-3.
The Rams caught a break at the beginning of the fourth quarter as Chris Anzano blocked a James' punt which Fordham's Adam Foley recovered and returned to the Villanova one-yard line. Two plays later, Kirwin Watson rushed in from one yard out for a Ram touchdown to cut the lead to 17-10.
The Fordham defense was unable to stop a determined Wildcat offensive attack. Villanova ate up 6:20 of the clock with a 13-play-76yard drive resulting in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Gordon to Butler giving the `Cats a 24-10 lead with only 3:20 left in the game.
The Rams were unable to capitalize down the stretch on a stingy Villanova defense, as the Wildcats went on for the 24-10 victory.
Gordon, who played most of the game with an injured thumb on his throwing hand, finished the day 26-of-30 for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Shaz Brown (50 yard) and junior tight end Matt Chila (44 yards) each caught five passes in the contest.
Villanova used an effective ground game in the win running for 129 yards. Butler rushed for 81 yards on 19 carries and had one score, in addition to catching three passes for 33 yards and one touchdown.
Fordham, which was averaging 34 points per game going into the contest, managed only 193 total yards. Kevin Eakin went 16-for-32 for 115 yards and threw two interceptions.