Zach Bednarczyk Rallies The Wildcats To A Cone From Behind Victory
Villanova Wins The Battle Of The Blue
VILLANOVA, PA 9/19/2015 – There a times when the hero of the game comes from an unexpected source. Villanova back-up quarterback freshman Zach Bednarczyk entered the game when star quarterback John Robertson left the game with an apparent injury to his right knee. Bednarczyk led the offense to two touchdowns over the last 6:18 of the game to propel the Wildcats to a 28 – 21 win over the Blue Hens of Delaware in front of 11,779 at Villanova Stadium.
“I just grabbed my helmet and went on the field,” said Bednarczyk.
“I wasn’t nervous. Everyone kept saying we got it, we got it. I get reps with them every day. It’s not like I am going in there with strangers. I know what I got and I know what we can do.”
The injury to Robertson happened with the Wildcats driving to the Blue Hens 6 yard-line for a potential tying score. Robertson ran out of the pocket toward the let side and went down without being hit. Delaware led 21 – 14. After throwing a incomplete pass, Bednarczyk found senior wide receiver Kevin Guylas for a touchdown. The Wildcats experienced more misfortune when kicker Steve Weyler was wide left on the extra point attempt, and the Hens still led 21 – 20.
The Villanova defense rose to the occasion forcing a punt, something they could not do for most of the second half.
The Wildcats got the ball back at their own 26 with 4:47 to play. Bednarczyk found Gulyas for a 34 yard gain to the Blue Hens 40. A 22-yard completion to senior wide receiver Aaron Wells set the ball at the Delaware 23 yard line.
Two plays later Bednarczyk scampered 21 yards for a touchdown, and was successful on a two-point conversion run and the winning margin.
“For him (Bednarczyk) to come in cold and do what he did is a good as a quarterbacking job that I have seen in my years where the second guy goes in and figures out how to help you win the game with his arm and his feet,” Villanova Coach Andy Talley said.
“When John went down there was not doubt in my mind that he can step in and lead us to victory,” said Gulyas. “After the touchdown pass, he didn’t smile, he just got ready for the next one. It was an unbelievable performance.”
All of the momentum belonged to the Blue Hens in the second half erasing a 14 – 13 halftime deficit into a 21 – 14 lead with 10:58 remaining. The Delaware running game controlled the ball gaining 205 yards for the game despite losing running back Jalen Randolph who had a game-high 84 rushing yards. The Hens had the ball twice as much in time of possession in the second half. But after Villanova took the lead, the defense was inspired ending the drive with an interception.
“We just kept tapping the rock,” senior linebacker Don Cherry said. “We know what he (Bednarczyk) can do. Seeing him go in and make big plays gave us a lot of confidence.”
“It’s an excruciating loss,” said Delaware Coach Dave Brock. “We gave it all we had and have to find a way to finish. The game went the way we wanted it to go. It’s a team loss and that falls on me.”
Prior to the injury Robertson had a rushing and a passing touchdown. He hit senior running back Gary Underwood with an 8-yard shovel pass that gave Nova a 14 – 10 lead. Gulays caught 8 passes for 152 yards. Bednarczyk completed 4 of 6 passing attempts for 57 yards and had 21 yards on the ground.
Randolph and running back Thomas Jefferson scored for Delaware. Kicker Frank Raggo made two field goals. Wide Receiver Dionte Cherry had 8 receptions for 78 yards.
The #6 Wildcats (2 – 1, 1 – 0) prepare for a quick turnaround as they will face city rival Penn on Thursday. Robertson will not play in that game. The extent of his injury is not known, but he is out for the game. Bednarczyk has a short time to master the next game plan.
“He will get an MRI on Monday, and we will know more after the MRI,” Talley said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian