VILLANOVA, PA. 10/8/2016 – The Villanova Wildcats offense has been lethal to their opponents especially in the opening thirty minutes of football. Midway through the second quarter the offense was riding a streak of nine touchdowns in nine possessions in the last two games. The streak ended against the Rhode Island Rams, but the Wildcats took a 28 – 0 lead into halftime en route to a 35 – 0 victory at rainy Villanova Stadium. The #14 Wildcats improve to 5 – 1 on the season and are 3 – 0 in conference play.
Villanova scored the first four times they had the ball. the scoring started with a 6-play drive capped by a 16-yard touchdown run by Javon White. After a punt by the Rams a 36-yard touchdown pass from Zach Bednarczyk to Ryan Bell gave the Wildcats a 14 – 0 lead. It was the first career touchdown reception for Bell.
Running back Aaron Forbes provided the explosion by scoring on a 67-yard touchdown run, the longest scoring rush of his career. He led the rushing attack with 90 yards on 10 carries.
“When the running game is cooking it is taking the weight off the quarterback’s shoulders,” Forbes said. “A good running game is pivotal for a good offense.”
The streak was capped by an 18-yard scoring toss from Bednarczyk to Taurus Phillips.
The Nova defense was keeping the URI offense well in check earning their first clean slate of the year. Over the opening stanzas Rhode Island had two first downs, one by penalty. The Rams a total of 44 offensive yards. For the game URI gained 103 yards of total offense and had 6 first downs. In earning the shut out thirteen different defensive players for Nova recorded two or more tackles. Calitro led the way with 8 total.
“We work all week and now we had two games where we could have had shut outs and didn’t get it,” said Calitro. “We take pride in defense knowing that they couldn’t even get close to scoring. Shut outs help the confidence. It is a morale booster for all of us on the defense.”
In the second half Matt Gudzak added a one-yard touchdown run.
Over the season the Villanova offense was scoring and Rhode Island was having trouble putting points on the board. That was good for the Wildcats, and bad for the Rams. Villanova gained 317 yards on the ground as six different backs carried multiple times.
The winning streak for Nova stands at five games. Next up is Richmond on the road.
“We were able to play good defense two weeks in a row, and had good balance on offense,” said Villanova Coach Andy Talley. “Going up four touchdowns was a back-breaker and the defensive coaches were happy with the shut out. The early part of our schedule is over and now we will see how it goes at Richmond next week.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian
Villanova scored on their first five possessions last week in the game at Elon.
Rhode Island is coached by Jim Fleming. He was an assistant to Andy Talley in 1998-99. Fleming served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. Current Villanova special teams coordinator Joe Trainer was the head coach at Rhode Island from 2009-13.