‘B and B’ link helps ’Nova put Lafayette to bed

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - By Glenn Pa­pazian For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

The Vil­lanova Wild­cats got off to a strong start show­ing no lin­ger­ing dis­ap­point­ment after last week’s loss to Tem­ple.

The No. 7 Wild­cats dom­i­nated the Lafayette Leop­ards, post­ing a 59-0 win at Vil­lanova Sta­dium, get­ting con­tri­bu­tions from the of­fense, de­fense and spe­cial teams in the first home game for Coach Mark Fer­rante.

“I thought our guys re­sponded re­ally well,” Fer­rante said. “Our guys came into prac­tice with an edge be­cause we could have had that one, but could have doesn’t make it hap­pen. Our guys pre­pared well and the out­come proved that.”

The Wild­cats started strong, scor­ing on their first three of­fen­sive pos­ses­sions keyed by the com­bi­na­tion of quar­ter­back Zach Bed­nar­czyk and tight end Ryan Bell. On the se­cond play from scrim­mage, Bed­nar­czyk con­nected with Bell on a 59-yard com­ple­tion set­ting the ball at the Lafayette 26-yard line. Four plays later, Bed­nar­czyk ran it in from four yards out for the ini­tial score.

On their next of­fen­sive pos­ses­sion a 13-play drive was capped by a four-yard touch­down re­cep­tion by Bell for a 13-0 lead. In the se­cond quar­ter, Bed­nar­czyk found Bell again with a 37-yard scor­ing toss and a 20-0 ad­van­tage.

The se­nior tight end had 5 catches for a ca­reer-high 119 yards. Run­ning back Matt Gudzak crossed the goal line from two yards out later in the quar­ter.

“It gives us a lot more en­ergy, we were fired up,” Bed­nar­czyk said about how the Wild­cats started the game on of­fense. “It also helps the de­fense, they want to put up a goose egg.”

De­fen­sively, the Cats held the Leop­ards to just 2 first downs and 25 yards in the open­ing half. The de­fen­sive back­field added two more scores.

Corner back Jaquan Amos grabbed a bat­ted ball out of the air and re­turned it up the left side­line 35-yards for a score and a 28 point lead. Line­backer Keel­ing Hunter also con­trib­uted a pick-six cov­er­ing 27 yards up the right side.

It was the first in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son for each player and the third touch­down for the de­fense this sea­son. Justin Williams added his first in­ter­cep­tion.

Spe­cial teams pitched in dur­ing the se­cond quar­ter. Re­turner Taurus Phillips zigzagged up the field 64 yards for a score, the first punt re­turn touch­down for Vil­lanova since 1985.

The score at half­time was 49-0.

Run­ning back Corey Russo scored the Wild­cats’ se­cond-half touch­down.

For the game, the Vil­lanova de­fense gave up 77 to­tal yards to the Leop­ards.

“It gives us more juice,” said de­fen­sive tackle Ricky Young. “It is ex­cit­ing, we pride our­selves on. We don’t want any­one run­ning the ball on us. It felt good.”

Bed­nar­czyk played the first half, com­plet­ing 13 of 15 passes for 237 yards and two touch­downs, giv­ing him five scor­ing tosses this sea­son. Bell has three scor­ing re­cep­tions.

“I have a lot of syn­ergy with (Bell),” Bed­nar­czyk said. “He is a go-to guy for me, we call it ‘B and B’ ac­tion. He is one of my fa­vorite tar­gets.”

Vil­lanova is 26-7 in home open­ers and has won its last six. Fer­rante gets his first home vic­tory as a head coach. The last home win prior to the Andy Tal­ley era was posted by Coach Dick Bedesem on Novem­ber 22, 1980 when Vil­lanova de­feated Tem­ple 23-7.

“It feels great,” Fer­rante said. “Any­time you win it feels great. This one is spe­cial be­cause it is a home game and on fam­ily week­end. Maybe it will sink in later. I’m hop­ing we can get an­other win and get this feel­ing again.”

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