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Nova OutDukes James Madison

Mikey Reynolds

The Villanova Homecoming fans were treated to an exciting, albeit ugly, game on Saturday as the #6 Wildcats (5-2, 3-1), once again playing without All-America Matt Szczur (ankle injury), defeated the #11 James Madison Dukes (4-3, 1-3) by a score of 14-7. Villanova did all of its scoring in the second quarter. The first score was set up by a fake punt by Dominic Scarnecchia, who ran for 23 yards and a first down. Later on that drive, Whitney threw a seven-yard pass to Norman White for a touchdown. Exactly three minutes later, Whitney tossed a second touchdown, this one a 54-yard pass to Mikey Reynolds to give ‘Nova a 14-0 halftime lead.

Outstanding play by Villanova’s defense held James Madison to 87 yards rushing (213 passing) and a single score at the 9:57 mark in the third quarter on a two-yard run by JMU's Kavon Seaton. However, Villanova’s offense (368 yards / 209 rushing) missed several scoring opportunities, including two missed field goals from 43 and 23 yards and only one score in three series that reached inside JMU’s 20-yard line (aka red zone).

On one of those unsuccessful visits to the red zone, Chris Whitney turned the ball over at the JMU 2-yard line with 1:38 left. At that moment, Nova fans with good memories flashed-back to two years ago when, on this same field, JMU connected on a 35-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game to defeat Villanova 23-19. It was getting uncomfortably déjà vu-like as JMU drove the ball down to Villanova’s 36 yard line with time for one final play. However, cornerback James Pitts dashed JMU’s hopes, intercepting in the end zone as time ran out.

FCS Top Ten: #1 Appalachian State defeated Western Carolina (37-14); #2 Delaware lost to #5 William and Mary (16-17); #3 Jacksonville State defeated Austin Peay (56-3), #4 Stephen F. Austin defeated Sam Houston State (31-28), #5 William and Mary defeated #2 Delaware (17-16); #7. Montana defeated Northern Arizona (24-21), #8. Eastern Washington defeated Sacramento State (28-24), #9. New Hampshire defeated Massachusetts (39-13); and #10 Wofford defeated Elon (28-21).
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