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100 and Counting: 'Nova Tops Penn 30-21

By now I'm sure everyone has heard, but Villanova was able to get their first football win of the season last night by defeating Penn 30-21 at Franklin Field (box score). A multitude of tasks kept me from being able to recap this game earlier, so apologies for the late-Sunday post.

We've all been crazily following the expansion drama over the course of the past week, and Villanova's 2011 campaign has definitely slipped to the back burner. But it's important to note that yesterday's win, 'Nova has now not been beaten by Penn in 100 years. Yes, you read that right. 100 years and counting.

Christian Culicerto, the former walk-on, was the starter at QB for 'Nova and performed admirably. He doesn't possess the big-play capability of the other QB's, but he's not going to force the issue and make the silly mistakes that have hindered the team so far this season. He finished 12-20 for 139 yards, including a 54-yard TD pass to Dorian Wells.

Kevin Monongai and Lawrence Doss formed a solid 1-2 punch on the ground, finishing with 55 and 56 yards, respectively. Even Culicerto was a threat on the ground, finishing with 43 yards.

The much-maligned defense was the real story of the game, and what won the game for 'Nova. Both Jimmy Pitts and Ronnie Akins returning interceptions for touchdowns. Akins was with 12 seconds remaining in the game, as he returned the INT 26 yards to turn a late 23-21 lead into a 30-21 victory.

Mark Hamilton had 3 FG's for Villanova.

One of the biggest tests of the season awaits the Wildcats when they return home next weekend to host powerhouse William & Mary at noon.


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