In a game that was essentially win-or-go-home for the Wildcats and their playoff hopes, Villanova just couldn't get it done on the road. Zach Bednarczyk threw 2 INTs that were returned for touchdowns, and that was basically the difference in the game as Towson came out on top 28-21.
Towson shot out of the gates quickly, with Darius Victor picking up anything he wanted on the ground. Connor Frazier capped off the drive with a 17-yard pass to Brian Dowling to strike first blood for the Tigers. They weren't able to hit the PAT, and led 6-0.
Villanova struggled on their first couple drives, as Towson's defense laid several big hit to deny the Wildcats. After a 4th down stop deep in their own territory, Frazier took a read-option that fooled everybody and raced 78 yards to paydirt. The Tigers went for 2, but were stopped and took a 12-0 lead to the end of the first quarter.
Zach Bednarczyk and Gary Underwood went to work on the ensuing drive, and a 14-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 7-yard shovel pass to Underwood to cut the Tigers lead to 12-7.
Villanova again went on a long drive after a 3-and-out by Towson, but Gerard Smith had his 30-yard attempt blocked to keep the score at 12-7.
Towson threatended again before halftime, but Malik Reaves baited a Towson WR in to a personal foul, and then Reggie Paris sacked Frazier to force a punt before halftime.
The second half started just as poorly as the first half did. Two plays in, Zach Bednarczyk threw an INT that was returned 33 yards for a touchdown. Towson again missed the 2-point conversion but took an 18-7 lead.
Villanova stuck with the gameplan, and Bednarczyk methodically marched the team back down the field. Matt Gudzak capped the drive with a beautiful and powerful 36-yard run to cut the Tigers lead to 18-14.
The two teams traded punts for the rest of the 3rd quarter, and early in the 4th Towson was able to put a sustainable drive together that ended with a 41-yard field goal to put them ahead 21-14.
With their backs against the wall, the Wildcats went with a heavy dose of Gary Underwood and Matt Gudzak to get them back down deep in to Towson territory. On a 4th and 9, Bednarczyk threw his second pick-six of the game - this one returned 86 yards - and third in the last three outings to push Towson's lead to 28-14 with just under 5 minutes to go.
Zach Bednarczyk valiantly tried to get it back, and hit Kevin Gulyas with a 4-yard touchdown pass with 50 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 28-21. Steve Weyler lined up for the onside kick, and was quickly iced by Towson.
On the second attempt, Weyler hit a great ball and Villanova recovered a wild deflection deep in Towson territory that briefly gave new life to the team. The refs blew it dead and awarded the ball to the Tigers however, citing an illegal touch by the Wildcats - though no flag was thrown.
The Villanova sideline was rightfully incensed, but replay reviews showed that the ball hit Cameron McCurry's helmet 1-2 yards short of the 45-yard line. It was the correct call, but a brutal way to go down.
The loss moves Villanova to 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in the CAA. The loss likely takes the team out of playoff contention. A tough way to go down considering the mistakes that lost the game, but the rest of the season should tell us a lot about the makeup of the team - the majority of which returns next season.