The Villanova Wildcats will feel they let this one get away from them. They went toe-to-toe with the Temple Owls in the first Mayor’s Cup since 2012 and were undone by missed opportunities and untimely mistakes all afternoon.
Whether it was dropped passes, missed reads and blocking assignments, or tipped passes that could have been interceptions, the ball just wasn’t bouncing Villanova’s way at Lincoln Financial field in a 16-13 loss
Despite storming back in the second half, the depth issue began to show late and the Cats just missed out on a signature win
Both teams were able to move the ball early, but timely mistakes stalled out promising drives. Temple’s second drive yielded the first points of the game. A long pass set up the Owls deep in ‘Nova territory, but the defense stood tall to hold the Temple to a field goal late in the first quarter.
The Villanova defense kept the team in the game as the offense found its feet. Despite good Owls field positionT, the defense stood tall and Temple missed a 48-yard field goal with just under 5 minutes to go in the half.
Villanova’s ensuing drive was their best of the game, and featured a tough Ryan Bell catch down the seam to set up the ‘Cats deep in Temple territory. The ‘Cats stalled out though when Taurus Phillips dropped an easy conversion.
The ‘Nova kicking woes struck again when Drew Kresge’s long field goal had plenty of leg, but clipped the upright and stayed out. Temple took advantage with some slick passing down the field to score on the final play of the half after some controversy.
Adonis Jennings made a great attempt on the ball, but replays showed he appeared to trap the ball. The officials - who ruled it a catch on the field - didn’t see enough to overturn it. That gave the ball to Temple on the 1 with 5 seconds to go in the half, and they were able to punch it in to go up 10-0 at the half.
Temple opened up the second half with another lon drive, but the Villanova defense was bailed out when Logan Marchi missed a wide-open Brodrick Yancy heading towards the end zone . Temple settled for a 44-yard field goal to make it 13-0.
Villanova’s next drive again went deep into Owls territory but dropped passes remained an issue. On 4th and 25 Villanova opted to go for it. Changa Hodge made a fantastic leaping catch - a yard short of the first down.
Villanova put together a great drive before Zach Bednarczyk was sacked to stall it out. Drew Kresge made his long field goal this time to make it 13-3, but the ‘Cats missed another huge opportunity on the ensuing kickoff.
‘Nova shocked Temple with a pooched kick, and Trey Johnson looked to have it, but lost it on his way down from a high leap and Temple recovered as the clock wound down on the third quarter.
The defense responded yet again, however, backig up Temple 10 yards and forcing a punt. Bednarczyk went to work once again. Ater hitting Zac Kerxton on a long pass down the sideline he hit paydirt finding Taurus Phillips for a touchdown with just over 10 minutes to play.
Jeff Steeb ended the next Owls drive with a knocked down pass at the line, and Bednarczyk drove ‘Nova down the field yet again. Kresge hit his second field goal of the game to knot the score at 13-13 with just a few minutes to go.
On the ensuing Temple drive the Villanova defense did their best to slow down the Owls despite a circus catch - but the Owls hit a 49-yard field goal with minute to go to take a 16-13 lead.
Villanova had one last chance, but Matt Gudzak fumbled the ball fighting for extra yardage as Nova moved into Temple territory to end any chance at a comeback.