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Villanova falls to Rhode Island in overtime thriller, 40-37

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The Wildcats lost a shootout in overtime to the Rams in their home opener.

NCAA Football: Villanova at Temple Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Villanova Wildcats lost in their home opener with the Rhode Island Rams. The Wildcats fell to the Rams, 40-37, in overtime on Saturday afternoon.

It was an exciting back-and-forth game that was ultimately decided by a two-yard touchdown run by Rams quarterback Kasim Hill to win the game in overtime.

Both teams continuously traded scoring drives and touchdowns from opening kickoff. Rhode Island held a 21-14 lead at halftime, but the ‘Cats quickly tied things up at 21 after the break with a 76-yard touchdown by Justin Covington.

The Wildcats scored 10 more unanswered points to take a 31-21 lead midway through the third quarter.

Both teams traded field goals to make it a 34-24 Villanova lead early in the fourth quarter.

After a couple of empty-handed drives, Rhode Island got a touchdown to make it a three-point game with 3:36 remaining. Kevin Brown punched it in from one-yard out. Villanova went three-and-out on its next drive, then the Rams drove all the way to the two-yard line and got the easy chip shot field goal to tie the game up as time expired.

The Wildcats went first in overtime and had to settle for another Cole Bunce field goal to take a 37-34 lead.

Rhode Island’s Ivory Frimpong caught a pass for 23 yards and a first down on the first play. Hill ran it in for the game-winning score two plays later.

The Rams outgained the Wildcats, 494-437, in the offensive showcase for both teams.

For Villanova, Covington ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. Quarterback Daniel Smith completed 12-of-27 passes for 116 yards and a passing touchdown. He also added 110 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown. Jalen Jackson had 60 yards and a touchdown off 11 carries.

Meanwhile, aside from the game-winning touchdown, Hill also threw for 246 yards and a touchdown. Brown had 141 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Frimpong led the aerial attack with a game-high 122 yards on eight receptions.

With the loss, Villanova falls to 1-1 overall. It will look to regroup next Saturday at home, when New Hampshire comes to town. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.