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Balanced attack results in 31-9 victory over Lehigh

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Defense might be Villanova’s M.O., but it seemed like everything was clicking for the Wildcat offense.

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

Once the Wildcats settled in after giving up an early field goal, they hardly looked back.

Villanova might excel defensively, but on Saturday, it had its way on offense. The Wildcats moved the ball at will—through the air or on the ground—in their 31-9 road win against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.

Villanova scored 31 unanswered points, a streak that started with a Justin Covington touchdown in the closing minutes of the first quarter and ended with a 28-yard touchdown reception by Jarrett McClenton.

Villanova quarterback Zach Bednarczyk was 16-for-29, with 215 yards and three touchdown passes. His only blemish came from an interception. However, it was far from an individual effort.

The Wildcats had six different rushers combine for 190 rushing yards, with freshman Jalen Jackson in front of the pack with a 12-carry, 69-yard performance. Aaron Forbes finished with 57 yards off of 11 carries.

Through the air, it was a career day for McClenton, who tallied six receptions for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior tight end Ryan Bell also caught five passes for 62 yards and a score.

Villanova dominated on offense, outgaining the Mountain Hawks 405-176.

The tone of the game shifted after Covington’s rushing touchdown. Villanova immediately followed up with another score, as Bednarczyk and McClenton connected for a 62-yard touchdown.

The Wildcats would add another touchdown midway through the second quarter, taking a 20-3 lead into the break.

After halftime, the Wildcats continued their hot play. While they stalled out in Lehigh territory for their first drive of the half, it was a moment of redemption for Drew Kresge, who had missed an extra-point attempt earlier. He booted a 35-yard field goal through the uprights.

Villanova finished things up with a final touchdown late in the third quarter, when McClenton was able to corral a pass from Bednarczyk for a 28-yard touchdown.

Although things had quieted down for the Wildcats, for the rest of the game, Lehigh would not go away silently. With 5:12 remaining in the game, the Mountain Hawks were able to put up a touchdown before the game ended, as Brad Mayes found Devon Bibbens for a 26-yard touchdown.

The Wildcats were able to shut down the run-heavy Mountain Hawks, holding them to just 32 yards for the entire game—a stark contrast from Lehigh’s previous game, where it was able to find paydirt many times.

Bibbens led Lehigh with 73 receiving yards off of five receptions.

The Wildcats improve to 2-0 for the season. They resume action next Saturday, Sept. 15, against the Towson Tigers. It will be the Wildcats’ home opener. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on FOX College Sports.