Villanova Wins the Battle of the Blue
Written by David Szczepanski on November 21, 2022
In the final game of the season on Saturday, Villanova battled their archrival, the Delaware Blue Hens. The Wildcats lost their previous two games in blowout fashion on the road. However, a hot start from Villanova after a fumble recovery and key defensive stops led to the Wildcats victory.
“Battle of the Blue” Recap
With almost ten minutes left in the first quarter, Villanova’s Ty Trinh recovered a touchdown deep inside of Delaware’s territory. About 90 seconds later, Connor Watkins rushed into the endzone to get Villanova on the board early. However, the Blue Hens would respond to tie it with their own touchdown on a rushed trick play by QB Nolan Henderson and WR Thyrick Pitts.
Throughout the second quarter, Villanova and Delaware went back and forth with each team scoring a touchdown. However, a last second field goal by Blue Hens’ kicker, Brandon Ratcliffe, allowed Delaware to take a 16-14 lead into halftime.
To start the third quarter, WR Jourdan Townsend made a fantastic catch on a bullet throw from Henderson for a 25-yard touchdown. With just less than ten minutes left to play in the third quarter, it looked like Delaware would pull away to secure the victory. However, after a huge 38-yard catch by Dez Boykin near the redzone, DeeWil Barlee scored his second touchdown of the game to cut the deficit to just two points, 23-21.
After two consecutive muffed punts by the Wildcats’ special teams unit, Villanova’s defense led by Brendan Bell, Shane Hartzell, and Elijah Glover held the Blue Hens to just a 25-yard field goal. Villanova now trailed 26-21 with more than nine minutes left to play. Villanova and Delaware both had fairly quick drives that allowed Connor Watkins and company to get the ball back with about four minutes left on the clock. With 64 seconds left in this game, Watkins made a fantastic move to his right to score his second rushing touchdown of the game, which gave the Wildcats the 29-26 lead. Henderson and the Blue Hens’ offense had a last second attempt to score some points, but RB Kyron Cumby fumbled, and Daniel Abraham was there to scoop it up for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats defeat the Blue Hens and win the Battle of the Blue for the 14th time since the trophy was presented. With the help of some other teams, the Blue Hens did clinch a CAA playoff spot.
Connor Watkins was just 5-16 passing the football, but he rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns. DeeWil Barlee carried the football 22 times on Saturday for 66 yards, including two touchdowns. Villanova’s leading receiver was Dez Boykin, who averaged 48-yards per catch for a total of 96 yards.
With this being the final game of the football season, WXVU would like to thank you for listening to our coverage of all home football games this season. I would also like to thank everyone for viewing these game recaps and previews throughout the season. Your support is much appreciated! We can’t wait for next season! Go Cats!