Friday, May 24, 2013
ORONO - They stopped the penalties.
Kevin Monangi, who gained 192 yards on 30 carries for Villanova, dives into the end zone Saturday, past Kari Al-Mateen of the University of Maine, during Villanova’s 35-14 victory in Orono that dropped the Black Bears to 1-3.
The Associated Press
Maine quarterback Marcus Wasilewski takes the ball into the end zone – one of the two touchdowns for the Black Bears against Villanova.
The Associated Press
Now the Black Bears need to stop the run.
Kevin Monangai ran for 192 yards on 30 carries to lead Villanova to a 35-14 Colonial Athletic Association football victory over the University of Maine on a damp and chilly Saturday at Alfond Stadium.
It was the conference opener for Maine (1-3, 0-1) and the fourth straight victory for Villanova (4-1, 2-0) after starting with a loss to Temple.
"They have grown a lot from last year to this year," said Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove, whose team beat Villanova 41-25 last year in Philadelphia.
At times last season the Wildcats started 11 freshmen, including quarterback Chris Polony. He entered this fall as the incumbent starter but was replaced at halftime against Temple by classmate John Robertson.
"We haven't looked back since," said Villanova Coach Andy Talley. "He's really solidified himself as our quarterback."
Robertson has won three straight CAA rookie of the week awards, and made a strong case for a fourth. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns -- both in the first quarter -- and ran 14 times for 86 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put Villanova ahead 28-7.
He also turned two potential sacks into gains of 11 and 19 yards.
"We should have finished those tackles better," said Cosgrove, who was also frustrated by Monangai breaking a 42-yard run up the middle after punter Jeff Ondish had pinned Villanova at its 2. "There were some disappointing get-outs."
Monangai scored from 13 yards, then on a 4-yarder that gave the Wildcats a 35-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Villanova rolled up 314 yards rushing, surpassing 200 for the fourth straight game.
"That's a telling part of football, when you can't stop the run," Cosgrove said. "You establish not only a mental but a physical dominance."
Maine scored on its opening drive, highlighted by Marcus Wasilewski completions of 20 yards to Derrick Johnson and, after scrambling under pressure, 45 to Rickey Stevens Jr. That set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Wasilewski, who rolled left and ran in untouched.
Both teams needed only five plays for their opening touchdowns, but Villanova added two scores before halftime and blocked a 41-yard field-goal attempt by Brian Harvey to head into the break with a 21-7 lead.
Although Wasilewski completed 13 of 19 in the first half, he was sacked four times and intercepted once, after a pass to Mo McDonald caromed into the hands of defensive back Shane Harris. That nearly mirrored a second interception, early in the fourth quarter, which led to a touchdown that made it 35-7.
"We're fighting back regardless of how many scores they're up," Wasilewski said. "There was still a whole quarter left. That's plenty of time to get some scores back."
Wasilewski finished with 409 yards passing but was sacked seven times. He got the Black Bears moving in the fourth, particularly on quick screens to wide receivers, and Arthur Williams broke one 69 yards for a touchdown with 10:07 to play.
Twice more the Black Bears drove deep, only to turn the ball over on downs, first at the 22 and then at the 10.
"We're never giving up," Wasilewski said, "and I'm really proud with the way we came at that, never put our heads down, and kept battling throughout the entire football game."
After being penalized 19 times in its previous two games, Maine drew nary a yellow flag.
"We worked on that, yeah," said Cosgrove.
Cornerback Kendall James led the Black Bears with 10 tackles, eight unassisted. Linebacker Donte Dennis had nine.
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