VILLANOVA, P.A. — Defense was the story in this game as the Villanova Wildcats forced six turnovers en route to shutting out the Maine Black Bears, 31-0, at Villanova Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The turning point happened in the second quarter with Villanova up 7-0. With the ball on the Wildcat three yard line, Maine tight end Drew Belcher fumbled the ball at the one, before Villanova defensive back Jaquan Amos returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. The scoop-and-score was the ninth fumble returned for a touchdown in program history.
“We were in Cover 2 so I was pressing the receiver,” Amos said. “He took an outside release, so as soon as I turned my head the ball was there. I saw the ball on the ground, I grabbed it and was off to the end zone.
“I’ve never taken part in a play where it led to a 99-yard touchdown.”
In the fourth quarter with the Wildcats up big, Amos would get called for targeting and was tossed from the game. He will be suspended for the first half of next week’s game against James Madison.
The Wildcats would force six turnovers in the game, four of them by interception from Rasaan Stewart, Malik Reaves, Keeling Hunter, and Trey Johnson.
If you get six turnovers in your favor, that’s usually what the score is going to look like,” said Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante.
Wildcats quarterback Jack Schetelich finished 3 of 8 for 61 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran one in from 12 yards out. Tight end Todd Summers scored Villanova’s first touchdown of the game, which also marked his first career score. Aaron Forbes led the way on the ground with 66 yards on 14 rushing attempts.
“They’re a good team,” said Maine head coach Joe Harasymiak. “They’re well coached. Have a lot of respect for them. I just think we played the way we didn’t want to play today. It was embarrassing on our end.
“Give them credit, they do a lot of things offensively that are challenging such as motions. Their defense is one of the top in the conference. But our performance was awful and embarrassing.”
The Wildcats now improve to 4-2, (2-1 in CAA) and will head on the road to face James Madison on October 14.