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'Nova's new QB a dual threat like Robertson

When Zach Bednarczyk stepped in for injured quarterback John Robertson and led Villanova to a come–from-behind victory Saturday against Delaware in front of 11,779 fans at Villanova Stadium, his former high school coach wasn't surprised.

Villanova quarterback Zack Bednarczyk.
Villanova quarterback Zack Bednarczyk.Read more(Photo via Akira Suwa)

When Zach Bednarczyk stepped in for injured quarterback John Robertson and led Villanova to a come–from-behind victory Saturday against Delaware in front of 11,779 fans at Villanova Stadium, his former high school coach wasn't surprised.

"I'm very familiar with what he's capable of doing," said John McKenna, the coach at DePaul High School in Wayne, N.J. "I don't think they will miss a beat."

Robertson, the reigning Walter Payton award winner, is out indefinitely with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. If Robertson opts to have surgery - a decision he had not ruled out - his Villanova career is likely over.

In the meantime, Bednarczyk, a redshirt freshman, is the Wildcats starter. And if there is anyone who knows what to expect from Bednarczyk, it is McKenna.

A 6-1, 200-pound lefthander, Bednarczyk guided the Spartans to a 2013 state championship in what McKenna said Tuesday was "one of the greatest seasons in the history of the school."

In high school, Bednarczyk, whom McKenna described as a dual-threat quarterback, passed for 3,950 career yard and 41 touchdowns. He ran for 1,655 yards and 17 touchdowns.

When he says he doesn't believe the Wildcats (2-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) will miss a beat with Bednarczyk as the starter, McKenna is speaking from a good understanding of what Robertson did as a high school player. Robertson went to Paramus (N.J.) High School, which often plays DePaul.

"I coached against John when he was in high school, so I know what his game is like," McKenna said. "He has turned into a great player, we all know that. I would say that the biggest difference is that Zach is lefthanded and John is righthanded.

"But Zack can play with his feet too," McKenna said. "That, and he's really confident in himself when the lights go on."

Bednarczyk is off to a good start. His performance against Delaware - which included a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Gulyas (who caught eight passes for 152 yards) and a 21-yard scamper that gave the Wildcats the lead for good - earned him the award as the CAA's top freshman last week.

As confident as McKenna is in his former player, nothing can replace the experience and leadership that Robertson bring.

"He has the same stuff as John," Villanova coach Andy Talley said. "He's as fast as John; he can throw and run. But what he doesn't have is the total grasp of our offense that comes with four years of playing in it. John was a master of the offense. Zach doesn't have that experience, so we really have to dumb down the playbook for this game."

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