Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Villanova loses, falls out of FCS playoff contention

Villanova loses its third straight, 22-0 to Richmond, to fall out of the FCS playoff discussion.

Villanova tight end Simon Bingelis pushes away a defender as he runs down the field for a 60-yard reception.
Villanova tight end Simon Bingelis pushes away a defender as he runs down the field for a 60-yard reception.Read moreWILLIAM THOMAS CAIN

Villanova's best player against visiting Richmond on Saturday afternoon was punter John Hinchen. So how much more do you need to know?

The Wildcats (4-5, 2-4 Colonial Athletic Association), who were ranked 20th in FCS, lost their third straight, 22-0, in what amounted to an elimination game. The Spiders (5-4, 3-3), who dropped their previous two, can still think playoffs. Villanova, which has been gutted by injuries, can only try to finish with a winning record. It travels to Rhode Island (2-7, 1-5) next before closing against visiting Delaware (6-3, 4-2) – which has already won more games than it did a year ago.

"When you're playing so many young guys … this is where we are right now," said coach Mark Ferrante.

The Wildcats lost at Richmond last year, 23-0, the first time they'd been shut out since 2004. In their nine losses the last two seasons they haven't scored more than 14. That was last week here against Elon.

True freshman Kyle McCloskey, the third quarterback they've used, made his second start. And at this point, there's not nearly enough around him for support.

"It's pretty frustrating," said senior center Matt Donoghue. "It's not just him. It's a lot of things. It seems like on most plays one guy messes up."

Richmond had 277 more yards. It rushed for 175, on 37 attempts. Sixty of Villanova's 163 total yards came on its fifth play, a pass and run. But five snaps, later McCloskey fumbled on the 2. In the second quarter, Drew Kresge missed a 47-yard field goal.

The Spiders led 8-0 at the half. Their first two drives in the third period covered 81 yards and then 80. They came in with the CAA's worst-rated defense.

"We've been playing from behind," said Spiders quarterback Kyle Lauletta (Downingtown East), one of the nation's best, who threw for 259 yards and rushed for 46 in front of many family members and friends. "We needed this one badly. When we scored [to make it 15-0], I thought it would be too tough for them to overcome."

It was, by the way, his mom's birthday.

Hinchen, the CAA's top punter, averaged 47.7 yards on seven kicks, with a long of 54. That included a 28-yarder early in the fourth which went out at the 6.

McCloskey went 6-for-17 for 90 yards. Of course 60 came on his first completion, to tight end Simon Bingelis. Justin Covington gained 54 yards on seven carries.

"It hurts more, because the defense is playing well," Donoghue said. "We have to keep them off the field.

Obviously, we want to go out on a high note. We want to make the most of [what's left]."

There's just one goal they can still get. And they have to win out to do that.