Lincoln Financial Field, September 1, 2011
The Villanova Wildcats and the Temple Owls meet for the third annual Mayor’s Cup. Each team will be coming into the game not sure of who they are, and who they can be. Temple has a new coaching staff under the direction of Steve Addazio, and a defense that lost four all-conference selectees. The Owls return Junior Running Back Bernard Pierce, Senior Wide Receiver Rod Streater, and Senior Tight End Evan Rodriguez on offense. Senior Defensive Ends Morkeith Brown and Adrian Robinson anchor the defense. Temple was picked to win the MAC East Division.
Villanova lost Quarterback Chris Whitney, Running Back Matt Sczcur, and most of the players from their offensive line. The defense led by Senior Defensive Back James Pitts and Senior Nose Tackle Antoine Lewis will be the mainstay for the Wildcats. Villanova. Senior Wide Receive Norman White will lead the offense. Villanova was ranked 14th nationally by the Sports Network, and 7th in the CAA.
Villanova got a first down on its first play from scrimmage when Senior Running Back Mikey Reynolds ran for 10 yards. Two plays later Senior Running Back Lawrence Doss went up the middle for 28 yards putting the ball at the Temple 30 yard line. The drive stalled. On fourth down Red-shirt Freshman Quarterback Dustin Thomas was intercepted in the endzone by Temple Junior Safety Justin Gildea. The Owls took over at he 25 yard line. The Owls drove 75 yards for the first score of the game when Junior Quarterback Mike Gerardi hit Sophomore Wide Receiver Deon Miller over the middle on thirds down for 35 yards and a touchdown. It was an 11 play 75 yard drive taking 4:14. A key play in the drive was a 19 yard run by Junior Running Back Bernard Pierce giving Temple a first-down at the Villanova 44 yard line.
The score at the end of the 1st Quarter – Temple 7 Villanova 0.
Temple took over at the 2:48 mark of the first quarter with the ball on their own 11 yard line. Gerardi had a 12 yard completion to Miller, later a 21 yard strike to Streater for 21, and 16 yards to Rodriguez moving the ball to the Villanova 18. The first two completions were on third down plays. However, the Villanova defense rose to the occasion as Gerardi was sacked by Villanova Junior Linebacker Devon Bridges for a loss of 10 yards. Two plays later Sophomore Defensive End Keelan Malone dropped Gerardi for a 7 yard loss forcing a 48 yard field goal attempt by Temple Junior Kicker Brandon Mc Manus. The kick was wide right giving the Wildcats the ball on their 31 yard line. On their first play from scrimmage the Wildcats pulled a gadget play as the ball was reversed to Junior Wide Receiver Dorian Wells who threw a pass to Thomas for a 44 yard gain to the Owls 25. On 3rd and 1 from the 36 Temple Freshman Corner Back Anthony Robey forced Thomas to fumble that was recovered Senior Linebacker Tahir Whitehead at the Owls 36. Temple turned to their running game with 5 straight running plays, 2 by Pierce, 2 by Junior Running Back Matt Brown. With a 3rd and 1 from the Villanova 19 Pierce ran over center for 19 yards and a touchdown to take a 14 – 0 lead. The drive was 5 plays, 62 yards, taking 1:58. After a punt Temple got the ball on the Villanova 46 yard line. Keeping the ball on the ground the Owls had an 8 play, 46 yard drive in 3:35 as Pierce ran for 22 yards and a touchdown at :46. The extra point gave Temple a 21 – 0 halftime lead. seven of the eight plays were rushes, 5 by Pierce who now gained over 100 yards on the ground with his touchdown run. Pierce had 15 carries for 116 yards.
The score at halftime was Temple 21 Villanova 0.
The Owls took the kickoff and promptly went on a 7 play, 72 yard drive in 2:55 capped by a 47 yard touchdown pass from Gerardi to Streater in increase the Temple lead to 28 – 0. Streater caught 4 passes for 79 yards and 1 score. Two drives later Villanova turned the ball over for the third time as Senior Defensive Back Kevin Kroboth intercepted a Thomas pass giving Temple a first down at the Villanova 46 yard line with 7:18 remaining in the quarter. After another Kroboth interception Temple drove the ball 54 yards on 6 plays in 2:42 as Bernard Pierce scored his third touchdown of the game on a 20 yard scamper with 2:20 to play in the quarter. Pierce had 147 yards on 20 carries, and Temple had a 35 – 0 lead.
The score at the end of third quarter was Temple 35 Villanova 0.
Villanova threatened as a 31 yard run by Thomas set up the Wildcats on the Temple 17. On the next play Thomas appeared to have fumbled when sacked, but upon further review his knee was deemed down giving the ball back to Villanova. The sack placed the ball back to the 27. Villanova worked the ball back to the 19 yard line with a 4th and 12. Thomas went to the air, but he was under a fierce rush and his pass fell incomplete. The threat ended. Sophomore Chris Coyer entered the game a Quarterback for the Owls. He promptly ran for a 68 yard touchdown increasing the Temple lead to 42 – 0. Villanova finally got on the scoreboard with 7:57 to play. Thomas scored on a 4 yard run capping an 11 play, 71 yard drive that took 4:17. The extra point made the score 42 – 7.
Temple 1 – 0, Villanova 0 – 1
Total Offense 475 yards – Rushing 240 Passing 235 Turnovers 0
Rushing: Pierce 20 – 147 3 TD, Coyer 4 – 68 1 TD
Passing: Gerardi 14-20-0 235 yards 2 TD
Receiving: Rodriguez 6 -68, Miller 4 – 74 1 TD, Streater 2-68 1 TD
Defense: Caponegro 7 tackles, Kroboth 5 tackles, 2 Interceptions
Total Offense 275 yards – Rushing 122 Passing 153 Turnovers 4 (3 Int 1 Fumble)
Rushing: Thomas 17 – 59 1 TD
Passing: Thomas 11 – 25 – 3 109 yards
Receiving: Reynolds 5 – 51, Price 3 – 39, Thomas 1 – 44
Defense: James 10 tackles (7 solo – 3 assist), Lucas 9 tackles (7 solo – 2 assist)
Written By: Glenn Papazian