Villanova Wildcats

Zach Bednarczyk helps Villanova give Mark Ferrante 1st win in head-coaching debut

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Zach Bednarczyk helps Villanova give Mark Ferrante 1st win in head-coaching debut

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Zach Bednarczyk threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Villanova opened the season with a 38-35 victory over Lehigh in Mark Ferrante's head-coaching debut on Saturday.

After 30 years as a Wildcats assistant, Ferrante took over from Andy Talley, who retired after winning 230 games in a 32-year career.

Bednarczyk connected on a 75-yard pass play to Taurus Phillips early in the third quarter for a 35-21 lead with a 32-yard field goal by Drew Kresge early in the fourth providing the winning margin. Lehigh got within three with 4:43 to go on Brad Mayes' 3-yard pass to Gatlin Casey but the Wildcats kept possession from there.

Bednarczyk finished 17 of 23 for 209 yards passing with senior Matt Gudzak rushing for a career-high 142 yards and two touchdowns for the defending Patriot League champions.

Mayes was 33 of 49 for 406 yards with four touchdowns, two to Casey. Troy Pelletier made 11 catches, moving to No. 2 on the all-time school receptions list, for 141 yards with a TD. Luke Christiano had 143 yards receiving, a career high for the junior, and a score.

The Mountain Hawks had 484 yards offense and the Wildcats 475.

James Madison shows why it's No. 1 in FCS with win over No. 11 Villanova

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James Madison shows why it's No. 1 in FCS with win over No. 11 Villanova

BOX SCORE

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Bryan Schor threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns, and defending FCS champion James Madison beat Villanova 30-8 on Saturday to set a conference record with 18 straight victories.

The Dukes broke Richmond's Colonial Athletic Association mark, set from 2008-09. James Madison hasn't lost to another FCS member since the second round of the 2015 playoffs against Colgate.

James Madison built a 13-0 lead at halftime after holding Villanova to just 58 yards with three sacks and an interception. The Wildcats pulled to 16-8 early in the fourth but Schor connected with David Eldridge for a 29-yard score. Brandon Hereford capped it with his first career pick and touchdown with 1:57 left.

Terrence Alls made seven catches for 83 yards for James Madison (6-0, 3-0), which hosted ESPN's College Gameday for the second time.

The popular pre-game program aired for the eighth time from a FCS location. It helped draw the second-largest crowd in school history with 25,993.

Jimmy Moreland made an interception on Villanova's third play of the game and James Madison got to the Wildcats' 5 before settling for a 3-0 lead. Clayton Cheatham extended it 13-0 by catching an open pass over the middle and breaking tackles near the end zone for a 23-yard score.

Schor went over 5,000 career passing yards in the first half.

Freshman Kyle McCloskey started the second half at quarterback for Villanova (4-3, 2-2). He threw for 15 yards and added 43 yards on the ground. The Wildcats, who entered allowing just 13.2 points per game, were held to 174 total yards.

College Gameday
The ESPN crew was also live from James Madison in 2015 in front of more than 12,000 fans. The game against Richmond drew a Bridgeforth Stadium-record crowd of 26,069.

Up Next
Villanova has a bye week before hosting Elon on Oct. 28.

James Madison plays at William & Mary next Saturday.

Jay Wright to receive John R. Wooden 'Legends of Coaching' honor

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Jay Wright to receive John R. Wooden 'Legends of Coaching' honor

Jay Wright will recieve the John R. Wooden Award's "Legends of Coaching" honor in 2018. The award goes to coaches who personify legendary coach John Wooden's standards of coaching success and personal integrity.

Wright will be honored on April 6 at the College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles.

Wright has 23 years of coaching under his belt with his last 16 coming at Villanova. In his last 13 seasons on the Main Line, the Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament 12 times, including a national championship in 2016 with a thrilling 77-74 victory over North Carolina.

Wright and his squad begin the 2017-18 season Nov. 10 against Columbia at the Wells Fargo Center.