Zach Bednarczyk

Injuries continue to mount for Villanova football

USA Today Images

Injuries continue to mount for Villanova football

While injuries often influence a team's season, 12th-ranked Villanova has been especially challenged in recent weeks.

On Monday, the Wildcats were awaiting MRI results for quarterback Zach Bednarczyk, who suffered a knee injury early in a 24-9 win at Towson on Saturday night.

It occurred one game after senior safety Rob Rolle, the CAA Football preseason defensive player of the year, suffered an ACL injury and was lost for the remainder of the season. Two other starters, tight end Ryan Bell and running back Matt Gudzak, also were injured in that loss to Albany and missed the Towson game.

Earlier last month, top wide receiver Changa Hodge was lost to a season-ending foot injury.

"It's been difficult. We don't have a huge roster as it is," first-year coach Mark Ferrante said Monday. "When you lose guys of that magnitude, it's never an easy thing and it's always going to be a challenge.

"Unfortunately, we're playing a lot of first-year players. Not just redshirt freshmen, but we're playing probably more true freshmen than we anticipated playing and had to take some redshirts off from guys. I'm sure that will gain them some valuable experience and things for down the road. But we've got to try to do the best we can in the present."

Bednarczyk, a 2 1/2-year starter, has been one of the top quarterbacks in CAA Football this season. The left-hander has completed 70.2 percent of his attempts for 1,068 yards and six touchdowns without an interception, and rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns.

He was replaced in the Towson game by redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich, who accounted for all three Villanova touchdowns.

The Wildcats (3-2) will host Maine on Saturday.

Villanova obliterates Lafayette behind Zach Bednarczyk

USA Today Images

Villanova obliterates Lafayette behind Zach Bednarczyk

Zach Bednarczyk threw for two scores and ran for another, Ryan Bell had a career-high five catches for 119 yards, and Villanova routed Lafayette 59-0 in its home opener on Saturday.

Villanova (2-1) scored on its first three possessions, led 49-0 at halftime after holding the Leopards to 25 total yards, and wasn't forced to punt until the fourth quarter.

Bednarczyk scored on a 4-yard keeper, then hit Bell with 4- and 37-yard TD passes. Jaquan Amos and Keeling Hunter each returned interceptions for TDs, Taurus Phillips returned a punt 64 yards for a score, and Matt Gudzak ran it in from the 2 -- all before halftime.

Bednarczyk was 13 of 15 for 237 yards passing before being replaced in the third quarter. Aaron Forbes gained 78 yards on 11 carries and Corey Russo scored on a 1-yard run.

The Wildcats outgained the Leopards (0-3) 505 to 77 in total offense and held them to minus-12 yards rushing.

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

USA Today Images

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.