Thursday, May 23, 2024

Villanova continues their dominance at Delaware Stadium; defeats the Blue Hens 35-7

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

NEWARK, DE — The No. 10 Villanova Wildcats continued their dominance over No. 7 Delaware Blue Hands on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats won 35-7 over the Blue Hens at Delaware Stadium. 

Villanova has not lost at Delaware Stadium since November 20th, 2004 when they were defeated 41-35. The Wildcats now lead the all-time series 34-22-1, including a three-game win streak in the series. 

Villanova Wildcats quarterback Connor Watkins attempts a pass against the Delaware Blue Hens
Connor Watkins attempts a pass against the Delaware Blue Hens (Photo by Chelsea Smith-Ruffin/The Capital Sports Report Photographer)

Delaware has dropped their 18th game in the series since 2000. Blue Hens head coach Ryan Carty is now 0-2 in the “Battle of the Blue” series. 

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With the win, the Wildcats have won the Coastal Athletic Association Football Championship. As a result, they received an automatic bid into the 24-team FCS playoff. 

The Blue Hens; however, have to wait until Sunday at noon to see if they will hear their name called by the committee. 

Wildcats quarterback Connor Watkins went 17 of 27 for 222 yards. He also had two touchdown passes. 

Jalen Jackson led the backs with 9 carries for 130 yards. Jaaron Hayek had six receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns. 

Blue Hens true freshman Nick Minicucci went 9 of 21 for 55 yards. He also had one touchdown pass and two interceptions. 

Delaware suffered two devastating injuries to their quarterbacks within a short period of time before halftime. Starter Ryan O’Connor was injured when he was hit out of bounds along the Wildcats sideline. 

O’Connor tried to come back but it appeared like he couldn’t throw the ball due to the injury. Carty said that O’Connor may come back this season. However, he did not reveal the severity of his injury. 

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Zach Marker, who is in his first season at Delaware after several seasons at the community college level, was pressed into duty when O’Connor went down with his injury. Marker went down a short time later on a play along the Blue Hens sideline as he was tackled near the steel bench. 

Marker had to get help from the athletic staff off the sideline and get further evaluated. Carty said that Marker likely would not play again this season. 

Carty said he does not like to make excuses. But he said that with Minicucci, the Blue Hens offensive attack was limited. The head coach said that the freshman did not practice with the first team before the game. 

Marcus Yarns had 18 carries for 97 yards. Braden Brose had two receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. 

The Wildcats outscored the Blue Hens 21-0 in the second half. Shane Hartzell scored on a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown. 

Watkins hit Hayek for a 51-yard touchdown reception. TD Ayo-Durojaiye scored on a 10-yard rushing touchdown.

Villanova led 14-7 at halftime. Watkins hit Hayek for an 11-yard touchdown reception. DeeWil Barlee also scored on a five-yard rushing touchdown.

Delaware Blue Hens tight end Braden Brose scores a touchdown against the Villanova Wildcats
Braden Brose scores a touchdown against the Villanova Wildcats (Photo by Chelsea Smith-Ruffin/The Capital Sports Report Photographer)

Blue Hens’ Minicucci hit Brose, who broke an attempted tackle to run up the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown reception.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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