William & Mary dominates No. 4 Villanova on the road, 31-18

It’s almost November, and guess what? William & Mary football is again related.

Showing unexpected dominance over the nation’s fourth-placed team, the Tribes claimed their first win of the season in six years with a 31-18 win at Villanova Saturday afternoon. W&M (6-2, 4-1) was one of three Colonial Athletes’ Association teams to have lost a home game.

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With his attack to move the club and his defense blocking four passes, Tribe almost has a 2-1 advantage in possession. W&M took a four-touch lead with 11 minutes remaining before the Wildcats made a late rush.

“What a fantastic win for everyone involved with this program,” said Tribe coach Mike London. “To be on the road and play such a tough, gifted team… God is great, man. It’s been amazing to see the resilience of this team throughout this season.

“It’s all about trying to win games to stay fit. We’ll enjoy that a little bit, but we have to move on and get ready for the next game because they’re all good. in the CAA. We are excited about the challenges that lie ahead of us.”

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It was Tribe’s first win over a top five team since 2010, when they beat Delaware #2 in Williamsburg. The last time W&M beat a team in the top five on the road was in ’09 at Southern Illinois No. 1 in the NCAA quarterfinals.

And it comes to a team that has gone undefeated against Division Championship teams and won at James Madison on October 9.

“I’ve been around for a few years, and we’ve had some games that didn’t go our way and some seasons that didn’t go our way,” said sixth-year defender Tyler Crist. “So to beat a team like this and the way we did, it’s impossible to put into words. It’s amazing.”

Listed by some sites as 15 points behind, William & Mary lasted just over three minutes. JT Mayo’s 23-yard touchdown put the Tribes ahead with 5:33 left in the first quarter. The lead was 17-3 after Darius Wilson’s 1-yard sneak attack with the score 4:31 remaining in the half.

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Some consider the most important part of a football match to be the eight minutes between – the last four minutes of the second half, the first four minutes of the third. W&M proved it on Saturday.

After Wilson’s touchdown, Villanova (6-2, 4-1) took the first few hits and moved to Tribe’s 34-yard line. But instead of turning it into a one-handed game at halftime, Villanova turned the game around when full-back Daniel Smith was safely stopped by Gage Herdman.

The Wildcats had the ball before the start of the third inning, but Smith was caught again – this time by Malcolm Spencer’s safety. With an immediate chance in the red zone, the foul was leveraged with Bronson Yodo’s 4-yard touch to make it 24-3 with 13:25 remaining in the third inning.

It was the second week in a row that Tribe blocked four passes. By the way, all eight are played by eight different players.

“Our defense had a field day,” said Crist, who cleared a pass blocked by Tye Freeland in the first half. “Our defense is really, really good. … We have something special going on.”

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Defensively prevailed, the Tribe’s running game was equally effective. W&M dashed 258 yards, its third straight game with at least as many. They did it largely without top runner Donavyn Lester, who limped off the field early in the second quarter and didn’t return.

Yoder finished with 106 yards in his career-highest 25 tries. Malachi Imoh finished with 67 yards and a touchdown, and Wilson added 33 with the score.

With 11 minutes remaining, W&M made 68 fouls against Villanova’s 38. The Tribe tripled the Wildcats in total yards (343-113) and nearly doubled them on the first takedown (19-4).

London said: “When we foul on the pitch, we have the opportunity for the likes of Donavyn Lester, Malachi Imoh and Bronson Yoder to take the ball and score for us. “It’s a big deal, especially when you’re scoring points, having possession time. It’s a positive thing for us today.”

After falling 31-3, Villanova scored consecutive possession touches – 154 of their 291 yards – in the fourth quarter. But W&M’s Gage Herdman recovered a kick on the spot with 3:47 left to end the Wildcats’ rally.

If history is any guide, the Tribes need at least one and possibly two more victories to make up the postseason. But with three games left in the regular season, which begins in Delaware on Saturday, London remains pragmatic.

“I’ve been down this road before,” said London, who won the national championship at Richmond in 2008. “I’ve seen games like this. I’ve seen wins like this. Sometimes it’s luck, and sometimes it’s a lot of opportunities that guys take.

“We’ll get the injury report, see where we are and keep going. Right now, we’re on a positive mindset.”

https://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2021-10-30/fcs-football-scores-william-mary-dominates-no-4-villanova-road-31-18 | William & Mary dominates No. 4 Villanova on the road, 31-18

Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Curtis Crabtree joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: curtiscrabtree@24ssports.com.

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