VILLANOVA, Pa. – Despite ammassing 502 net yards on offense, the University of New Hampshire football team was defeated by Villanova University, 49-42, in Saturday afternoon’s Atlantic 10 matchup at Villanova Stadium.
UNH lost its third consecutive game to fall to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Villanova is now 5-2 and 3-1 in the league.
Trailing 49-35 late in the fourth quarter, New Hampshire pulled within 49-42 when Kamau Peterson (Windsor, Ontario) caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Day (Manchester, N.H.). Villanova recovered the ensuing onsides kick to seal the victory.
UNH fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter before rallying to tie the game on a Randal Williams (Bronx, N.Y.) 13-yard run at 6:06 of the first and a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.) at 13:37 of the second.
Villanova surged back in front and led 31-21 with 5:00 left in the second quarter. A Day-to-Williams 18-yard pass play pulled UNH within 31-28 at the half.
The home team extended its advantage to 34-28 before New Hampshire took its only lead of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by Lewis at 2:14 of the third quarter.
VU went back in front, 42-35, when a 99-yard drive was capped by a 23-yard pass play from Scott Lukash to Matt Chila with 8:59 remaining in the game. Villanova seemingly put the game away with another TD with 2:17 to play, but UNH stormed back to make it dramatic.
Lewis led the UNH rushing attack with 108 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a team-high 68 receiving yards. Day completed 23 of 36 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
Villanova was led by Brian Westbrook, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer with his 111-yard effort. Brett Gordon was 10 of 14 for 105 yards and two touchdowns while Lukash passed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 11-for-13 attempts.
The next Wildcat football game is Oct. 28 against Massachusetts. Kickoff at Cowell Stadium is 12 p.m.