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VILLANOVA, Pa. – Playing on the road for the fourth time in its opening five contests, the William & Mary football team earned an impressive 38-16 victory at No. 14/16 Villanova on Saturday afternoon.
Although W&M (3-2, 2-1) trailed, 10-3, early in contest, it scored 28 unanswered points during the second quarter en route to securing the significant road win.
In addition to outgaining Villanova, 466-310, W&M held the Wildcats (2-3, 1-1) to just 1-of-12 on third downs and controlled the time of possession, 34:58-25:02.
Junior running back Kendell Anderson posted his third-consecutive 100-yard rushing effort with 149 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns, while junior quarterback Steve Cluley completed 16-of-28 passes for 267 yards with a touchdown.
A trio of wide receivers – sophomore DeVonte Dedmon (7-73), senior Christian Reeves (4-126, TD) and junior Kevin Hart (4-60) – also registered outstanding efforts.
Defensively, senior free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson recorded a 94-yard pick-six, which set a school record for longest interception return. Sophomore Denzel Dykes also posted an interception, which helped set up a short field and a touchdown drive.
W&M got on the scoreboard first when sophomore Nick Dorka Jr., kicked a 23-yard field goal to punctuate the game’s opening drive. Dedmon keyed the 11-play, 69-yard drive with four catches for 57 yards.
Villanova responded with a 4-yard touchdown run by Gary Underwood and a 26-yard field goal by Gerard Smith to lead, 10-3, at the end of the first quarter.
The college’s big second quarter began with a 1-yard touchdown run by Anderson with 12:06 showing. Hart came up big during the nine-play, 79-yard drive, as he totaled three catches for 57 yards.
After the Tribe’s defense forced a punt with a three-and-out on VU’s next possession, Anderson rattled off a career-long 71-yard touchdown scamper to give the college a 17-10 lead with 10:49 left in the second quarter.
A school-record 94-yard pick-six by Houston-Carson increased the margin to 24-10 midway through the quarter, while Cluley connected with Reeves on a 53-yard touchdown strike with 1:12 left before halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, W&M found the end zone again with a 1-yard run by Anderson – his third touchdown of the afternoon – to push the margin to 38-10. The 12-play, 40-yard drive began following an interception by Dykes.
Villanova’s lone score in the final 30 minutes came on a 6-yard touchdown run by Javon White with 7:41 remaining. Of Villanova’s 96 total yards in the second half, 62 came on the scoring drive.
The Tribe will return to action when it hosts No. 21/22 New Hampshire at Zable Stadium noon Oct. 17.