Game plays

Passing game plays increased role in Tribe’s 45-12 win over Villanova

Senior running back Donavyn Lester rushes with the ball in the Tribe’s 40-12 win over Villanova on Saturday, November 12. He finished the game with 68 rushing yards. SAMUEL LI // THE FLAT HAT

On Saturday, November 12, William and Mary Football (9-1, 6-1 CAA) defeated Villanova (5-5, 3-4 CAA) 45-12 in the Veterans Memorial Game on Senior Day. The tribe had one of their best performances this season and showcased their overall offensive and defensive strengths.

The offense ended with 582 yards, scoring a season high and the best program since 2010. Sophomore quarterback Darius Wilson led the Tribe with 211 passing yards and three touchdowns, scoring a confidence unusual in the tribe’s passing game.

Wilson also broke away from the defense on a 55-yard run in the second quarter to score the Tribe’s third touchdown of the game. At the ensuing Tribe practice, Wilson switched to second-year wide receiver Tyler Rose who scored the 87-yard touchdown.

The Tribe defense put in another solid performance, limiting Villanova to just two field goals in the first 55 minutes of the game. Additionally, the defensive line limited Villanova’s rushing game to 138 yards, compared to the Tribe’s 371 rushing yards. William and Mary averaged 4.9 meters per ground run,

Villanova graduate student kicker Matthew Mercurio scored both field goals for the Wildcats from 45 and 26 yards, respectively.

This match proved historic, as the tribe’s 33-point victory was the biggest points differential against Villanova since 1999. William and Mary also took better care of the football on Saturday, as he did not return the ball for the third time this season. . Turnovers have plagued the Tribe in each of their last two games against Rhode Island and Hampton. It also marked a record season in points and team rushing yards.

Senior running back Bronson Yoder celebrated his final home game of the regular season with 133 rushing yards, making it the third straight game he’s rushed for more than 100 yards. Yoder needs just 28 more yards to join the 1,000-yard club this season, which would make him the first player since 2016 to join the club. Additionally, Yoder is tied for 9th in program history in total games with 100+ rushing yards.

The tribe’s next game is at Richmond (8-2, 6-1 CAA) on Saturday, November 19.

Correction (11/17): William and Mary beat Villanova 45-12. An earlier version of this article’s title said the score was 40-12.