By Sarah Paley
Connor Watkins threw four touchdown passes to Jaaron Hayek and Villanova breezed to a 45-20 victory at Maine.
Villanova (3-2, 1-1 Colonial Athletic Association), ranked 14th in the FCS coaches poll, grabbed a 10-0 lead on Matthew Mercurio’s 39-yard field goal and Jalen Jackson’s 5-yard touchdown run.
Jay Fagnano connected with Montigo Moss for a 9-yard touchdown to pull Maine (0-4, 0-1) within 10-7 after one quarter.
Watkins’ first touchdown pass was a 4-yarder to Hayek, pushing the Wildcats’ lead to 17-7 midway through the second quarter. Watkins and Hayek teamed up for an 83-yard score on their next possession and closed out the first half with an 18-yarder, pushing Villanova’s lead to 31-14.
Watkins fired a 42-yard scoring strike to Hayek for the only score of the third quarter.
Hayek’s four touchdown receptions ties former teammate Changa Hodge (2019) for the second most in school history. Mike Siani caught five touchdown passes against Xavier in 1971.
Watkins completed 13 of 16 passes for 255 yards. Hayek finished with five receptions for 159 yards.
Fagnano completed 24 of 38 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns with one interception – a 23-yard pick-6 by Jalen Goodman. Running back Elijah Barnwell threw a 9-yard TD pass to Shawn Bowman in the fourth quarter. Zavier Scott had the other touchdown catch – a 30-yarder.