Szczur carries 'Nova over Appalachian State, into semis
Boone, NC (Sports Network) - Matt Szczur ran for three touchdowns, passed for one score and caught another to help Villanova notch a 42-24 victory over top- seeded Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.
Szczur amassed 104 yards on 16 carries, threw for 58 and added 45 on five receptions for the Wildcats (9-4), who will play Eastern Washington, which took a 38-31 victory in overtime against North Dakota State on Saturday, in the semifinals next weekend.
Chris Whitney completed 12-of-16 tosses for 106 yards with a touchdown and ran for another score as Villanova, the defending national champions, improved to 2-6 all-time in road playoff games. The program's first road win came last Saturday against Stephen F. Austin.
DeAndre Presley threw a pair of second-half touchdowns for the Mountaineers (10-3). Presley connected on 31-of-56 passes with one interception.
Appalachian State scored on the game's opening drive, with Travaris Cadet's 46-yard run. The Wildcats countered on their first possession as Szczur capped a 12-play drive with a two-yard TD run.
A 74-yard catch-and-run by Devon Moore set the Mountaineers up at the Villanova five-yard line. Appalachian State was forced to settled for a 19- yard Jason Vitaris field goal.
The Wildcats regained the lead on Szczur's 54-yard touchdown pass to Norman White with 21 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and the margin grew to 21-10 when Szczur hauled in a 30-yard pass from Whitney.
After the Mountaineers turned the ball over on downs at the Villanova 39, Szczur capped the ensuing possession with a 24-yard dash to the end zone, giving the Wildcats a 28-10 halftime lead.
Presley's 14-yard touchdown pass to Ben Jorden accounted for all the points in the third quarter.
Szczur scored on a one-yard TD run early in the final stanza before Presley responded with a 38-yard TD pass to Brian Quick. But Whitney ended any chance of a comeback by scrambling for a five-yard touchdown.
12/11 19:17:29 ET