Villanova scores opening 24 points, cruises by Lehigh 45-17

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Connor Watkins was 11-of-15 passing for 298 yards and three touchdowns, and Villanova scored the opening 24 points in routing Lehigh 45-17 on Friday night.

Villanova, which has won 10 straight in the series, is coming off a 10-3 season that ended in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. Watkins took over for three-year starter Daniel Smith.

Watkins threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as Villanova led 31-14. Watkins had scoring plays of 66 yards to Dez Boykin and 68 yards to Jaaron Hayek. Hayek had four catches for 125 yards and two scores in the first half.

Hayek finished with six receptions, 141 yards and two touchdowns for Villanova. Watkins, Jalen Jackson and DeeWil Barlee each ran for a score.

Dante Perri was 22 of 39 for 227 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Lehigh. Jalen Burbage caught eight passes for 106 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left before halftime.

It was a season opener for both teams.


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