DURHAM, N.H.--The University of New Hampshire football team will be holding its annual Blue/White Scrimmage on Sat., May 11. Game time is 1 p.m. at Cowell Stadium.
The contest marks the end of spring practice for the football team and provides an exciting opportunity for fans and media to get a glimpse of the returning players on next year's roster.
Some of the key storylines for this year's game include the battle for the starting quarterback job with the two frontrunners being senior Michael Hurley (Walpole, Mass.) and sophomore Mike Granieri (Lindwood, N.J.). Hurley is listed as the starter heading into the contest and Granieri is the backup, however, both will see playing time on Saturday.
The Wildcats also return one of the most exciting players in the Atlantic 10 Football Conference in senior running back Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.). Lewis, a top 10 finalist last season for the Walter Payton Award and a third-team All-Atlantic 10 selection, returns for his all-important senior season. In 2001, he carried the football 249 times for a career-best 1,390 yards and 14 TDs. He was among the nation's leaders in rushing (126.36 ypg.), scoring (10.91 ppg.), and all-purpose yardage (217.09 ypg.). Look for him to be a factor in the hunt for the Walter Payton Award and he is expected to be a strong candidate for preseason All-America honors as well.
The Wildcat defense will have a new look to it as the coaching staff has revamped all areas with somewhat younger and speedier talent which should translate into a much improved ability to keep opponents out of the endzone. However, it will be two veterans that will be the glue that holds the defense together.
One of the key players to watch on the defensive side of the football is senior defensive end Kane Anderson (Bomeseen, Vt.), who was second on the squad in tackles (34-37-71) last season and led the squad in sacks with six for a loss of 30 yards.
Another key returning candidate with the ability to garner pre-season honors is senior free safety Czar Wiley (North Bergen, N.H.). Wiley led the defense in tackles in 2001 (48-29-77) and was second on the squad in interceptions with three.
Also back this season on offense is the Wildcats' top returning receiver in senior Michael Taylor (Allentown, Pa.). Taylor recorded team-bests with 57 receptions for780 yards and five touchdowns. Admission to the game is free. The first half is expected to be played like a regular game and the second half could vary depending on the coaching staff. In the past, the third and fourth quarters were sometimes played with running time on the clock. If the weather is not favorable, the fourth quarter could also be canceled altogether by head coach Sean McDonnell.