DURHAM, N.H.--Sophomore quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) and the UNH offensive unit compiled 965 yards (647 passing and 318 rushing) of offense as the squad scored 54 points in the annual Fall Blue/White scrimmage Thursday afternoon at Cowell Stadium.
Santos seemed to make all of the right decisions in the game, completing 26-32 passes for 351 yards and 2 TDs, mostly in the first half of the scrimmage. Santos did not give up a single sack thanks to solid protection by the offensive line, and did not throw any interceptions. In one stretch during the contest, Santos completed 15 consecutive passes.
Santos and the other quarterbacks utilized their skill players well. Leading the receivers was redshirt freshman Michael Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.) who made 10 catches for 212 yards and scored one TD, an 83-yarder from freshman Hank Hendricks (San Diego, Calif.). Boyle also caught a 60-yard bomb from Santos. Senior tight end Jon Williams (Rochester, N.Y.) made nine catches for 92 yards with one TD. Junior wide receiver Matt Henry (Creskill, N.J.), who is also a punter, made seven catches for 86 yards and sophomore wide receiver Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) scored twice with a 37-yarder and a 28-yarder from Santos, while also catching six passes for 75 yards. Junior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.) saw very limited action, making one catch for 12 yards.
The running game also was strong in the early going as senior John McCoy (Groton, Conn.) carried the ball 16 times for 65 yards and scored two TDs. He also caught four passes for 31 yards. He did not play most of the second half. Sophomore running back Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) proved to also be a capable runner, with 12 rushes for 54 yards on the day.
The battle for the backup job at quarterback is still open, as both Hendricks and sophomore Bruce Elia (Tenafly, N.J.) both performed well. Hendricks finished the afternoon completing 8-17 passes for 165 yards and 1 TD, while Elia finished the day completing 13-25 passes for 123 yards and 1 TD. Elia also ran the football very well, carrying it 12 times for 81 yards, including a 31-yd touchdown jaunt.
Defensively, the bright spots for UNH included the efforts of junior defensive back Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.). Graham was second on the squad in tackles with seven but made the big play of the day when he recorded one of UNH's three interceptions and returned it 95 yards for a defensive touchdown. Also recording interceptions for the Wildcats were junior safety Muji Karim (Burlington, Vt.) and freshman defensive back John Clements (Hammonton, N.J.) who grabbed one with a return of 12 yards and also forced a fumble.
The team's leader in tackles was redshirt freshman defensive back Maurice Duper (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) with six unassisted tackles and four assists for a total of 10 on the afternoon.
The lone sack of the day was recorded by sophomore defensive end Marvin Wright (Roxbury, Mass.) for a loss of five yards.
The No. 7-ranked UNH football team will open the season on Sat., Sept. 3 at UC Davis. Game time is 6 p.m. Pacific Time. (9 p.m. Eastern Time). The game can be heard live on the UNH Sports Radio Network.