DURHAM, N.H. -- The second-ranked University of New Hampshire football team ran for 280 yards and passed for 267 more and utilized that balanced attack to record Saturday afternoon's 49-20 non-conference victory against intrastate rival Dartmouth College at Cowell Stadium. UNH has now won the Granite Bowl Trophy each of the six years since its inaugural presentation to the winner of this matchup in 2000.
UNH, undefeated at 13-0-2 in this series dating back to 1979, improved to 3-0 this season while Dartmouth fell to 1-1. The 49 points was the most scored by the Wildcats vs. the Big Green since 1986, when they scored 66 points, and the 29-point margin of victory was the largest in the series since 1987, when the 'Cats were 41-3 victors.
Trailing 10-7 midway through the first quarter, UNH closed the first half with a 28-point run to build a 35-10 halftime lead. Quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) began the spurt with a 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Wildcats the lead for good, 14-10, at 5:46 of the first quarter.
Santos, who completed 24 of 32 attempts for 267 yards and also rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, threw one of his three TD passes with a 10-yard scoring pass to David Ball (Orange, Vt.; four catches-64 yards) that extended the lead to 21-10 at 14:21 of the second quarter. A 13-yard touchdown run by Matt O'Brien (Cambridge, Mass.; 14 carries-58 yards) upped the advantage to 28-10 at 5:12, then a 47-yard punt return by Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.; 8 rushes-55 yards) set up a 28-yard TD pass from Santos to Ball with 1:42 remaining in the second quarter.
On the opening kick of the second half, UNH's Etienne Boulay (Montreal, Quebec) forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.) at the DC 32-yard line. Three plays later, Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) scored on a seven-yard run to give New Hampshire a 42-10 lead 50 seconds into the third quarter.
Erik Hinterbichler, whose 44-yard field goal pulled DC within 7-3 in the first quarter, kicked a 29-yard field goal attempt between the uprights to trim the deficit to 42-13 at 8:56. Boyle capped UNH's scoring with an eight-yard scamper at 2:08 and Brett Lowe closed the game scoring with a three-yard TD reception from Joshua Cohen at 4:12.
The Wildcats' Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) was the game's leading rusher with 59 yards on 11 carries. He also had five catches for 52 yards.