DURHAM, N.H.—The University of New Hampshire football coaching staff had an opportunity to see some new faces in a game situation on Friday at the Wildcats’ annual Blue/White scrimmage.
Several starters and key players were held out of the scrimmage due to injury and as a result many younger players got the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Junior running back Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) showed his ability to both run the football and catch as he rushed the football eight times for 32 yards and led the Wildcats in receptions with 10 catches for 84 yards. Ward scored on a 2 yd touchdown plunge with 5:50 left in the second quarter.
Junior quarterback and Walter Payton Award candidate Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) saw limited action, but completed 18 of 24 passes for 164 yds.
Santos and the QBs saw many different players at wide receiver, including senior Walter Payton Award candidate David Ball (Orange, Vt.), who saw very limited action with no catches. Taking advantage of the extra playing time was senior wide receiver and Granite-Stater Evan Loring (Chocoura, N.H.), who played at Kennett High School. Loring finished the afternoon with six catches for 53 yards. Another highlight of the afternoon was the play of freshman tight end Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) as he caught three passes for 71 yds with a long catch of 36 yds. He was playing for injured senior tight end Sean Lynch (Salem, N.H.).
The Wildcats, who kept the football on the ground more than usual utilized six different running backs on the day. In addition to Ward, freshman running back Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif. ) ran hard and was impressive, leading all running backs with 87 yards on 12 carries. Two other running backs scored touchdowns, including sophomore Robert Simpson (Brockton, Mass.) who scored on a 7 yd. TD play and finished with eight carries for 73 yards. Local freshman product Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H.) also had a good day for the ‘Cats with a 13 yd touchdown run, while he also rushed 9 times for 46 yds.
In addition to Santos, three other quarterbacks saw action. Backup QB Hank Hendricks (San Diego, Calif.) completed 8 of 15 passes for 134 yds and one interception, the only one of the day for UNH. In addition freshman QB R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) completed 9 of 17 passes for 88 yds.
Redshirt freshman kicker Tom Manning (Rome, N.Y.) kicked a pair of field goals, one for 37 yds and the other for 22.
The defense put good pressure on the UNH quarterbacks and the Wildcat defensive backfield did not allow a single passing touchdown on the afternoon. In fact the defense allowed only 434 passing yards and allowed the offense to score just 26 points.
The lone interception was recorded by redshirt freshman defensive end Kevin Peters (Pleasantville, N.J.).