. – In a torrential rain driven by strong winds, the 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire football team opened the game with a touchdown drive and went on to defeat Hofstra University, 10-6, at Cowell Stadium.
    UNH improved to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Atlantic 10. Hofstra is now 2-6, 1-4.
    Due to the inclement weather conditions, 88 of the 103 offensive plays in the game were rushing attempts. The Wildcats rushed the ball 50 times for 129 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown run by Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) at 10:28 of the first quarter. The Pride carried the ball 38 times for 40 yards.
    Ward’s TD run was the longest offensive play from scrimmage by either team until the closing minute of the game, when Hofstra reserve quarterback Dennis Davis completed a 27-yard pass to Shaine Smith.
On UNH’s second possession of the game, a wind-aided 40-yard field goal attempt by Tom Manning (Rome, N.Y.) sailed wide right. The Pride’s Rob Zarrilli lined up for a 45-yard field goal attempt with 5:00 remaining in the first half, but a bad snap prevented the attempt and UNH gained possession on downs.
    New Hampshire led 7-0 at halftime with 86 yards on 26 plays from scrimmage. Hofstra amassed just 34 yards on 25 plays.
Early in the third quarter, a 30-yard punt return by Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.) gave the Wildcats possession at the Hofstra 18. UNH advanced the ball to the Hofstra 4 and Tom Bishop (Newfield, N.Y.) converted a 20-yard field goal attempt to give the Wildcats a 10-0 lead at 7:14.
    Late in the fourth quarter, HU’s Eric Taylor blocked a UNH punt to give the Pride possession on the UNH 30. Davis connected with Smith to give the visitors 1st-and-goal at the UNH 3 and on the next play Davis threw a jump ball to the left corner that was snared by Smith for the touchdown with 42 seconds to play. The snap on the PAT was mishandled and Zarrilli’s kick was driven low into his linemen.
Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif.) carried the ball 28 times for a game-high 65 yards. Ward finished with 51 yards on 16 carries. UNH quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) was 1-of-3 for 11 yards; he also had 13 rushing yards on three attempts.
    Hofstra’s Kareem Higgins had 42 yards on 17 carries. Davis went 2-for-5 for 30 yards in his relief action in the fourth quarter. Starting quarterback Anton Clarkson finished 1-of-5 for three yards.
UNH’s defensive effort was led by Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.), who had 11 tackles. Hofstra’s Gian Villante finished with a game-high 15 tackles.
    New Hampshire returns to action at home next weekend against fourth-ranked University of Massachusetts. Game time at Cowell Stadium is 12 p.m.
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