UNH FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. STONY BROOK 9/16
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THIS WEEK'S GAME :  The No. 1-ranked Wildcats defeated their second Division I-A opponent in three years with an impressive 34-17 victory over a Bowl Game team in Big 10 squad Northwestern University. Junior quarterback Ricky Santos was masterful, scoring on three TD runs of 1 yd apiece, while also throwing a pair of TD strikes to his favorite target in senior wide receiver David Ball (20 yds. and 13 yds.). UNH's defense came together quickly after struggling early in the first quarter and held the other Wildcats scoreless in the second half, after allowing two TDs in the first quarter, but no TDS in the final three. The new UNH offensive line clicked on all cylinders despite the fact that three of the men in the trenches were taking part in their first-ever start in a Big Ten stadium. Stony Brook is a I-AA team that is building for the future with a strong defense and a schedule that is not an easy one, as the squad is in the midst of a four-game road swing that includes top 25 squads UNH and Massachusetts. The Seawolves gave Hofstra a scare in their season-opener but lost 17-8 in a hard-fought battle and most recently lost on the road at Georgetown in a defensive battle, 7-0.  Wide receiver Mike Consentino is perhaps the team's best offensive player and he has 1 TD catch so far this season. Overall he has eight catches for 76 yds.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS. STONY BROOK: This will mark the first-ever meeting between these two schools, which are usually America East Conference rivals in men's and women's basketball and many other sports. Stony Brook has already played an Atlantic 10 Football Conference team in Hofstra, player UNH this week, and then will move on to play A-10 power Massachusetts.

SCOUTING STONY BROOK: The Seawolves enter the contest with an 0-2 record after suffering losses at the hands of Hofstra University (17-8) and at Georgetown (7-0). Running the offense has been quarterback Josh Dudash, who has completed 18 of 32 pass attempts for 149 yds and one TD.  The top rusher on the squad is Conte Cuttino with 14 carries for 52 yds and an average of 22. 5 ypg.. Leading the receivers has been Dwayne Elev with a team-high nine catches for 94 yds. Leading the defense in tackles has been Chris Merkle with 15 total tackles.

UNH FOOTBALL STUNS DIVISION I-A NORTHWESTERN, 34-17: Walter Payton Award candidates junior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) and senior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.) led the University of New Hampshire football team to a 34-17 win over Northwestern University at Ryan Field on Saturday afternoon. Santos finished the day with five touchdowns, two passing and three rushing and threw for 206 yards leading the Wildcat air attack on 18 of 24 passing.  Ball caught two touchdowns with seven receptions and 72 total receiving yards. Ball (47 touchdowns) needs only three touchdowns to tie Jerry Rice’s all-time I-AA touchdown record (50).  With 14:15 to play in the fourth quarter, Santos rushed one yard for this third rushing TD of the day to give UNH at 34-17 advantage after the PAT. With 1:26 left in the third quarter sophomore linebacker Matt Parent (Long Beach, Calif.) recovered a fumble on the NU 17 yd line after senior defensive back Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.) stripped the ball from a Northwestern player, which led to Santos’ third rushing touchdown of the day. UNH held the home team scoreless in the third quarter.  "The kids at this level want to prove they can play Division I guys," New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell said. "It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm still in shock a little," said Ball, on the verge of breaking some of Jerry Rice's I-AA records when he played at Mississippi Valley State. Graham also made a huge play with 5:07 remaining as he intercepted a pass by NU quarterback Mike Kafka. Graham totaled eight tackles on the day for the ‘Cats UNH drew first blood in the contest at 11:39 of the first quarter when a tremendous first drive went eight plays for 80 yards and was capped with 20 yd pass by Santos to Ball. It was the first TD given up by the Northwestern defense this season. On the ensuing kick off Northwestern muffed the kick and UNH got the ball on NU’s 14 yd line. Four plays later, Santos then scored to make it 13-0 UNH at 10:12 of the first quarter. Northwestern responded with a long run by Tyrell Sutton that set up a 7yd TD by Terrell Jordan and the UNH lead was cut to 13-7. Northwestern took the lead with 3:21 remaining in the first quarter, utilizing a 7-play 57 yard drive capped off by a six-yard touchdown run by Sutton.  Santos struck again at 13:50 of the second quarter when he dove one-yard to make the score 20-14 in favor of UNH. Santos engineered another exciting drive that included a fourth-down pass to junior Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) that kept the 14-play/77-yd drive alive. LeVan made seven catches for 77 yards in UNH’s opening game of the season, as he made several key catches in third down situations. A 35-yd field goal by NU’s Joel Howells closed the gap to 20-17 with 7:50 remaining before the half. UNH opened the lead to 10 points with just 1:07 left before the half as Santos completed a pass to Ball, who was heavily covered and was interfered with, but Ball made the catch anyway, as the ‘Cats led 27-17. It was another long drive for UNH, who drove for 81 yards on seven plays, including another big third-down catch by LeVan to keep the drive moving. At halftime, Santos had completed 17 of 21 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, both to Ball, while also rushing for two scores.  Junior running back Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) gained 62 yards on the ground on 21 rushing attempts. On the defensive side of the ball, junior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) led the UNH team with 10 tackles, while senior defensive tackle Brendan St. Peter (Marshfield, Mass.) and junior linebacker Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt.) all total eight tackles in the victory.

UNH HEAD COACH SEAN McDONNELL GOES 7-1 AS A HEAD COACH AT UNH IN SEASON-OPENERS: Under eighth-year head coach Sean McDonnell, UNH has posted a 7-1 record in season-opening contests., including this year's contest at Northwestern. The only season-opening loss during his tenure came in 2002, when the 'Cats lost to Division IA Kent State by a 34-7 margin in Ohio.

RICKY SANTOS AND COREY GRAHAM NAMED I-AA NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK BY THE SPORTS NETWORK AND ATLANTIC 10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (9/11/06):
Junior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) and senior defensive back Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.) were both honored this week for their outstanding efforts in the University of New Hampshire football team’s stunning 34-17 upset victory at Big Ten power Northwestern on Sept. 9.  Santos was named "The Sports Network's National Offensive  Player of the Week" and the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week, while Graham was named "The Sports Network's" National Defensive Player of the Week and the Atlantic 10 Defensive player of the Week.  Santos earned his eighth career Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week honor after completing 18 of 24 passes for 206 yds and two TDs., while also tying his career mark with three rushing TDs, (all three were 1 yd. dives). Both of his TD passes went to fellow Walter Payton Award candidate and senior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.) for 20 and 13 yds. This also marked the 17th time in his 26 career starts that Santos has tossed at least two TD passes. Ball now has 47 career TD receptions and needs just three more to tie Jerry Rice’s mark of 50, which is the NCAA I-AA record.  Graham earned Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career after collecting eight tackles, forcing a fumble that led to a TD and intercepting a pass at UNH’s own 2 yd line to preserve the win for the Wildcats with 5:07 remaining to play in the contest. The interception was the 11th of Graham’s outstanding career at UNH. This marked UNH’s second consecutive victory over a I-A team. UNH also defeated Rutgers back in 2004 by a 35-24 margin.

UNH DEFENSE PITCHES A SHUTOUT IN THE SECOND HALF VS. I-A NORTHWESTERN: The UNH defense started out slow in the first quarter of the game at Northwestern but did not allow a TD in the final three quarters of the contest. Leading the way for the defense was junior free safety Jeff Pammer with 10 total tackles, followed by three players with eight including: senior DL Brendan St. Peter, senior DB Corey Graham and senior linebacker Muji Karim. The defense also recorded an interception and two fumble recoveries for three turnovers in the contest. Sophomore linebacker Matt Parent and redshirt freshman defensive lineman T.J. Taylor each recovered fumbles.
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