PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network — New Hampshire wide receiver David Ball scored three receiving touchdowns to match Jerry Rice’s I-AA career record of 50 and help lead the No. 1 Wildcats to a 56-14 victory at Dartmouth on Saturday. With the win, New Hampshire remains at No. 1 in The Sports Network I-AA top 25. The Wildcats garnered 80 of a possible 104 first-place votes and 2,574 points to take home the No. 1 spot for the third week in a row. Ball will try to break the I-AA reception touchdown mark and the Wildcats will try to maintain their ranking when they travel to No. 17 Delaware on Saturday.

Appalachian State holds on to the No. 2 spot in the rankings, with the same number of first-place votes (22) that it received a week ago. The Mountaineers beat Gardner-Webb, 41-6, to move to 3-1 for the season and sit 81 points behind New Hampshire for the top spot. Furman and Montana are both up one position, to No. 3 and No. 4 respectively, after posting blowout victories. No. 5 Cal Poly dropped two places after a 17-7 loss at I-A San Jose State.

The next five places in the rankings remain the same. No. 6 Illinois State, No. 7 Richmond, No. 8 Youngstown State, No. 9 Massachusetts and No. 10 Southern Illinois all posted victories to hold their position.

North Dakota State’s three-spot move was the biggest within the poll, as the Bison benefit from a 29-24 victory at I-A Ball State to take the No. 11 position. Hampton is just four points behind at No. 12, with Northern Iowa at No. 13, Portland State at No. 14 and James Madison coming in at No. 15.

McNeese State slipped three places to No. 16 after losing at I-A Toledo, and is followed by No. 17 Delaware, No. 18 UC Davis, No. 19 Towson and No. 20 Eastern Illinois.

For the second week in a row, new entrants occupy four of the five final spots in the rankings. No. 21 Western Illinois, No. 22 Harvard, No. 23 Albany and No. 25 Northern Arizona all debut in the rankings this week, with No. 24 Western Carolina holding in the poll but dropping two spots.

Albany is ranked for the first time in school history and becomes the second Northeast Conference school to earn a top 25 nod. The Great Danes knocked off Central Connecticut State, the first ranked NEC team, to earn a spot in the poll. Western Illinois and Northern Arizona are ranked for the first time since 2004, while Harvard was in the top 25 last year.

21 of the poll’s 25 teams will be in action this weekend, with a pair of games between ranked teams. In addition to New Hampshire’s visit to Delaware, No. 4 Montana travels to No. 14 Portland State.
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