UNH FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. MARSHALL (9/15)
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UNH FOOTBALL FACES TOUGH FBS OPPONENT IN MARSHALL UNIVERISTY: The No. 12-ranked University of New Hampshire football team is not only looking to bounce back from a very tough CAA conference loss, but they are looking to bounce back against a very talented and physical team in Marshall University. The Herd is 0-2 but the team had its hand full in losses against Miami (Fla.) in a 31-3 loss and against in-state power West Virginia (48-23). Marshall hung in there and held a 16-13 lead well into the third quarter. However WV erupted for 42 points in the second half to earn the victory. Leading Marshall offensively this season has been the trio of quarterback Bernard Orris and receivers Cody Late and Darius Passmore, as the two receivers each have a TD from Orris. For UNH, senior quarterback Ricky Santos put up good numbers in the loss, completing 36 of 47 passes for 353 yds and two TDs, while also running for a 26-yarder.  Santos threw to seven different receivers on the day with three, TE Scott Sicko, WR Keith LeVan, and RB Robert Simpson all making seven catches. Defensively, a another trio of players, DB Terrence Klein, FS Jeff Pammer and LB Husain Karim all led the way with 12 total tackles apiece. UNH has beaten its last two FBS opponents, defeating Rugters in 2004 (35-24) and Northwestern last season (34-17).

RICKY SANTOS  BECOMES THE ALL-TIME CAA LEADER FOR CAREER TOUCHDOWNS AND CAREER COMPLETIONS: Senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) became the CAA's all-time TD passing leader on Sept. 8 after throwing for a pair of TDs against the Dukes. The previous mark was 99 set by Villanova's Chris Boden. Santos now has 101 passing TDs heading into the game at Marshall. Santos also became the CAA leader for completions. He needed just three more vs. JMU to surpass the mark of 868 set by Boden. Santos completed 36 of 47 passes for 353 yds and enters the game at Marshall with 902 completions. Santos, a concensus FCS All-American, was named the preseason CAA Offensive Player of the Year and is looking to become the first ever player to win the Walter Payton award twice. He won the honor in 2006 and just missed winning in 2005 by just five points in the closest voting ever for the honor. A senior co-captain, Santos is on pace to become one of the top five quarterbacks in the history of FCS football.

THE LAST TIME OUT (JMU OUTLASTS UNH, 41-24):  The James Madison University football team ended a hard-fought game with 24 unanswered points in the second half to lead the Dukes to a 41-24 victory over the University of New Hampshire at Bridgeforth Stadium on Saturday afternoon. UNH senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) had a solid game, throwing for two TDs and running for a 26-yarder. His first TD pass of the contest gave Santos his 100th career TD breaking the all-time CAA mark. He also became the all-time CAA leader in completions, surpassing the total of 868 by Villanova’s Chris Boden. The Wildcats 0-1, 0-1 CAA drew first blood following a big fumble recovery by sophomore defensive lineman T.J. Taylor (Erie Pa.). UNH then scored on a 19 yd TD pass by senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) to junior wide receive Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.). The play capped off a 10 play 55 yd drive that lasted 4:21. The Dukes, 1-1, 1-0 CAA, answered quickly at 4:20 of the first quarter with a 36 yd field goal by Dave Stannard, the first of his career, making the score 7-3 in favor of UNH. Senior punt returner Jeff Pammer returned a punt 48 yds to give UNH the ball on the JMU 7 yd line. UNH drove to the JMU 1 yd line and was forced to kick an 18 yd field goal by sophomore Tom Manning (Rome, N.Y). to give the Wildcats a 10-3 advantage at 11;19 of the second stanza. JMU tied the game with 6:00 remaining in the second quarter on a 5 yd run by Antoinne Bolton. Santos then engineered an exciting 9 play 71 yd drive capped off with a 3 yd TD pass by Santos to senior wide receiver Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass. ) to give the Wildcats a 17-10 advantage with just 1:16 to play before the half. JMU had a final shot with 20 seconds to go and scored from the 9 yd line on a run by quarterback Rodney Landers to tie the score, 17-17. heading into the intermission. Santos regained the lead for UNH in the opening drive of the second half with a gutsy 26 yard run that included broken tackles and cutting across field for the score giving the Wildcats the 24-17 lead with 12:54 to play in the third quarter. JMU tied the game 24-24 at 6:25 of the third quarter on a 6 yd TD run by Landers as the home team took advantage of a Santos intercepted throw. JMU took a 31-24 lead with 1:29 to play in the third quarter on an 11 yard TD pass from Landers to Eugene Holloman. The Dukes put together another long drive and Stennard kicked his second field goal of the day with 8:30 to play in the game and open up a 10-point 34-24 advantage for JMU. Bolton scored his second TD of the day with 3:13 to play in the game to end the scoring. Santos finished the day 36 of 47 in passing for 353 yds. He also ran 8 times for 37 yards. Leading the way for the receivers was sophomore Scott Sicko with 7 catches for 81 yds. Also with seven catches was LeVan with 66 yds and junior Bobby Simpson (Brockton, Mass.) for 53 yds. The top rusher for the ‘Cats was Santos. On the defensive side of the football, three players led the squad with 12 total tackles (Pammer, Husain Karim and Terrance Klein).

THE SERIES VS. MARSHALL: UNH and Marshall have met only once in the all-time series. The two teams met in the season-opener for UNH back on Sept. 7, 1991 and The Herd edged the Wildcats in that initial meeting by a 24-23 margin. UNH is no stranger to playing teams from the FBS. UNH has won its last two contests vs. teams from the FBS, defeating Rugters in 2004 (35-24) and topping Northwestern last season (34-17).

THREE TIMES A DOZEN:  The top three tacklers on the UNH defense each had a total of a dozen tackles in the contest at James Madision. Sophomore DB Terrance Klein (Westwood, N.J.), senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) and senior linebacker Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt. each posted a dozen tackles. It was a career high for Klein.

THERE'S A NEW TIGHT END IN TOWN: Announcers at the JMU game got a big kick out of announcing the catches of sophomore tight end Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) and they had the opportunity to say his name often. The 6-3, 225-pounder showed off his pass-catching abilities in the contest as UNH's top receiver, making seven catches for 81 yds, including an impressive 35 yd catch and run in the contest.

UNH DEFENSE FINDS ITS WAY INTO THE JMU BACKFIELD: While the UNH defense was not happy with its second half results, it was happy that it managed to make seven tackles for a loss of 23 yards and posted a sack for a loss of three yards (credited to Hugo Souza and Matt Perdoni). In addition T.J. Taylor had a huge fumble recovery that led to UNH's first TD and linebacker Matt Parent forced one fumble.

THE UNH OFFENSVE CONTINUES TO PRODUCE BIG YARDAGE NUMBERS: The UNH offense continued its practice of posting big numbers in its first game of 2007. The Wildcats produced an eye-popping 432 net yards in the loss at James Madison. Last season UNH averaged 401.1 yards per contest.

WILDCATS THE ONLY TEAM IN CAA FOOTBALL HISTORY TO ADVANCE TO THE NCAA QUARTERFINALS THREE CONSECUTIVE TIMES: The University of New Hampshire football team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third consecutive time last season and is the only team in the history of CAA football ever to accomplish that feat.

UNH FOOTBALL BOASTS A 30-10 RECORD OVER THE PAST FOUR SEASONS: The UNH Wildcats have enjoyed impressive success over the past four seasons, posting an impressive record of 30-10 during that timespan under head coach Sean McDonnell.

UNH'S BRAND NEW FIELDTURF PLAYING SURFACE AT COWELL STADIUM SET FOR DEBUT ON SEPT 22 WHEN UNH BATTLES DARTMOUTH:  Construction on UNH's brand new state-of-the art Field Turf playing surface is winding down and the Wildcats are excited to play their first game on the new field on Sept. 22 when the squad battles Dartmouth. The new field was made possible thanks to a generous given by UNH alum Ed Fish. The new field is exactly the same as the field used by the NFLs New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

UNH'S BRAND NEW AWAY UNIFORMS MADE THEIR DEBUT ON CN8-TV AT JMU: UNH fans got their first look at UNH's new away football jersey last week when the contest was carried live on CN8.

WATCH ALL UNH FOOTBALL HOME GAMES AT UNHWILDCATS.TV: Can't make it to the game? Now you can follow the action of UNH Athletics live on your computer. UNH has partnered with Pack Network to provide online video streaming of UNH’s seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2007-08 season. UNH fans are encouraged to buy the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides not only all the live coverage of various UNH home athletic events, but also premium content not available to view without the All-Access Pass. The premium content includes a behind-the-scenes look at UNH athletics through player and coaches interviews, highlights, podcasts, select post-game interviews and an in-depth archive section of all video available on UNHwildcats.TV. Fans can also purchase home events on a per-game basis for $6.95. The UNHwildcats.TV website will regularly have live UNH football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, volleyball and gymnastics. Want to learn more? Chick out the tile on the front page of wwwlunhwildcats.com where you can sign up or e-mail any questions and comments you may have to info@UNHwildcats.TV.

UNH FOOTBALL PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN CAA NORTH DIVISION; SANTOS AND PAMMER NAMED TO FIRST-TEAM PRESEASON ALL-CAA SQUAD:  The University of New Hampshire football team was picked to finish second in the North Division of the Colonial Athletic Association, according to the coaches and media poll released Wed. July 25, at the inaugural CAA Media Day held at the ESPN Zone in downtown Baltimore. The Wildcats were ranked second behind University of Massachusetts, the team that won the conference title in 2006 and went on to play in the FCS championship contest vs. national champion Appalachian State.  UMass received a conference-best 15 first-place votes as the favorite to win the CAA outright, followed in the North by UNH (8 first-place votes), Maine, Northeastern, Hofstra and Rhode Island. In the South Division, James Madison is the favorite with 11 first-place votes, followed closely by Delaware (10), Towson (1), Richmond, Villanova and William & Mary. The biggest UNH news of the day was the naming of UNH senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) as the CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Santos, last year’s Walter Payton Award winner and conference Player of the Year, has passed for over 10,000 yards at UNH and needs just one more TD to break the all-time conference record of 99 career TD passes and reach the 100 mark. He has also completed 67 percent of his passes and will be vying for several NCAA passing records this season. Also honored by the CAA coaches and media was senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.), who finished as UNH’s second-leading tackler in 2006. He is presently poised to break into UNH’s all-time top 10 list for career tackles with 229 for the Wildcats heading into his senior campaign. Santos and Pammer are members of the 2007 preseason CAA first-team squad. There was no second or third team selected.

HIGH-SCORING AIR GAME AND YOUNG, OPPORTUNISTIC DEFENSE HIGHLIGHT THIS YEAR'S BLUE/WHITE FALL SCRIMMAGE (Aug 30):  UNH played its annual fall Blue/White scrimmage on Thursday afternoon and the team excelled in many areas, including an explosive aerial game, young defenders making big plays, and the punting game. The UNH offense scored seven touchdowns on the day, all through the air. Leading the way in the first half was senior Walter Payton Award winner/candidate Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.), who completed 15 of 22 passes for 252 yds. and three TDs of 24, 14 and 8 yds. in limited action. Senior wide receiver Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) was a key target, making six catches for 114 yds. and two 2 TDs  of 24 and 14 yds.  The coaching staff also got a good look at other young receivers in the contest, including strong efforts by freshman J.T. Wright (Agoura Hills, Calif.) who made six catches for 60 yds. Also playing well for the ‘Cats was redshirt freshman receiver Chris Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) with three catches for 69 yds and an 8 yd. touchdown. Freshman wide receiver Terrence Fox (Piscataway, N.J.) also opened some eyes with his  three catches for 42 yards, including a 9 yd. TD catch. The running back corps was depleted due to injuries, but standing out were junior Kaysonne Anderson (Belmar, N.J.) with 11 carries for 68 yards and junior Robert Simpson (Brockton, Mass.) was strong for UNH with five rushes for 32 yds.  Looking at the punting game for UNH, the highlight was the play of junior Tom Bishop (Newfield, N.Y.) as he booted four punts over 40 yds, including two that went for 47 yds. UNH kickers also made all attempted PATS.  On the defensive side of the football, UNH recorded three interceptions by relatively young players. Redshirt freshmen Jamie Cosgrove (Sharon, Mass.), Dino Vasso (Crum Lynne, Pa.) and Bryan Mayhew (Plymouth, N.H.) all picked off passes for the ‘Cats.  The Wildcat defense also kept the quarterbacks scrambling, posting four sacks, including two by freshman defensive lineman John Murray (Aston, Pa.) for losses of 1 yd. and 7 yds. Junior linebacker Matt Parent (Long Beach, Calif.) and senior linebacker Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt.) each had sacks as well. Leading the team in tackles for the day were redshirt freshman defensive lineman Steve Young (Rochester, N.H.) and redshirt freshman Devon Jackson (Williamstown, N.J.) each had six tackles on the afternoon.

2006 WALTER PAYTON AWARD WINNER RICKY SANTOS NAMED TO "PAYTON WATCH"; LOOKS TO BECOME FIRST PLAYER EVER TO WIN THE HONOR TWICE: Ricky Santos, the 2006 Walter Payton Award winner, heads up a stellar class of 16 candidates making up the first Payton Award watch list of the 2007 season. Santos is seeking to become the first player to repeat as a Payton winner. The only person to ever repeat, or win one of the major Football Championship Subdivision awards twice, is ex- Appalachian State linebacker Dexter Coakley. Coakley, who went on to a 10-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams and was a three-time Pro Bowler, won the first two Buck Buchanan Awards as the top defensive player in 1995-96. The Payton Award has been given since 1987. The 2007 Payton Award will be presented in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Dec. 13, the night before the FCS national championship game. Joining Santos on the Payton watch list are three players who were finalists for the 2006 Payton Award, Furman fullback Jerome Felton, San Diego quarterback Josh Johnson and Appalachian State running back Kevin Richardson. Delaware running back Omar Cuff, Montana running back Lex Hilliard and Northern Iowa quarterback Eric Sanders are three other players who have been apart of the Payton watch in past seasons that have returned in 2007. Both Cuff and Hilliard suffered through injury-plagues years in 2006.

HERE'S WHAT IT TOOK FOR RICKY SANTOS WON THE WALTER PAYTON AWARD IN 2006: Ricky Santos threw for 2,681 yards and 23 touchdowns and ran for 385 yards and 12 scores in the regular season, and directed a New Hampshire offense that threw for 249.6 yards per game and ranked third nationally with 36.5 ppg. Santos tossed only five interceptions all season, and led the Wildcats to the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Santos excelled in the first round of the postseason as well, as he threw for 318 yards and five touchdown passes to lead New Hampshire past Hampton, 41-38. Santos got off to a fast start with five total touchdowns to lead New Hampshire to a 34-17 victory at Northwestern. He also notched five passing touchdowns in a win against Dartmouth, and exploded with five total touchdowns and 391 yards of total offense to lead the Wildcats to a 52-49 victory in a shootout against Delaware. He helped the Wildcats to a 5-0 start and the No. 1 ranking in the country for the first half of the season. Santos recorded 458 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns in a 36-35 loss in overtime at Northeastern, and continued to play well even while the Wildcats lost three out of four games. With his team’s playoff fate on the line, Santos once again notched five total touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Rhode Island, 63-21, and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns to lift New Hampshire to a playoff spot with a 19-13 victory in overtime over Maine. Only a junior, Santos completed the regular season with 9,796 passing yards, 93 touchdown passes and only 24 interceptions in his career, and then added six more touchdown passes in the playoffs.

UNH FOOTBALL HAS THE LONGEST STREAK OF WEEKLY APPEARANCES IN THE TOP 25 AMONG ALL CAA TEAMS: The Wildcats lead the entire Atlantic 10 in the number of consecutive appearances in the Sports Network Top 25 with 43, including five straight weekly appearances at No. 1 in 2006. UNH has been in the top 25 dating all the way back to Sept. 6, 2004.

1. New Hampshire (43)
2. Massachusetts (30)
KEITH LeVAN PICKED AS "MR. ANONYMOUS" BY THE   COLLEGE SPORTING NEWS AS HE PREPARES TO TRY AND FILL THE BIG SHOES VACATED BY DAVID BALL: Senior wide receiver Keith LeVan is a deceivingly good football player. Last season he made 70 catches for 672 yds and caught five for touchdowns. He can also run the football. Perhaps no receiver in I-AA football was overshadowed more than LeVan, who played behind Jerry Rice TD record-breaker David Ball. That is why the College Sports Network listed LeVan as a "Mr. Anonymous", or one of the players most likely to rise from anonymity to a higher state of recognition. He is expected to be one of Ricky Santos' primary passing targets this season and has been throughout fall camp. LeVan was a third-team all-conference pick in 2006.

RB CHAD KACKERT WINS TWO STRAIGHT DOWN THE STRETCH FOR 'CATS IN 2006 WITH GAME-WINNING TOUCHDOWNS: Freshman running back Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif.) as a big-play running back for the 'Cats at the end of the 2006 season, which bodes well for UNH in 2007. No plays were bigger than the two game-winning touchdowns he had at Maine and at Hampton. Against Hampton, Kackert caught a 25-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham,  Mass.) with just 4:40 to play and the Wildcats down by a 35-34 score to capture the NCAA first-round victory.  In the Maine game, Kackert's only run was for a 6 yard touchdown in the first session of overtime to earn the Wildcats the 19-13 win.

FREE SAFETY JEFF PAMMER POISED TO MOVE INTO UNH'S ALL-TIME CAREER TACKLES LISTING: Senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) has been named an All-American, all-conference and earned numerous other awards and honors as one of the Wildcats' top defensive players over the past four seasons. Consistently among the team's tackle leaders, he heads now has 241 career tackles in three seasons at UNH (116-125-241), bringing him to within seven tackles of tying for the 10th spot on the list, which is held by Jim Concannon. Here's a loot at UNH's top 10 all-time leading career tacklers.

Most Tackles?Career (since 1981)
1.    Steve Doig (1978-81)    434
2.     Aaron Thomas (2000-04)    343
3.    Chris McGrath (1987-91)    322
4.     Romande Carter (1993-96)    297
5.    Brett Bashaw (1996-2000)    297
6.    Neal Zonfrelli (1982-85)    286
7.    Scott Curtis (1984-87)    278
8.    Czar Wiley (1999-2002)    273
9.    Brian O?Neill (1982-85)    262
10.    Jim Concannon (1991-94)    248
        Jeff Pammer (2004-)    241
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