NO. 4 WILLIAM & MARY FOOTBALL EDGES NO. 8 UNH, 13-3
DURHAM, N.H.- Sophomore linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) recorded a career-high 20 tackles, and the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire football team held No. 4 William & Mary to only 171 yards of total offense, but the Tribe snapped the Wildcats' school-record 12-game home winning streak with a 13-3 victory Saturday afternoon at Cowell Stadium.
William & Mary improved to 7-2 overall and remained atop the Colonial Athletic Association with a 5-1 mark. UNH slipped to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the CAA.
Nine of Evans' 20 tackles were solo stops, giving him a CAA-leading 113 tackles on the season. Junior defensive end Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) matched a career high with 1.5 sacks, bringing his league-leading total to 7.0, and Hugo Souza (Marshfield, Mass.) made a season-high 14 tackles, eight solo, jumping three spots to sixth on UNH's all-time tackles' list with 309 career stops.
Senior quarterback R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) went 26 of 44 for 232 yards and an interception. The 44 attempts matched a career high, and Toman's 14 rushing yards on 13 carries, including three sacks, led a Wildcats' ground game that managed only 39 yards on 31 rushes. Senior wide receiver Terrance Fox (Piscataway, N.J.) made eight receptions for 70 yards –both game-highs- and his 126 all-purpose yards also set the pace.
The Wildcats were held to just three points for the first time since Sept. 21, 2002.
Tribe running back Jonathan Grimes rushed 30 times for 114 yards and a touchdown in the victory, offsetting an impotent W&M passing game that amassed only 30 yards with third-string quarterback Brent Caprio going 5-for-10 in his first career start.
After a scoreless first period, the Wildcats took a 3-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter, courtesy of a 40-yard field goal from freshman kicker Mike MacArthur (North Hampton, N.H.). A career-best 19-yard punt return from Souza put UNH in terrific field position at the Tribe's 39-yard line to begin the drive. Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H./five carries, 12 yards/four receptions, 27 yards) carried twice for six yards, and Toman completed a four-yard pass to Fox and a two-yard pass to sophomore Dontra Peters (Annapolis, Md./10 carries, 11 yards/two catches, 11 yards), advancing inside the Tribe red zone for the only time in the contest.
William & Mary nabbed a 6-3 lead with 7:41 remaining in the first half when Caprio connected with wide receiver Chase Hill for a 19-yard touchdown pass in the far left corner of the end zone. It was Caprio's first career scoring toss and Hill's first touchdown reception of the season. The PAT failed.
The Wildcats threatened late in the half, moving the ball to the Tribe 21 with :29 to go when Toman's pass intended for Joey Orlando (Bethlehem, Pa.) in the end zone was picked off by safety Jake O'Connor, preserving the College's 3-0 lead at the intermission.
William & Mary capitalized on a muffed punt by Fox, which was recovered by Jabrel Mines at the UNH 35 with 2:00 left in the third quarter. Grimes then ran the ball three straight times, gaining nine yards, 25 yards and plunging in from one yard out for his eighth rushing touchdown of the season. Drake Kuhn atoned for his earlier miss by connecting on the extra point, staking the Tribe to a 13-3 lead with 1:04 left in the third quarter.
Neither team scored in the fourth period, as William & Mary defeated New Hampshire for the eighth time in a row. In fact, the Tribe's win was the first by a visiting team at Mooradian Field since William & Mary's 38-34 victory over UNH on Oct. 11, 2008.
UNH travels to play defending national champion Villanova next Saturday, Nov. 13, at 12 p.m. The Wildcats' regular-season home finale is slated for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 12 p.m. versus Towson University. The undefeated and untied 1950 UNH football team will be honored at Cowell Stadium on the 60th anniversary of its perfect season. For tickets, visit the Whittemore Center Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., call (603) 862-4000, extension 5, or CLICK HERE.