November 22, 2014
ORONO, Maine -- The top-ranked University of New Hampshire football team won the CAA conference title outright, retained the Brice-Cowell Musket and extended its win streak to a school-record 10 games by defeating the University of Maine, 20-12, Saturday at Alfond Stadium.
UNH, which has won five straight and 12 of 13 in the series against Maine, improved to 10-1 overall and 8-0 in the CAA. The Wildcats became the second team to complete the conference season undefeated since the CAA took the league banner in 2007. New Hampshire now awaits the NCAA FCS Championship tournament bracket announcement Sunday at 11 a.m. The bracket will be televised on ESPNU.
Maine ended its season 5-6, 4-4.
Casey DeAndrade and Cody Muller led UNH's stifling defense, which allowed season lows in first downs (12), passing yards (92) and total yards (179) in addition to recording five sacks and three turnovers. DeAndrade recovered two fumbles, whereas Muller tallied a team-high nine tackles, including two sacks. Brian Ciccone also had two sacks, and Robbie Zauck had four tackles, including a sack, and a forced fumble.
Maine's defense held the Wildcats' explosive offense, which was averaging 38.7 points per game, to season lows in passing yards (169) and total yards (287). The Black Bears also recorded three sacks six turnovers with three fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
UNH quarterback Sean Goldrich completed 14 of 31 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown, as well as a career-high three interceptions. He also had 12 carries for 26 yards and a TD. Jimmy Owens was UNH's leading rusher with 12 carries for 46 yards. R.J. Harris was the top receiver with five catches for 62 yards.
Maine's Drew Belcher finished 11 of 25 for 92 yards and one interception, and he had a game-high 20 rushes for 14 yards and a TD. Jerickson Fedrick was the team's top ground gainer with 42 yards on six carries. Jordan Dunn finished with four catches for 29 yards.
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Junior quarterback Dalyn Williams completed 30 of 35 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns and the Dartmouth defense stymied host Princeton in a 41-10 Big Green victory in front of 6,663 fans at Princeton Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The win allowed Dartmouth (8-2, 6-1 Ivy) to post its best record in 17 years, but like 1997, the Big Green finished a game back in the Ivy League standings as Harvard (10-0, 7-0 Ivy) completed an undefeated campaign with a last-minute 31-24 victory over Yale.
The Tigers finished their season with an even 5-5 mark and 4-3 record in the league to finish fourth. Dartmouth has now won five straight against Princeton for the first time in the 94-game history of the series, and in the process retained the Governor's Trophy and Sawhorse Dollar which go to the victor of the game.
Senior Bo Patterson was the recipient of three of the four touchdown tosses, catching five passes on the day for 129 yards for his first career 100-yard game in his final outing. He is the second receiver in as many weeks to catch three scoring strikes as Ryan McManus -- who led all players with 10 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown -- had three last week in a win over Brown. Prior to those two games, Dartmouth had not had anyone catch three in 25 years.
The offense surpassed 500 yards for a third straight week, compiling 518 overall with 341 coming through the air. On the other side of the ball, the Dartmouth defense limited a Tiger team averaging nearly 425 yards a game to a mere 228 -- 125 passing and 103 on the ground. Connor Michelsen completed 18 of his 33 passes for just 102 yards, while A.J. Glass led Princeton with 41 rushes on eight carries.
Notes: The win was the 100th career victory for Dartmouth's Buddy Teevens ... Williams finished the season with 2,119 passing yards, making him the sixth Dartmouth quarterback with more than 2,000 yards in a season. He also threw 21 touchdown passes, joining Jay Fiedler as the only Big Green QBs with 20 or more in a season ... McManus finished the year with 68 receptions, fourth-most in a season at Dartmouth ... The Big Green had not had three straight games of 500 or more total yards since the 1992 squad did it to end its season ... Dartmouth also scored 40 or more points for three straight games for the first time since 1935.
|NHIAA SUPER SATURDAY|
|AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE|
|CAMPBELL 20, NEWPORT 6|
|WINDHAM 38, ST. THOMAS 28|
|PINKERTON 37, BEDFORD 0|
November 21, 2014
The No. 1 UNH football team packed the old gun on the bus for the trip up Rte. 95 to Orono.
Tom Yeager is carting additional hardware up from Colonial Athletic Association headquarters in Richmond, Va.
The Wildcats close out the regular season with a game against Maine in Alfond Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m..
UNH brings a nine-game winning streak - the best one-season mark in program history - and a 9-1 overall record and 7-0 mark in the CAA into the game.
The Wildcats have plenty to play for, starting with the Brice-Cowell Musket that is awarded each year to the winner of the series between the two teams. UNH can also earn its first outright league title since 1994 and Yeager will have a trophy on hand to commemorate that event.
A win also likely earns the Wildcats the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the 24-team FCS tournament, which means that as long as they stay alive in the tournament, they would be the home team for playoff games through the semifinals.
It all starts with the old gun, said UNH coach Sean McDonnell.
The Wildcats have been greedy about keeping the musket in their locker room for more than a decade. They have won the last four and 11 of the last 12 against Maine.
"It's just one of those games where you throw the records out the window," said senior running back Nico Steriti. "You throw the CAA championship out the window. You throw playoffs out the window. Nothing really matters besides keeping that musket. That's what the game means to me."
Maine is 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the CAA and is playing its best football of the year.
The Black Bears have won their last three games and are playing their customary tough defense while the offense has been stepping it up, led by true freshman quarterback Drew Belcher and true freshman running back Nigel Beckford.
Beckford has been over 100 yards in rushing in two of Maine's last three games. He leads the team' ground game with 104 carries for 447 yards and has scored five of the team's seven rushing touchdowns.
Maine averaged 13 points a game through its first seven games and has averaged 26 in its last three.
The Black Bears will aim to turn the tables on the Wildcats and see what they can do about messing up UNH's postseason plans.
Last year, Maine was shooting for an undefeated season when it came to Durham for the regular season finale. UNH won that one, 24-3.
Two weeks later, the Wildcats beat Maine, 41-27, in Orono in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Steriti said the UNH players have not talked a lot about the outright CAA championship that's on the line.
"A (couple of) years back we had a similar type of game vs. Towson at home and we were running around saying ring week all week and I think we lost track of just how important just the game was to us as a program, because we were on the brink of making the playoffs or not," Steriti said.
UNH lost that game at home to Towson, 64-35, and ended up in a four-way tie for the CAA championship.
"I think that kind of stuff gets you off track a little bit," Steriti said. "We haven't concentrated on that a whole lot this season. Coach has mentioned it maybe once or twice to the seniors, letting us know we've done some great things, but we're just in business mode as a team. We're just going one day a time and whatever's up we've got to take of business. The CAA championship would be great and all, but that musket means a lot more to us as a senior class at least."
The Wildcats are relatively healthy going into the game.
Steriti, who has battled injuries all season, played a limited role in last week's win at home over Delaware and is ready to go. Junior safety Hayden Knudson and sophomore running back Dalton Crossan, who also have been injured, played last week, too.
"It'll be good if we can get that guy going on returns and other things," McDonnell said of Crossan.
Junior quarterback Sean Goldrich will make his third start at quarterback since returning from a knee injury.
For the season, Goldrich has completed 121 of his 170 passes (71.2 percent) for 1,540 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has been intercepted twice.
Senior wide receiver R.J. Harris leads the CAA and is second in the nation with 115.8 receiving yards per game. Harris has 13 of UNH's 24 touchdown receptions. Senior tight end Harold Spears caught eight passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns last week against Delaware.
The UNH defense came up with eight turnovers in the first six games of the season and has 13 in the last four.
DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Pinkerton vs. Bedford
- When and where: Saturday (6 p.m.) at UNH.
- Team records: Both teams are 11-0.
- Regular-season result: The teams did not meet.
- Noteworthy: This is the first time two undefeated teams have met in the Division I championship game. Bedford advanced with a 14-7 victory over Exeter in the semifinals. Pinkerton beat Bishop Guertin 35-0 in the other semifinal. ... Pinkerton is playing in the Division I title game for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, and the 16th time since they moved up from Division II in 1985. Pinkerton is 10-5 in its previous 15 appearances in the Division I title game. The Astros haven't won the title since 2010, when they beat Nashua North 14-7. ... Bedford is playing in its third championship game, but this is the Bulldogs' first appearance in the Division I title game. Bedford dropped a 41-6 decision to Portsmouth in the 2011 Division III championship game, and was on the short end of a 21-13 score when it met Winnacunnet in the 2012 Division II title game. ... Pinkerton running back T.J. Urbanik has run for a team-high 1,205 yards on 113 caries this season. ... THe Astros have scored at least 29 points in 10 of their 11 games. ... Bedford defensive end Eric Glassman has a team-high 64 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. ... Bedford is allowing an average of 8.7 points per game. Pinkerton is allowing 8.8. ... The only previous meeting between these programs was last season. Bedford won 14-12 in the season-opener for each team.
DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Windham vs. St. Thomas
DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Newport vs. Campbell
- When and where: Saturday (11 a.m.) at UNH.
- Team records: Newport is 9-1. Campbell is 8-2.
- Regular-season result: Campbell won 21-20 in Litchfield.
- Noteworthy: This is the only championship game that features teams that met during the regular season. Two Kyle Manning touchdown passes in the final 3:30 gave Campbell a 21-14 lead in that contest, and the Cougars stopped Newport on a late two-point conversion attempt and held on for the victory. ... Newport coach Larry McElreavy was the head coach at Columbia from 1986 to 1988. ... Campbell running back Kevin Moreau has run for 787 yards and 13 touchdowns on 105 carries, and also has 16 receptions for 296 yards and two TDs this season. On defense, he's recorded 78 tackles (41 solo), forced four fumbles and has three sacks. ... Newport running back Noah Wade has rushed for 856 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. He is also a dangerous kick returner and brought back a punt 70 yards for a TD in last weekend's 38-22 triumph over Gilford. ... Newport has scored at least 31 points in eight of its 10 games. The Tigers are seeking their first state title since they beat Gilford 35-0 for the 2010 Division VI championship. ... Campbell lost two of its first three games this season, but enters this contest having won seven in a row. ... This is the second time a Campbell team has reached a state championship game. Franklin beat Campbell 8-0 to win the 2008 Division IV title.
-- Capsules compiled by Roger Brown
November 20, 2014
"It's a win-win situation for everybody involved."