New Hampshire Football Report

Defense lifts UNH

TOWSON, Md. – Prince Smith, Jr. and Ryan Sosnak scored defensive touchdowns to lead the University of New Hampshire football team to Saturday afternoon’s 21-7 victory against Towson University at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

UNH is now 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Towson is 1-6, 0-4.

In addition to scoring a pair of TDs, UNH’s defense limited Towson to 191 total yards of offense (80 rushing, 111 passing) – the lowest by an opponent this season — and 12 first downs.


  • The Wildcats play host to Stony Brook University on Oct. 29 (12 p.m.), and Senior Day is Nov. 12 (12 p.m.) against University at Albany.
  • UNH dominated in total yards (109-37) and time of possession (8:12) to take a 7-0 lead through 15 minutes.
  • On the opening drive, the Wildcats were stopped on 4th-and-2 at the TU 33 when Trevor Knight was dropped for a 2-yard loss.
  • Towson marched 32 yards to the UNH 33, but Aidin O’Neill’s 50-yard wind-aided field goal attempt sailed wide right at 5:02 to keep the game scoreless.
  • Knight completed passes of 12, 6 and 20 yards to three different receivers, then pulled the ball down and ran to the left, side-stepped a defender inside the 5 yard-line and dove into the end zone. The PAT kick by Morgan Ellman gave UNH a 7-0 lead at 3:42.
  • The teams scored touchdowns on consecutive plays – UNH’s defense and Towson’s special teams – to account for all the second-quarter scoring.
  • UNH’s defense made a big stop on the Tigers’ first possession of the second quarter to preserve the seven-point lead. On 4th-and-6 from the UNH 33, Ellis Knudson completed a pass to Christian Summers cutting across the middle of the field, but Rick Ellison  immediately made the tackle to stop TU one yard short of the line to gain.
  • There were three consecutive game-changing plays. Towson’s 32-yard pass play was negated by a holding penalty to set up 1st-and-20 at the TU 10. On the next play, Prince Smith, Jr.  intercepted the ball at the 16 and raced into the end zone for his third INT and team’s third pick-six of the season. Ellman’s PAT made it 14-0 at 7:21.
  • Shane Simpson fielded the ensuing kickoff two yards deep in the Towson end zone, found a wedge and sprinted past the UNH coverage team for a touchdown to make the score 14-7 at 7:06.
  • The Tigers advanced into the red zone with less than a minutes left in the first half. On 4ttdown from the UNH 28 with four seconds left, Knudson lofted a pass through the back right-corner of the end zone.
  • The New Hampshire defense struck again on the opening drive of the second half. On 2nd-and-5 at the UNH 43, Ryan Farrell broke through the line on the right side and jarred the ball loose from Knudson at midfield. Ryan Sosnak picked up the fumble at the 39 and, with a few teammates blocking downfield, rumbled into the end zone to give the Wildcats a 21-7 lead at 12:48.FOURTH QUARTER
  • UNH’s D made a big stand at the start of the quarter, which opened with Towson facing 3rd-and-10 at the UNH 37. Knudson completed a pass to Deshaun Wethington, but Jared Kuehl made a diving effort for a shoe-string tackle that held the Tigers to a three-yard gain. On fourth down, Casey DeAndrade broke up the pass and TU lost the ball on downs.
  • New Hampshire made its fourth fourth-down stop of the game with 6:36 remaining when Knudson’s long throw into the wind on fourth-and-14 from the UNH 48 was too long for Summers.
  • UNH’s offense ran 10 plays – all rushes, including a kneel down on the last play – to maintain possession the rest of the way. The Wildcats converted three third downs on the drive, the last of which set up first-and-goal at the TU 10.TEAM STATS
    Rushing: UNH 40-171. TU 29-80.
    Passing: UNH 14-18-100-1. TU 18-35-111-1.
    Total Offense: UNH 58-271. TU 64-191.
    1st Downs: UNH- 15. TU- 12.
    Time of Possession: UNH 32:06. TU 27:54
    Penalties: UNH 4-31. TU 6-73
    Turnovers: UNH 1. TU 2.

    Rushing: UNH – Crossan 18-83. TU- Knudson 18-35-111-1.
    Receiving: UNH- Malik Love 5-22. TU- Andre Dessenberg7-65.
    Passing: UNH- Knight 14-18-100-1. TU- Shane Simpson14-53.
    Tackles: UNH- Rick Ellison 8-1-9. TU- Bryton Barr1-7-8.

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