New Hampshire Football Report

Hughes connects on clutch kick

DURHAM – Junior kicker Jason Hughes (Atkinson nailed a 29-yard field goal as time expired to lead the University of New Hampshire football team to its first win of the season, 27-24, over Rhode Island in Wildcat Stadium on Saturday night.

The dramatic finish in front of a crowd of 7,519 earned Ricky Santos his first win as interim head coach of the Wildcats and the team its first victory in the Colonial Athletic Association as well. Santos was named interim head coach Aug. 26 when Sean McDonnell announced he was taking a leave of absence for medical reasons.


UNH improved to 1-2 and plays the second match of a three-game homestand Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. (NBC Sports Boston) against Duquesne University.

Freshman quarterback Max Brosmer (Roswell, Ga.) led the Wildcats down the field to the winning score after Rhode Island had rallied from 24-10 down to tie the game with one minutes and 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Brosmer scrambled for one first down and then completed a 41-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Brian Espanet (Hopedale, Mass.) to get UNH within field goal range.

Hughes then converted the 29-yarder for the triumph. He had kicked a 34-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter.

Brosmer passed for two touchdowns for the second game in a row and also ran for his first career TD, a 2-yarder in the second quarter. His touchdown passes were to senior Malik Love (Alcoa, Tenn.), a 78-yard play just 44 seconds into the game, and to Espanet for 2 yards.

Senior running back Evan Gray (Centreville, Va.) went over 100 yards rushing in a game for the first time in his career with seven carries for 123 yards.

Senior cornerback Prince Smith, Jr. (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the defense with a career-high 13 tackles and sophomore safety Pop Bush (Nocatee, Fla.) came up with the defense’s first turnover of the season with a third quarter interception.

URI fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the CAA.


  • UNH faces Duquesne, a Northeast Conference team out of Pittsburgh, for the first time.
  • The Dukes are 2-1 following a 35-31 win over Dayton on Saturday. They beat Division II Walsh, 44-3, in their opener and fell at Youngstown State, 34-14, on Sept. 14.
  • Duquesne finished 9-4 overall and was 5-1 in the Northeast Conference to win share of its fifth title last season.
  • The Dukes knocked off No. 16 Towson, 31-10, in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
  • Senior running back A.J. Hines is on the watch list for the Walter Payton Award that goes to the best offensive player in the FCS. Hines carried 28 times for 140 yards and two scores in Duquesne’s first two games. He did not play against Dayton.
  • Mark Allen, a 5-foot-7 and 185-pound grad transfer from Penn State, carried 30 times for 168 yards and a pair of scores Saturday.


  • The Wildcats struck quickly. Brosmer hit Love with a pass across the middle and the senior receiver broke the play 78 yards to a score.
  • Hughes kicked the conversion and UNH led, 7-0, 44 seconds into the game.


  • Brosmer faked a handoff and ran the ball two yards for his first career TD with 11:36 left in the second quarter to put UNH up 14-0.
  • The 16-play scoring drive covered 75 yards and took nine minutes, 5 seconds.
  • URI scored on a 4-yard run by Ahmere Dorsey to cut it to 14-7 with 5:02 left in the half.


  • Brosmer connected Espanet on a 2-yard TD pass on a fourth down play to put UNH up 21-7 with 9:09 left in the third period.
  • URI’s C.J. Carrick answered with a 40-yard field goal and it was 21-10 with 4:46 left in the period.


  • Hughes kicked a 34-yarder with 14:23 left in the quarter and UNH led 24-10.
  • Isaiah Coulter scored on a 5-yard pass from Vito Priore and Zoe Bryant scored on 2-yard run to lead the Rams rally.
  • Carrick kicked the conversion to tie the game 24-24 with 1:30 left.
  • Hughes drilled his 29-yarder for the winner as the clocked went to 0:00.

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