New Hampshire Football Report

UNH upset bid falls short

Randall Harris photo courtesy UNH media relations

DURHAM – Freshman safety Noah Palm returned a fumble 92 yards for a score and sophomore defensive back Randall Harris grabbed an interception and ran it back 18 yards for a TD, but the University of New Hampshire football team came up just short and fell to No. 3 James Madison, 23-21, on Saturday in front of a Homecoming crowd of 17,323 in Wildcat Stadium.

The No. 25 Wildcats are now 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. James Madison improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the CAA.

The Dukes averaged 53.3 points per game in their first three games and had not turned the ball over.  UNH forced three turnovers overall. The first two led to the Palm and Harris touchdowns. Redshirt freshman safety Noah Stansbury  caused the fumble that Palm returned for the TD.

Freshman defensive end Josiah Silver  caused the third turnover when he sacked JMU quarterback Cole Johnson, who fumbled the ball away. Junior defensive tackle Niko Kvietkus recovered that fumble and it set up a scoring drive that gave UNH a 21-17 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Bret Edwards passed to junior Brian Espanet for an 8-yard score to cap the drive with 6:52 left in the third quarter.

Johnson and Kris Thornton teamed for their second scoring pass, this from 30 yards out, to give JMU the lead back at 23-21 with 8:20 left in the fourth quarter.

After an exchange of punts, UNH started a final drive looking to get into field goal range. But an Edwards pass was intercepted by Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey at the James Madison 38-yard line with 1:45 to play and the Dukes ran out the clock.

Wildcat redshirt freshman linebacker Ryan Toscano led all defenders with 12 tackles, sophomore linebacker Bryce Shaw had 11 and grad student safety Evan Horn had 10.  Silver had two of UNH’s three quarterback sacks and grad student lineman Duval Paul had the other.

XTRA POINTS 

  • Palm had eight tackles to go with his fumble recovery for a TD.
  • Harris had seven tackles to go with his interception for a score.
  • JMU’s Johnson completed 33 of his 44 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns and threw his first interception of the season.
  • Thornton caught 15 passes for 112 yards and the two scores.
  • UNH junior Carlos Washington, Jr. carried 15 times for 43 yards.
  • Edwards completed 18 of his 25 passes for 131 yards and the score.
  • Sophomore Dylan Laube had five catches for 22 yards.
  • Sophomore tight end Kyle Lepkowski had four catches for 31 yards.
  • Redshirt freshman Aidan Cadogan averaged 41.4 yards on his five punts.
  • JMU had 432 yards on offense and ran 90 plays.
  • UNH ran 48 plays and had 162 yards of offense.
  • The Dukes had a 36:52 to 23:08 edge in time of possession.

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