New Hampshire Football Report

UNH 31, Monmouth 21

Bill Belichick would have liked what he saw from the University of New Hampshire had he attended Thursday night’s Colonial Athletic Association opener against Monmouth.

Why? Because the Wildcats played “complimentary football’ and scored in all three phases en route to a 31-21 victory.

“Just absolutely thrilled with the resolve that our team had,” Santos said. “Any time you can come away with a win that’s ultimately what the main objective is. I thought our guys hung together, we played four quarters, scored a touchdown in three different phases — that doesn’t happen often. But we have aspirations to be a championship-caliber team and it wasn’t good enough it a lot of way also. Too many penalties (eight were accecpted). Too many silly things that we need to clean up.”


This one certainly wasn’t easy. In fact UNH trailed until Dylan Laube’s 7-yard touchdown run and Nick Mazzie’s point-after kick put the Wildcats up 24-21 with 6:20 to play. The TD capped an eight-play, 72-yard drive.

On the ensuing possession, Monmouth elected to go for a first down on a fourth-and-11 situation from its own 24. Cornerback Randall Harris intercepted a pass thrown by Monmouth QB Tony Muskett and returned it 25 yards for a TD with 4:07 left.

“I was looking at the time that was left in the game,” Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said. “We needed to make something happen. We had to go score. You could say, ‘Well, you could punt the ball away.’ I believe there were six minutes and 12 seconds left at the time. They would have got the ball probably right around midfield, maybe the minus-45 — giving them a short field to work with and the lead. I felt confident we could pick it up to be honest with you.

“Their kid made a great play on the interception. That kind of was the game right there.”

Monmouth erased a 17-14 deficit when Muskett connected with Alex Bryant for a 19-yard TD pass. Vincenzo Rea’s PAT gave the Hawks a 21-17 lead with 9:25 left in the third quarter. The TD drive came after a 25-yard UNH punt.

UNH led 17-14 at halftime thanks to Mazzie’s 28-yard field goal with six seconds left in the second quarter.

Monmouth running back Owen Wright scored twice in the first half. He opened the scoring on a 5-yard run with 10:10 left in the first quarter, and he helped Monmouth tie the game on a 2-yard run with 9:43 remaining in the half. Rea’s PAT made it a 14-14 game.

UNH scored on Laube’s 19-yard run and on Charles Briscoe’s 3-yard return of a punt blocked by Josiah Silver. Mazzie’s PAT after Laube’s TD made it 7-7, and his second point-after kick handed the Wildcats a 14-7 lead.

Monmouth had the edge in time of possession in the first half 21:19 to 8:41, and 35:50-24.10 for the game.


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