New Hampshire Football Report

UNH 24, Dartmouth 7

DURHAM — With winds gusting over 30 miles an hour, the 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire pulled away from visiting Dartmouth on Saturday night, earning a 24-7 decision over the Big Green at Wildcat Stadium to retain the Granite Bowl trophy.

Dylan Laube had 180 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns — one on the ground and one through the air — to lead UNH (2-1) to a victory in its home opener, while Paxton Scott had a career-high 153 receiving yards on nine grabs to lead Dartmouth (0-1) in its season opener.


“We played hard and fast, but we had some penalties and mistakes that put us in tough situations at times,” Dartmouth interim head coach Sammy McCorkle said. “We had our chances; we have the skills and the toughness to compete with any team, but we have to correct those mistakes, particularly against a team as good as New Hampshire. But one game does not make a season.”

The Big Green offense struggled through most of the first three quarters and trailed 10-0 before Scott gave the team the jolt it was looking for. Quarterback Dylan Cadwallader found him between a seam 15 yards down the left sideline, and Scott sprinted all the way to the 10 before being corralled for a 69-yard gain. Two plays later, Q Jones burrowed his way up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, bringing Dartmouth within three points.

A personal foul call after the touchdown, however, meant the Big Green had to kick off into the wind from their own 20. The squib kick was downed near midfield, and six plays later facing a third-and-four situation, UNH quarterback Max Brosmer — who was limited to 67 passing yards while completing 11-of-23 throws — used Laube as a decoy on a keeper. He then was able to sprint 31 yards to the end zone, boosting the UNH lead back to 10 at 17-7 with 12:16 to play.

On Dartmouth’s ensuing possession, the Big Green also faced a crucial third-down situation at midfield. The snap one-hopped Cadwallader, and he was hit as he released his pass, allowing Max Oxendine to pluck the ball from the air and return the interception 43 yards down to the Dartmouth 27. Laube needed five rushes to cover those 27 yards, the last on a 4th-and-1 at the 2 for his second score of the night and a 24-7 advantage with 10:43 remaining.

Twice the Big Green drove into Wildcat territory in the final minutes, but turned the ball over on downs both times before UNH ran out the final 1:17 off the clock to close out its victory.

Both teams had scoring opportunities in the opening quarter but came away empty. On their initial drive, the Big Green got as far as the UNH 22 before lining up for a 44-yard field goal. The Wildcats blasted through the line, however, allowing Randall Harris to block the kick, and Oxendine scooped the ball up. Only a tackle by Cadwallader (the holder on the attempt) at the Wildcat 47 kept Oxendine from taking the loose ball all the way to the end zone.

UNH responded by marching to the 2-yard line, but a dropped pass in the end zone on third down followed by a terrific pass breakup by cornerback  Leonard St Gourdin kept the game scoreless.

Once the field flipped to start the second quarter and the Wildcats had the wind at their back, they were able to put the first points of the game on the scoreboard on a 4-yard pass to Laube, his first of six catches for 31 yards on the evening. New Hampshire added a 33-yard field goal in the final minute before halftime to take a 10-point lead into the locker room.

Cadwallader finished the night 16-of-30 through the air for 195 yards, 153 of those going to Scott on a career-best 10 receptions. Scott’s total also pushed him past 1,000 yards for his career, becoming the 24th player in Dartmouth history to reach the milestone. The other half of the Big Green quarterback tandem, Nick Howard, ran for 62 yards on 10 carries while Jones amassed 55 yards on 14 rushes.

Linebackers Braden Mullen and Macklin Ayers led the Dartmouth defense with 10 and nine tackles, respectively, and each recorded a sack while the latter broke up a pair of passes as well. Joe Eichman led the Wildcats with eight tackles, 1.5 going for a loss while helping out on the lone sack.


NOTES: The loss snapped Dartmouth’s 12-game winning streak in season openers, which was the longest among FCS schools entering the season. … UNH won its second straight in the series and holds a 21-19-2 advantage all-time between the only two Division I football teams in the state. … The Big Green has lost three consecutive non-conference games after winning the last 20 prior to this recent skid. … Dartmouth had more total yards in the game, 314-274, but the Wildcats won the battle of the clock, holding the ball for 33:26. … Each team had eight penalties.


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