New Hampshire Football Report

UNH involved in Maine event

Photo courtesy Maine media relations

By Allen Lessels

DURHAM – The University of New Hampshire football team’s offense – featuring a couple of prolific veterans all season – offered up a glimpse of the not-too-distant future last Saturday at Monmouth in an entertaining Coastal Athletic Association road win.

Junior quarterback Max Brosmer and senior running back/receiver/return artist Dylan Laube – who accepted an invitation this week to the Reese’s Senior Bowl — got things started, as they often do.


By game’s end, the understudies had taken over lead roles as the Wildcats rallied for a 31-24 triumph. Sophomore running back Myles Thomason and true freshman quarterback Matt Vezza played starring roles and the defense stepped up in a major way.

Redshirt freshman tight end Colby Ramshaw, junior running back Isaac Seide and sophomore center Aidan Michaud, who started in place of the injured senior captain Osho Omoyeni, were among many others who lent valued support.

As a result, UNH snapped a two-game losing skid and made it possible that a win Saturday at home at 1 p.m. in the season finale against Maine – in the first White Out Wildcat Stadium celebration – can salvage a winning season and set a tone for the offseason while giving the seniors a proper sendoff.

“It’s everything,” said UNH coach Rick Santos. “It makes our entire season. You find a way to have a winning record. You find a way to send the seniors out on a high note. You keep the musket in Durham. It’s always the coach speak and the cliché, it’s the next one, and we live that and breathe that here and it’s always been that way here. But this one just means more.”

The winner of the game gets to keep the Brice-Cowell Musket in its locker room until next year’s game.

The Wildcats are 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the CAA. Maine is 2-8 and 1-6.

Doesn’t matter. It’s all about Saturday.

If you had asked him about New Hampshire-Maine a couple of years ago, said senior captain and linebacker Bryce Shaw, who transferred to UNH from Navy, he would have said it’s a big rivalry and UNH doesn’t like Maine.

He now realizes it’s more than that. “It’s like our Super Bowl,” he said Wednesday.

The musket was residing in Durham two years ago when Maine came in and knocked off the Wildcats.

“There’s nothing worse than watching them scream across your home field and watching them take the musket away,” Shaw said. “So we’ve got to keep it in Durham. That’s it. That’s always it.”

Last year, UNH went to Orono for its last regular season game with a 7-3 overall record and 6-1 mark in the league, aiming for a return to the FCS playoffs and a league title. Maine was 2-8 and 2-5 and took UNH to overtime and came a missed two-point conversion from pulling off a major upset.

The Wildcats brought the musket back to Durham.

UNH will be out to ride a two-game win streak into the offseason. They got the first victory last weekend at Monmouth with that mix of old and new.

Laube scored the first touchdown on a short pass from Brosmer.

With his team trailing 17-10 entering the fourth quarter and Laube on the sidelines with an injury, Brosmer connected with Ramshaw for a 3-yard score to tie the game 17-17. It was the fourth TD reception for Ramshaw, which is third best on the team.

Monmouth quickly went back ahead.

Brosmer led the Wildcats down the field and Seide scored his first rushing TD of the year on a 4-yard run and it was 24-24.

The UNH defense held Monmouth inside the UNH 20 and gave the offense the ball back with six and a half minutes to go. On UNH’s third play, Brosmer took a big hit and was knocked out of the game.

Santos and quarterbacks coach Drew Belcher conferred over their headsets and made the call to Vezza in relief. The freshman had not been on the field in a game, but had been playing well on the scout team and had been grading well and was coming on strong in competitive situations at practice.

Vezza, 6-foot and 189 pounds and out of Elmhurst, Ill., led the Wildcats down the field. He ran for one first down and on a third and 8, scrambled for 5 yards and set up a fourth and 3 at the Monmouth 38.

The Wildcats went for it. Vezza escaped pressure and rolled to his left and threw the ball into the end zone for Thomason. Despite Monmouth pass interference, Thomason caught it for the score, his first TD reception.

The defense, which held the Hawks well below their average of 36 points a game, held on one last time for the win.


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