DURHAM N.H. — The University of New Hampshire football team upset 14th-ranked UMass-Amherst, 24-16, on Saturday at Cowell Stadium as sophomore Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.) ran for a career-high 245 yards with three touchdowns in front of 6,349.
Lewis, who averaged seven yards a carry on 35 attempts, was named the Bill Knight Trophy winner, giving annually to the MVP of the UNH-UMass game. Lewis’ 245 yards spearheaded a Wildcat rushing attack that netted 414 yards on the ground.
For UNH (5-3 overall, 3-3 Atlantic 10) the victory breaks a two-game losing streak versus the Minutemen and a three-game losing streak overall. Umass (5-3, 3-2 Atlantic 10) loses for the first time in four games.
Sophomore defensive back Czar Wiley (North Bergen, N.J.) had two interceptions for the Wildcats, the biggest one coming in the third quarter which led to Lewis’ third touchdown on a six-yard pass from junior Ryan Day (Manchester, N.H.) and a 24-10 UNH lead at 13:07 of the fourth.
The Minutemen pulled to within 24-16 at 3:57 on a Eric Bross 5-yard touchdown reception from Richard Lucero. Jason Cherry’s extra-point attempt was blocked. Marcel Shipp, the 1998 Bill Knight Trophy winner, rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries. UMass threw three interceptions, two by Kelly Seibert and one by Deshon Hardy. Senior Erik Mitchell (Atco, N.J.) had UNH’s other interception.
Lewis got the ‘Cats on the board first at 11:14 of the first on a six-yard run. The Minutemen tied it seven minutes later on Shipp’s three-yard dive. Lewis’ second touchdown of 24 yards put UNH up 14-7 at the half.
UMass pulled to within 14-10 in the third on Doug White’s 30-yard field goal at 8:32 of the third. Junior Shawn MacLean (Salem, Mass.) responded with a 27-yard field goal at 1:58. Following Maclean’s field goal, Day hit Lewis with a shuffle pass to make it 24-10 and then Lucero hooked up with Bross for the final score.