KENT, OHIO--The University of New Hampshire football team played its first Division I-A football team since 1978 and Kent State's size and speed proved to be too much as the Golden Flashes defeated UNH on Thursday night by a 34-7 margin.
UNH fell to 0-1 to start the season, while Kent State begins the 2002 campaign at 1-0.
UNH was down by a 14-0 margin early in the first half, but appeared to be crawling right back when sophomore quarterback Mike Granieri (Linwood, N.J.) connected on a 5-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Stephan Lewis (Coatesville, Pa.) to make it 14-7 with 13:00 to play in the first half.
It was all Kent the rest of the way, however, as the home team outstcored the visitors by a 20-0 the rest of the way.
The highlight of the game for the Wildcats was the play of Granieri, who completed 21x33 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown against a tenacious Golden Flash defense. Kent finished the day by outgaining the UNH offense (477yards to 336), with 399 yards all coming on the ground. Kent State was led by sophomore quarterback Joshua Cribbs, who carried the football 15 times for a career-high 191 yards and two TDs.
Lewis finished the evening with eight carries for 28 yards, but was impressive as a receiver with seven catches for 69 yards and 1 TD.
It marked the first start of his career for Granieri, who utilized six different receivers in the contest.
The Aug. 29th contest vs. Kent State also helped to rewrite the history books as it was the earliest start to a season ever by Wildcat football team.
UNH will take to the road again next week when the squad travels to James Madison for its Atlantic 10 Football Conference opener. Game time is 6 p.m. The team will play its first home game on Sept. 14 vs. Hofstra. Game time is 12 p.m.