DURHAM, N.H.-- The University of New Hampshire football team played its annual Blue/White scrimmage on Saturday in a downpour, but despite the rain and wind, the coaching staff saw a good mix of seasoned veterans and youngsters getting the job done.
Redshirt freshman Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) was sharp despite the wet weather, completing 16 of 23 passes for 206 yards giving him an impressive completion percentage of nearly 70 percent (.695). Santos also completed a pass for a touchdown to junior tight end Sean Lynch (Salem, N.H.) with 8:39 remaining in the third quarter. Lynch had four catches for 72 yards on the afternoon. Santos did not throw any interceptions in the contest.
Backup redshirt freshman quarterback Bruce Elia (Tenafly, N.J.) completed 5 of 12 passes for 49 yards.
The offense moved the football well, especially in the second half, as the Wildcats rushed for 178 yards on the ground and 255 yards in the air for a total of 433 yards in the contest.
The team's leading rusher on the afternoon was sophomore wide receiver Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) as he ran four times for 66 yards.
Sophomore running back Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) scored a pair of touchdowns, one for 3 yards with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter and a 1-yarder with 33 seconds left in the third. He carried the ball 10 times for 20 yards. Senior running back John McCoy (Groton, Conn.), who is listed as a starter for UNH on the two-deep, saw limited action with five carries for nine yards. The coaching staff spread the carries among eight different rushers.
The top receiver in the contest for UNH was LeVan with five catches for 78 yards, including a long reception of 55 yards. For the game he had 144 yards of total offense. Junior wide receiver Matt Henry (Creskill, N.J.) made three catches for 33 yards and senior tight end Jon Williams (Rochester, N.Y.) had four receptions for 24 yards. UNH was without the services of junior All-American wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.) who was held out of the scrimmage due to injury. UNH head coach Sean McDonnell said after the game that he expects Ball to be healthy and ready for preseason camp.
Redshirt freshman Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.) was impressive in limited time. His biggest play of the game was a 22-yard rush to the 1-yard line setting up one of Ward's touchdowns. He also made a catch for nine yards.
One the defensive side of the football junior strong safety Muji Karim (Burlington,Vt.) scored the first touchdown of the game when he recovered a fumble in the endzone with 5:06 left in the second quarter.
The team was led in tackles by senior linebacker E.J. DeWitt (Newport, R.I.) with a total of seven on the afternoon. Redshirt freshman Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) contributed six tackles to the effort.
Other big plays on defense included three interceptions, one by senior defensive back Etienne Boulay (Montreal, Que.) with a return of 22 yards, another by redshirt freshman Matt Parent (Long Beach, Calif.) with a return of 24 yards, and the last by redshirt freshman linebacker Nate Jones (Hartford, Conn.) with a return of six yards.
The defense recorded four sacks on the day, had seven tackles for a loss, and deflected seven passes.
The other big news of the day was the naming of the football captains for 2005. Leading the team next season with be McCoy, senior defensive lineman Derek Stank (Etters, Pa.) and senior linebacker Alan Tallman (Carthage, N.Y.).