RICKY SANTOS NAMED GOLD HELMET AWARD WINNER

Second Wildcat Recipient In As Many Weeks

Ricky Santos

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.--Redshirt freshman quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham,Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire football team was named this week's recipient of the Gold Helmet Award as the top I-AA football player in New England. The award was presented at the weekly New England Football Writers' Luncheon held on the campus of Harvard University.

In addition to the Gold Helmet, Ricky was named USA Today's overall NCAA Football Player of the Week, The Sports Network National Player of the Week, The Don Hansen National Football Gazette I-AA National Offensive Player of the Week, the Atlantic 10 Football Conference's Offensive Player of the Week and he was the recipient of the conference's Rookie of the Week award.

Santos joins R.J. Harvey as the second Wildcat to win the honor in as many weeks.

In his first career start at UNH, and only his second college game played, Santos snapped the all-time UNH record for touchdown passes with five in a stunning 35-24 upset victory at Division I-A Rutgers on Sept. 11. The previous UNH record for touchdowns in a game was four, accomplished 13 times in the history of the Wildcat football program. The win was the first for UNH against at I-A since UNH joined the I-AA in 1978.

Santos completed 30 of 40 passes for 385 yards vs. the Scarlet Knights, including touchdown passes of 55, 3, 11,24 and 21 yards. His last two passes for paydirt were the game-winner and the game-clincher. He connected with sophomore wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.) at 2:11 of the third quarter to give UNH a 28-24 lead and then helped to put it away with a 21-yard pass to senior wide receiver Shaun Diner (Montreal, Quebec) to seal the victory. UNH bounced back from a 24-14 halftime deficit.

Santos has been extremely accurate with his passes, as evidenced by the fact that he has completed 40-51 pass attempts for 531 yards in two games played. That gives him a phenomenal completion percentage of 78.4 and his efficiency rating now stands at 200.79.

This was the second consecutive week that Santos was named the Atlantic 10's Rookie of the Week. He received the honor the first time after he took over at quarterback midway in the game and helped UNH to a huge victory over then No. 1 ranked Delaware.

The Wildcats will play their home-opener, this Saturday, Sept. 18, when the squad entertains William & Mary. Game time is 12 p.m. at Cowell Stadium. It will be the Wildcats' first conference matchup of the 2004 campaign.

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