Santos, Ball set single-season UNH touchdown records
DURHAM, N.H.-- Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) completed 12 of 21 passes for 166 yards and five touchdowns -- all in the first half -- to lead the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire football team to Saturday afternoon's 62-24 Atlantic 10 victory against Towson University at Cowell Stadium.
UNH captured the Atlantic 10 North Division title by improving to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the conference with its fourth consecutive victory. The eight wins ties the third-highest single-season total for UNH, which last reached that mark in 1996. Towson lost its fourth consecutive game to fall to 3-7, 0-7.
With his five TD passes, Santos broke UNH's single-season record by increasing his 2004 total to 26.
David Ball (Orange, Vt.) caught six passes for 123 yards and four touchdowns, the latter of which tied the Wildcats' single-game record. In addition, Ball, whose playing time was also limited to the first half, broke the single-season records for both touchdowns (14) and receptions (75).
Santos teamed up with Ball on scoring plays of five and 27 yards to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead 5:20 into the game. A 42-yard field goal by Connor McCormick (Forty Fort, Pa.) pushed the lead to 17-0 and Santos threw for his third touchdown in the first quarter on a three-yard play to Shaun Diner (Montreal, Quebec) with 15 seconds remaining in the opening quarter to build a 24-point advantage.
Ball's third score of the day, this time from 10 yards, extended the lead to 31-0 at 12:30 of the second quarter.
Towson's Ron Halbruner made a 23-yard field goal at 6:36, but a 51-yard punt return by David Bailey (Bronx, N.Y.) and a 34-yard pass play from Santos to Ball extended UNH's lead to 45-3 before halftime.
Touchdowns 1:46 apart by Andrae Brown on a 15-yard reception and P.D. Moore on a 65-yard interception return trimmed the deficit to 45-17 midway through the third quarter. McCormick connected on a 27-yard field goal attempt to extend the lead to 48-17 with 1:24 remaining in the quarter.
Andrew Goldbeck, who completed 28 of 50 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown, scored on a one-yard run at 12:56 of the fourth quarter to make the score 48-24. UNH's Marvin Wright (Roxbury, Mass.) returned the ensuing onsides kick attempt 50 yards to reestablish a 31-point lead, 55-24. A seven-yard TD run by Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.) closed the scoring at 8:07.
John McCoy (Groton, Conn.) led the Wildcats' rushing attack, which accounted for 302 yards on 52 attempts, with 90 yards on 14 carries. Ward finished with 65 yards on nine rushes and quarterback Hassan Noble (Palo Alto, Calif.) amassed 63 rushing yards on eight carries.
Towson's Will Marcus recorded seven receptions for 84 yards and Dayron Arnold caught five passes for 80 yards to lead the Tigers' aerial assault.
The 62 points are the most by a Wildcats' squad since Aug. 30, 2003, when they were 70-20 victors against Central Connecticut. It also tied the record for the most points allowed by Towson (set by Yale in 2003).
New Hampshire concludes the regular season Nov. 20 (1 p.m.) at the University of Maine. The NCAA Division I-AA playoff bracket will be announced Nov. 21.