DURHAM, N.H.- Over the past two seasons, the UNH football team has won with an explosive offense and an opportunistic defense that created turnovers. UNH football fans saw a lot of both in Saturday's Blue/White Scrimmage.
The story of the day was the offense, which was led by junior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.), who was on target all day. Santos connected on 20 of 22 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns. His only mistake was an interception late in the fourth quarter, after which he was pulled from the game by eighth-year head coach Sean McDonnell who had seen enough of his All-American quarterback. Prior to the interception he had completed 17 straight passes.
Santos completed touchdown passes of 56 yards, 10 yards, 27 yards and 65 yards to junior running back Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.), senior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.), and the final two to senior wide receiver Aaron Brown (Central Square, N.Y.). The Wildcats also had four rushing touchdowns on the afternoon, two by Ward for 44 yards and one yard, and one by Santos for 44 yards and another by junior slot back Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) for 11 yards.
The team's leading rusher on the afternoon was redshirt freshman Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif.) who enters his first Fall with the Wildcats. He carried the football nine times for 91 yards with a long run of 30 yards.
Leading the receivers was Brown with six catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns with a long of 65 yards. Also grabbing six catches was LeVan for 98 yards with a long play of 50 yards.
For the day, the offense compiled an eye-popping 785 yards, 269 on the ground and 516 through the air.
UNH also had one field goal kicked by local redshirt freshman Kurt Zalinski (Bow, N.H.) for 32 yards.
The UNH defense, which is used to having its hands full with UNH's potent offense, still managed to come up with six interceptions on the afternoon, two by sophomore defensive back John Clements (Hammonton, N.J.) with returns of nine and five yards. Also grabbing interceptions were senior Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.), senior Will Morey (Bridgewater, Mass.), senior A.J. Snook (Lebanon, Pa.), and junior Hussein Karim (Burlington, Vt.) in the end zone.
Leading the team in tackles as usual was sophomore free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.) with 11, followed closely by senior defensive back Tony Tolene (Harrisburg, Pa.) with 10.
In addition, junior defensive end Matt Perdoni (Sherborn, Mass.) had a sack
Coach McDonnell also named the tri-captains for the 2006 season. Leading the team will be senior offensive lineman Tucker Peterson (Clarendon, Vt.), senior defensive back Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.) and senior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.).