Makes Four TD Catches Vs. Top Defense In I-AA Football
PHILADELPHIA-- Junior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.) of the University of New Hampshire football team was named the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday, not just for making four touchdown receptions and nine catches for 199 yards, but for accomplishing it all against the No. 1 defense in I-AA football.
Ball was basically unstoppable in Amherst as he and sophomore quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) connected four times through the air to lead No. 4 UNH to a 34-28 victory over No. 7 Massachusetts. The win put UNH in first place in the North Division of the Atlantic 10 Football Conference and in a good position to compete for the overall Atlantic 10 title down the stretch.
Ball made touchdown catches of 45, 4, 12, and 33 yds as he and Santos tied their career mark in touchdown connections, as they also teamed up for four scores vs. Towson in 2004.
One of 16 candidates for the Walter Payton Award, along with Santos, Ball has now caught 50 passes this season for 949 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games played.
With his 13 touchdown receptions (which leads all of I-AA football), Ball needs just five more to break his own UNH all-time season mark of 17, which he recorded in 2004.
Ball, who was named the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, topped the 100-yd receiving total for the sixth time in 2005 and for the 14th time in his young career. If he had recorded one more yard, he would have topped the 200 yd. receiving mark for the third time over the last two campaigns. He is also UNH's all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 34 over the past three seasons. His 34 touchdowns also ties him for third-best all-time in the Atlantic 10 history books with Atlanta Falcons wideout Brian Finneran.
Ball now has 174 career receptions which places him fourth on UNH's all-time listing and he now has 2,939 career receiving yards which moves him up to third on the all-time UNH list past John Perry, who completed his UNH career with 2,873 receiving yards.
Next week Ball could become only the third UNH player ever top 3,000 career receiving yards. All he needs is 61 more receiving yards to reach 3,000. Curtis Olds had 3,028 for second place and the all-time leader is David Gamble with 3,072.
Ball and the No.4-ranked Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Hofstra University for another key Northern Division Atlantic 10 matchup. Game time is 1 p.m. at James W. Stuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.