No. 1 New Hampshire football rolls past Iona, 56-0

Ball breaks Wildcat record for career receiving yards

David Ball

DURHAM, N.H. -- Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) threw for 153 yards and David Ball (Orange, Vt.) caught two passes for 42 yards as the pair of Walter Payton Award candidates saw limited playing time in the No. 1-ranked University of New Hampshire football team's 56-0 non-conference victory Saturday afternoon at Cowell Stadium.

UNH, which recorded its largest margin of victory since defeating East Stroundsburg 70-10 on Sept. 19, 1998, improved to 9-1 overall. Iona is 3-7.

Ball entered the game second on UNH's career receiving list with 3,062 yards and surpassed the previous school benchmark of 3,072 established by David Gamble (1990-93) with his first catch of the day, a 12-yard pass play in the first quarter. Ball now has 3,104 career receiving yards.

The duo of Santos (8-for-11, 153 yards) and Ball exited the game after just six offensive series and the 'Cats holding a 30-0 lead just 36 seconds into the second quarter.

Robert Simpson (Brockton, Mass.) led the UNH ground game, which saw nine different ball carriers combine for 351 yards and eight touchdowns, with 122 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Matt O'Brien (Cambridge, Mass.) rushed nine times for 78 yards and two TDs. Matt Henry (Cresskill, N.J.) was the top Wildcat receiver with 64 yards on four catches.

UNH's defense held the Gaels' attack to 227 total yards of offense, including just 59 on the ground. Maurice Duper (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) was New Hampshire's leading tackler with eight. He also forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and was credited with three pass breakups. John Clements (Hammonton, N.J.) intercepted two passes, including one in the end zone on an Iona 4th-and-goal play that he returned 67 yards.

Iona's offense was led by Greg Bielski's 74 rushing yards on 24 carries. Starting quarterback Michael Biehl was 8-for-26 for 168 yards and two interceptions. Dennis Calacione caught four passes for 67 yards.

UNH broke out to a 23-0 lead in the first quarter. Aaron Brown (Central Square, N.Y.) opened the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown run at 14:39 and a one-yard rushing TD by Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) extended the advantage to 14-0 at 10:55. Following a safety in which a bad snap to Iona punter Chris Lofrese was batted out of the end zone, John McCoy (Groton, Conn.) scored on a five-yard run 18 seconds later at 3:04.

The Wildcats scored three more rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. O'Brien scored from three yards out at 14:24, Hank Hendricks (San Diego, Calif.) ran in the end zone on a six-yard scamper at 10:41 and O'Brien struck again at 7:35 on a 14-yard run.

Following a scoreless third quarter, Simpson scored on 1- and 5-yard runs in a span of 1:49 to extend the lead to 56-0.

New Hampshire concludes the 2005 regular season Nov. 19 with Senior Day against the University of Maine. Game time at Cowell Stadium is 12 p.m.

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