DURHAM, N.H. -- The New England Football Writers announced Wednesday that junior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.), senior wide receiver David Ball (Orange Vt.) and senior offensive lineman Tucker Peterson (Clarendon, Vt.) of the University of New Hampshire were named to the All-New England Division I-AA Team.
Santos, who was named to the team for the third time, has played in all 12 games this season for UNH, completing 68 percent of his passes while compiling 2,996 yards, 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He has also rushed for 355 yards and an Atlantic 10 conference-most 12 touchdowns. Santos was named Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year and was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 for his outstanding season. Santos, who broke the 10,000 yard career mark in his last game, is the UNH all-time leader in career passing attempts (1,247), completions (850), passing yards (10,111) and touchdowns (98). With one more touchdown, Santos will tie the Atlantic 10 record for most career touchdown passes.
Santos is also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award along with Northern Arizona quarterback Jason Murietta and Southern Illinois running back Arkee Whitlock. The Walter Payton Award, which is given annually by The Sports Network to the top football player in Division I-AA, will be presented at the 20th Annual I-AA College Football Awards in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Dec. 14.
Ball, who broke Jerry Rice’s I-AA all-time touchdown reception record Oct. 7 in a 27-17 win over the University of Richmond with his 51st touchdown catch, was also named to the All-New England Division I-AA Team for the third time. Ball, a tri-captain, has played in all 12 games this season, hauling in 87 catches for 1,060 yards and 13 touchdowns. This is the third straight season in which Ball has broken the 1,000 yard mark. For his efforts, Ball was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 and was invited to play in the Hula Bowl on Jan. 14, 2007 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ball, like Santos, already owns all the major UNH all-time records at his position, including receptions (298), receiving yards (4,601), and touchdown receptions (58).
Though he is finished breaking UNH records, Ball is still chasing Rice. After already taking down the Mississippi Valley State wide receiver’s record for touchdown catches, Ball has his sights set on Rice’s career receiving yards record and 100-yard receiving performances. Ball needs 93 yards to break the receiving yards record and just one more 100-yard performance, which would give him 24 games in which he has compiled 100 receiving yards, to move past Rice. Ball also needs just two more games with at least one touchdown catch to break Eric Kimble’s record of 29. Peterson, who joined Santos and Ball as First Team All-Atlantic 10, now joins them on the All-New England Division I-AA Team. A tri-captain,
Peterson is a key component at left guard in an explosive Wildcat offense which ranks third in the nation in scoring (36.83 points per game) and is sixth in the nation in total offense (405.17 yards per game). The Wildcats finished the regular season with an 8-3 overall record including 5-3 in the Atlantic 10. After a 41-38 victory over Hampton University in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, the Wildcats will stay on the road and travel to take on interstate rival University of Massachusetts-Amherst on Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the quarterfinal round. The All-New England Division I-AA Team will be honored at the annual New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet on Dec. 14 at Casa di Fior in Wilmington, Mass.