DURHAM, N.H. – The 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire football team scored a touchdown on six of nine first-half possessions to build a 42-point lead en route to Saturday afternoon’s 49-21 non-conference victory against Iona College before a Homecoming Weekend crowd of 11,068 at Cowell Stadium.
UNH, which outgained the visitors 351-51 in the first half, won its second consecutive game to improve to 4-2 overall. Iona is 5-2.
The Wildcats carried the ball 49 times for a total of 257 yards. The rushing attack was led by Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H.; 10 carries-65 yards, two TDs) and Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif.; 7-55, one TD). Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.) scored on a 65-yard right end-around in which he broke a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, eluded a few Gaels’ defenders at the line and cut across the field to give New Hampshire a 7-0 lead just 50 seconds into the game.
Redshirt freshman quarterback R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) completed 15-of-19 pass attempts for 172 yards with a 10-yard TD pass to Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) that gave the ‘Cats a 14-0 lead at 9:46 of the first quarter.
Travis Negron (San Diego, Calif.), Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.), J.T. Wright (Agoura Hills, Calif.) and Terrance Fox (Piscataway, N.J.) each had a team-high three receptions for the ‘Cats. Negron led UNH’s receiving corps with 39 yards, followed by Sicko (36) and Wright and Fox with 33 each.
New Hampshire’s defense yielded just 51 first-half yards to the Gaels, who finished with 248 yards overall. Justin Wright (Providence, R.I.) led all tacklers with 12 total and was also credited with a pass breakup.
Iona starting QB Nick Rossetti went 15-for-27 for two TDs, and he was the team’s leading rusher with 31 yards on 12 carries. Dustin Croick quarterbacked Iona in the fourth quarter and went 9-of-12 for 72 yards and one TD. Tim Mastrino was the top target with seven receptions for 56 yards. Dane Samuels was limited to 24 yards on 11 carries.
UNH led 14-0 at the end of one quarter and extended that advantage to 21-0 three seconds into the second on a six-yard run by Chris Ward (Waltham, Mass.). Kackert was untouched on a 21-yard TD run up the middle that gave the Wildcats a 28-0 edge at 12:46. Toman tucked the ball and ran for an eight-yard score at 8:42, then Jellison scored on a six-yard scamper at 5:16.
Iona scored with 23 seconds remaining in the first half when Rossetti threw a four-yard jump ball to Daron Ellis in the back-right corner of the end zone. Rossetti lifted the Gaels within 42-14 at 5:02 of the third quarter on a six-yard pass to Tyle Schroeder.
Jellison’s second TD of the day – a one-yard run – gave UNH a 49-14 advantage with 27 seconds to play in the third. Iona closed the scoring on a nine-yard pass play from Croick to DeMarcus White with 36 seconds remaining in the game.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 20 (4 p.m.) at Hofstra University. The Wildcats’ next home game is Oct. 27 (12 p.m.) against the University of Rhode Island. Tickets for that game, which will feature live video streaming at UNHwildcats.tv, are available online at www.unhwildcats.com or by calling 866-WILDCAT.