HEMPSTEAD N.Y.— The 11th-ranked University of New Hampshire outscored No. 10-ranked Hofstra 33-3 in the first half and senior quarterback Ricky Santos threw 4 TDs in three quarters and ran for one to lead the Wildcats to a 40-3 victory over the previously undefeated Pride.It was Santos’ first game back since suffering a shoulder injury in the second quarter vs. Delaware on Oct. 6.The UNH defense also came up big on the night, producing four turnovers, three by interception and another by fumble recovery.
The Wildcats (5-2 overall, 2-2 CAA), as they have done six times this season, scored on their first drive of the contest, capping it off with a 1 yd run at 11:54 by senior quarterback Ricky Santos to make it 7-0, following the good PAT by Tom Manning. The drive was nine plays and covered 75 yds in 3:06 and Santos completed 5 of 6 passes for 45 yds in his return from a shoulder injury.
After several UNH penalties, Hofstra (6-1, 3-1) drove down the field and Rob Zarrilli kicked a 19-yd field goal to pull within four points, 7-3. The boot capped a 9 play 71 yd drive by The Pride.
Following a fake punt in which Tom Bishop ran the ball 26 yards to put the football on the Hofstra 26 yd line, UNH’s J.T. Wright caught 31 yd. pass from Santos to give UNH a 13-3 advantage at 14:52 of the second stanza following the missed PAT attempt. The TD catch capped a 5-play 51 yd drive.
At 11:53 of the second quarter Santos threw another perfect 26 yd pass to the end zone, this time to tight end Scott Sicko and the Wildcats led 19-3 after the PAT was blocked.
UNH drove the ball downfield quickly again and had third and goal on the 1 yd line. Santos and J.T. Wright connected for the second time in the contest at 5:46 of the second quarter. Following the PAT by Manning UNH was up 26-3. The scoring drive included 11 plays for 80 yds.
In a tremendous play, senior free safety Jeff Pammer blocked a pass attempt into the air, made the interception and then returned the football 66 yds for a TD that gave the Wildcats a 33-3 advantage with 2:55 to play before the half.
Santos turned in a stellar performance by halftime, completing 17 of 21 passes for 211 yds and three TDs.Hofstra then moved the ball into the UNH red xone, but sophomore defensive lineman T.J. Taylor stepped in and intercepted the ball on the UNH 18 yd line. UNH took a knee to end the first half.
Hofstra started with the ball in the second stanza and fumbled on a hit by senior linebacker Husain Karim and a recovery by defensive back John Clements. Santos then threw a 47 yd bomb, once again to the end zone and LeVan and the Wildcats led 40-3 with 13:52 to go in the third quarter.
Santos finished the game 19 of 23 for 262 yards, 4 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD and no interceptions. Leading the receivers with century mark was LeVan with 7 catches for 121 yds and a TD.
The Wildcats will return to action on Sat., Oct. 27 vs. Rhode Island. Game time is at 12 p.m. and the contest can be seen live on NESN and on Tickets for the game are still available online at
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