Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) threw for five touchdowns and ran for another TD to lead the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire football team to Saturday afternoon’s 49-36 CAA victory against the University of Rhode Island at Cowell Stadium.
    UNH won its fourth consecutive game and remained undefeated at home this season (4-0) to improve to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the CAA. URI dropped its third straight game to fall to 1-7, 0-5. The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of offense as the Rams recorded a slight edge of 537-529.
    Santos went 24 of 30 for 419 yards to ascend to No. 6 on the NCAA FCS career  passing leaderboard with 12,189 yards. Santos now has 116 career TD passes, which ranks directly behind Steve McNair (119) at No. 4 overall. He also finished the game with 41 yards on eight carries.
    Mike Boyle (Plymouth, N.H.) and Keith LeVan (Waltham,Mass.) were Santos’ top targets as both receivers had seven catches and a touchdown. Boyle had a game-high 116 receiving yards and LeVan compiled 93. Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) had a 7-yard TD reception that opened the game scoring at 11:53 of the first quarter and a 10-yard TD reception at 1:21 of the second quarter as part of his four receptions for 56 yards. Chad Kackert (Simi Valley, Calif.) had a 52-yard TD pass reception and 52 rushing yards on 12 carries.
    UNH’s defensive effort was led by Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt.), who led five Wildcats in double digit tackles with 21. Marvin Wright (Roxbury, Mass.) and Hugo Souza (Marshfield, Mass.) each tallied 16 tackles, followed by Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.; 14) and Matt Parent (Long Beach, Calif.; 13). With the 14 tackles, Pammer ascended to No. 4 on UNH’s career tackles leaderboard with 305.
    Rhode Island, which amassed 267 first-half rushing yards to build a 24-21 halftime lead, was led by Jimmy Hughes’ 168 rushing yards on 20 carries. His second-quarter 3-yard TD scamper gave URI a 10-7 lead and then he scored rushing touchdowns of 21 and 2 yards in the fourth quarter. Joe Casey also topped 100 yards on the ground with 105 yards on 23 carries. The visitors finished with 77 rushes for 430 yards.
    With URI leading 10-7, both teams scored a pair of touchdowns in the last six minutes of the second quarter. Following a UNH turnover, a Jerrell Jones’ eight-yard TD run gave the Rams a 17-7 advantage at 5:45. Kackert then turned Santos’ pass in the left flat into a 52-yard scoring play down the left sideline at 4:07, which lifted the ‘Cats within 17-14. Rhode Island scored four plays later on a 37-yard run by Derek Cassidy at 2:58, then New Hampshire closed the first-half scoring with a seven-play, 78-yard drive that culminated in Sicko’s second TD of the half.
    The Wildcats took a lead they would not relinquish, 28-24, on a 57-yard pass play from Santos to LeVan at 3:40. A two-yard run by Robert Simpson (Brockton, Mass.) extended UNH’s advantage to 35-24 with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
    Another UNH turnover led to Hughes’ 21-yard scoring play that lifted the Rams within 35-30 at 13:11 of the fourth quarter. On the ensuing two-point conversion, backup quarterback D.J. Stefkovich rolled to the right but could not connect with Shawn Leonard (four catches, 57 yards) along the right side of the end zone.
    Santos’ 1-yard scamper capped a six-play, 44-yard Wildlcats’ drive that made the score 42-30 with 11:04 to play. Santos then connected with Boyle on a 38-yard pass play that extended UNH’s lead to 49-30 at 5:00. Only 36 seconds remained on Hughes’ third score of the game.
    New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 3 (12 p.m.) at home against Northeastern University. Tickets are available online at or by calling 866-WILDCAT. Fans will also be able to watch the game online at
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