DURHAM, N.H.-Playing in their final regular season home game, seniors Kevon Mason, Mike Greene and Kyle Auffray all collected their first touchdown receptions of the year, and classmate R.J. Toman went a perfect eight-for-eight for 95 yards and two scoring tosses in limited playing time as the 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire football team rolled to a 38-19 triumph over Towson University on Saturday afternoon at Cowell Stadium.
UNH (7-4, 5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) strengthened its bid for a seventh consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff appearance by earning its fifth win in six games. Towson concluded its season with a mark of 1-10 and 0-8 in the CAA.
Mason (Quincy, Mass.) finished with four catches for 41 yards, while Sean Jellison (Amherst, N.H.) led the ground game with 14 carries for 57 yards. Jellison eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in career rushing yards with 1,025. In notable defensive performances, Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) notched a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown and forced a fumble. Evans's seven tackles in the game raised his CAA-leading total to 135 on the season, good for third all-time in UNH single-season history. Additionally, Kyle Flemings (Forty Fort, Pa.) recorded an interception and a fumble recovery.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff and scored on their first drive. Quarterback Brian Potts, making his second career start, connected with Sherman Greene on a 56-yard post pattern, putting the ball on the Wildcats' 19-yard line. Four plays later, Towson seized a 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal from Nick Wallace with 12:01 left in the first quarter. That lead would be short-lived.
UNH countered by scoring a touchdown on its initial drive, converting three third-down plays on its 12-play, 78-yard drive. Facing third-and-goal from the Towson 6, Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) rolled right and lofted a scoring pass to Mason in the back right corner of the end zone. Mason's first touchdown reception since Sept. 5, 2009, helped the Wildcats take a 7-3 advantage with 6:54 left in the first period.
New Hampshire's defense jump-started its next scoring drive. On third-and-17, defensive end Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) pressured Potts, who subsequently was intercepted by Flemings, giving UNH the ball at its 46. Toman then gained three yards on an option rush, before pitching to Terrance Fox (Piscataway, N.J.), who picked up an additional 10 yards on the play. Three snaps later, Toman's second touchdown pass of the afternoon was a 28-yard hook-up with Greene (Stonington, Conn.), who broke free racing down the left sideline for his first career scoring grab, making it a 14-3 Wildcats' lead with 4:08 left in the first.
The lead increased to 17-3 on a 31-yard field goal from Mike MacArthur (North Hampton, N.H.) with 12:31 remaining in the first half, and then Evans snared a Potts pass for his second interception of the season, taking it 25 yards for a pick-six that lifted New Hampshire to a commanding 24-3 lead with 11:43 to go before the half. It was the fourth time in three seasons the Wildcats have returned an interception for a touchdown against the Tigers.
UNH would take a 31-3 lead to the locker room. Filling in for the injured Toman, Kevin Decker (Armonk, N.Y.) orchestrated a 12-play, 82-yard drive that culminated in a 12-yard touchdown pass to Auffray (Cornwall, N.Y.), who notched his first career scoring catch on drag route along the left side of the goal line with 1:47 left in the second quarter.
Towson managed to score a safety with 10:52 left in the third quarter, cutting the UNH lead to 31-5.
Decker (12-of-17, 82 yards, TD/six carries-31 yards, TD) registered the Wildcats' final score by calling his own number for a 20-yard touchdown run, his first of the season, with 5:32 left in the third quarter, making the score 38-5.
Hakeem Moore scored on a 64-yard catch-and-run pass from Potts with 14:52 left in the contest for Towson, and Potts added a two-yard rushing touchdown with 1:00 remaining to cap the scoring.
The Wildcats await word on their postseason destination, which will be revealed during the NCAA Division I football championship tournament selection show. The championship selection show will be broadcast live on ESPNU Sunday morning, Nov. 21, beginning at 10:00 a.m. For more information, visit www.unhwildcats.com.