NEWARK, Del. – Terrance Fox (Piscataway, N.J.) matched a career-high with 11 catches for 72 yards, and Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) became the all-time single-season sack leader in University of New Hampshire history, but the 10th-ranked Wildcats had their season end in the NCAA Division I Football Championship quarterfinals with a 16-3 setback at the hands of the fifth-ranked University of Delaware on Friday night at Delaware Stadium.
Delaware, which upped its record to 11-2 by ending a three-game losing streak against New Hampshire, will host the winner of Saturday's Wofford/Georgia Southern quarterfinal game, in the national semifinals either Friday, Dec. 17, or Saturday, Dec. 18. UNH's season ends with a record of 8-5 after the Wildcats fell in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons, and for the third time to a CAA opponent (Massachusetts-2006, Villanova-2009).
The Wildcats struck first, grabbing a 3-0 lead with 2:35 left in the opening quarter on a 23-yard field goal from Mike MacArthur (North Hampton, N.H.). UNH strung together a 14-play, 75-yard drive that chopped 6:14 off the clock. Quarterback R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) used his legs for the two biggest plays of the possession: a 17-yard scamper on third-and-10, taking the ball from the Wildcats' 49 to the Blue Hens' 34, and an 18-yard run off right tackle, with a key lead block from Chris Setian (East Longmeadow, Mass.), that set up first-and-goal at the 10.
McNally officially set the school record for sacks in a single season when he hauled down UD quarterback Pat Devlin for an eight-yard loss on a third-and-11 play late in the first quarter. The All-CAA First Team defensive end added a second sack in the third quarter, giving him 13.5 for the season.
Delaware tied the game, 3-3, when Mike Perry connected for a 25-yard field goal with 3:00 remaining in the first half, capping a 15-play, 85-yard drive. The Hens were pinned back to their own seven-yard line following a career-high 67-yard punt from Kyle Auffray (Cornwall, N.Y.), but Devlin went to work on the Wildcats' defense, completing eight of nine passes for 64 yards on the six-minute, 48-second drive. The teams went to the halftime deadlocked at 3.
The Blue Hens moved in front with 7:09 remaining in the third quarter when Devlin hit Nihja White on a deep left out route for a 24-yard touchdown. The extra point went wide right, keeping Delaware's lead at 9-3. Earlier in the drive, it was a Devlin-to-White 12-yard hook-up on third-and-five that extended the possession and pushed the ball into Wildcats' territory at the 42.
Devlin threw his second touchdown pass of the night, and 20th of the season, with 13:04 remaining in the game, hitting Mark Schneauer on third-and-goal from UNH 9, giving Delaware a 16-3 advantage. That play capped a 10-play, 87-yard drive that consumed 4:02 off the clock.
UNH drove to the Delaware 27 yard line, but Toman was intercepted on a 4th-and-9 play with just under six minutes remaining. The Blue Hens sealed the victory with a 12-play drive lasting 5:36.