Sep 13, 2014 7:04 PM
UNH lights up scoreboard
DURHAM - Junior quarterback Sean Goldrich (West Haven, Conn.) matched a career high with four touchdown passes and eclipsed his career high in passing yards with 422 to lead No. 7/9 University of New Hampshire to a 45-27 win over Lehigh on Saturday at Cowell Stadium.
The Wildcats dominated in the first half and held on in the second in front of a crowd of 9,358 in the first game played under the lights at Cowell Stadium. The game started at 3:30 p.m., and the lights were needed when it ended in the rain just before 7 p.m.
UNH improved to 1-1 on the season and Lehigh of the Patriot League fell to 0-2. UNH plays its first Colonial Athletic Association game next Saturday at Richmond.
Wide receiver R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md.) caught six passes for 109 yards and a pair of scores and also ran for a touchdown. Tight end Harold Spears (Perkasie, Pa.) had career highs in catches (seven) and yards (138) and had a touchdown reception.
Safety Hayden Knudson (Alexandria, Va.), who missed UNH's season-opening loss to Toledo as he recovered from a broken jaw, led the defense with 11 tackles and had a fumble recovery.
Linebacker DeVaughn Chollette (Scranton, Pa.) registered seven tackles, an interception with return for 33 yards and tallied one of UNH's four quarterback sacks.Daniel Rowe (Orange, N.J.) chipped in with seven tackles.
The UNH defense held Lehigh to 314 total yards and just 88 in the first half. The 'Cats offense piled up 646 total yards, 422 through the air.
The Wildcats rolled in the first half. They collected 401 yards of offense in the first 30 minutes and raced to a 29-0 lead.
UNH's first possession ended when Lehigh picked off a Goldrich pass. The defense answered with a turnover of its own as well and UNH was on its way.
Lehigh quarterback Nick Shafnisky (15-for-28, 106 yards, TD, INT) completed a pass to Josh Parris (5 catches, 37 yards), but Knudson stripped the ball from the receiver and defensive end Cody Muller (Telford, Pa./three tackles) recovered the fumble.
Goldrich and the Wildcats took advantage and marched 71 yards in 12 plays to their first score, a 2-yard run by Jimmy Owens (West Deptford, N.J./12 rushes, 70 yards, TD).Andy Vailas (Bedford, N.H./six rushes, 44 yards) rushed for the 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
The defense held and forced a Lehigh punt. It took UNH just four plays to cover 74 yards and score again. Goldrich hit Spears in stride for a 53-yard scoring pass with 1:22 left in the period.
The Wildcats ran their lead to 23-0 midway through the second period with an 11-play, 84-yard drive. Harris took a direct snap and covered the last 15 yards for the TD.
UNH struck once more before the halftime. Goldrich connected with Jimmy Giansante (Jefferson Hills, Pa./five catches, 73 yards, TD) on a pretty throw and catch to finish off a nine-play, 90-yard march. Giansante went up for the ball over a defender for the 31-yard touchdown and 29-0 lead.
Lehigh got on the board on a 32-yard run by Brandon Yosha with just under two minutes gone in the third quarter.
Goldrich responded with a pair of touchdown passes to Harris to extend UNH's lead to 42-7 just past the halfway point of the third period. Harris caught the first pass just behind the line of scrimmage and raced 52 yards down the left sideline for the score. The second pass play covered 35 yards.
Lehigh scored a pair of touchdowns to cut the lead to 42-21. Shafnisky scored the first on a 7-yard run with 4:36 left in the third period and connected with Troy Pelletier for a 6-yard TD pass with 12:08 remaining in the fourth.
Kicker Christian Breda (Needham, Mass.) booted a 23-yard field goal with 8:57 left in the game to run UNH's lead to 45-21.
Pelletier scored on an 18-yard pass from Matt McHale with 1:52 remaining to close out the scoring.