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Team Wild Defeats Team Cats In UNH Blue-White Football Game
Kevin Decker (Armonk, N.Y.) completed nine of 15 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns, and Jimmy Owens (West Deptford, N.J.) ran for a 65-yard score to help Team Wild defeat Team Cats, 31-16, in the annual Blue-White Game that closed out spring football camp Saturday afternoon at Cowell Stadium.
Mickey Mangieri (Pound Ridge, N.J.), who missed all of the 2010 season after suffering a broken leg in the fall Blue-White Game, made four receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown, rushed once for 17 yards and even threw a 60-yard completion in the victory.
Chris Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.), who was on the receiving end of Mangieri’s pass, was the game’s leading receiver with three receptions for 74 yards.
Defensively, Tre Williams (Syracuse, N.Y.) posted a game-high six tackles for Team Wild. Manny Asam (Bloomfield, N.J.), who is transitioning to safety after playing wide receiver last season, collected a team-high five tackles for Team Cats. Jimmy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.), suiting up for Team Wild, amassed two sacks –bringing down his brother Andy Vailas (Bedford, N.H.) on both occasions.
Kyle Flemings (Forty Fort, Pa.) secured the game’s lone interception and forced a fumble in the losing effort for Team Cats.
Decker connected with Mangieri for a 15-yard touchdown strike on the opening drive of the game, with A.J. DeLago (Menands, N.Y.) tacking on the extra point to stake Team Wild to an early 7-0 advantage.
Later in the first quarter, Flemings intercepted Decker’s pass intended for Mangieri, giving Team Cats possession at the Wild 32-yad line. That set up a 28-yard field goal from Nick Pellino (Danvers, Mass.) to trim Wild’s lead to 7-3 with six minutes remaining in the opening stanza.
Team Wild built the lead back to seven points on the final play of the first quarter when DeLago hit a 38-yard field goal for a 10-3 advantage. Mangieri, on his only carry of the game, helped set up the field goal by reversing direction on an end around to improvise his way for 17 yards to the Team Cats 21.
Mangieri used his arm to pave the way for Team Wild’s next scoring drive, taking a pitch from James Brady (Deer Park, N.Y./6-for-7, 34 yards, TD) and rolling to his right before completing a 60-yard strike to Chandler at the Team Cats 3. One play later, Brady found Joey Orlando (Bethlehem, Pa./four catches-18 yards) in the end zone. Following DeLago’s second PAT of the game, it was a 17-3 lead.
The lead would balloon to 24-3 at halftime courtesy of Decker’s 10-yard TD pass to Tim Farina (Campton, N.H./three catches-seven yards-TD). DeLago was true once again on the point-after.
Team Cats scored its first touchdown of the contest in the third quarter when Alex Park (Upper St. Clair, Pa./7-for-10, 70 yards, TD) hooked up with R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md./one catch-14 yards) for a five-yard score, followed by an extra point from Anthony Guidice (Nashua, N.H.) to cut the deficit to 24-10.
Owens responded immediately by bursting through the middle of the line on the first play of Team Wild’s final drive, streaking 65 yards to help build the advantage to 31-10 after DeLago’s PAT.
Andy Vailas (6-for-9, 37 yards) recorded the game’s final points, calling his own number on a four-yard keeper for Team Cats midway through the third quarter. The game was called at that point due to the threat of inclement weather, making the final tally 31-16.
Prior to the game, there was a tree-planting ceremony in honor of fallen teammate Todd Walker at the Walk of Memory in front of the UNH Field House. Director of Athletics Marty Scarano announced that the team voted to plant a swamp maple in honor of Todd because it will bloom red in the fall. Head coach Sean McDonnell then presented the inaugural Todd Walker Teammate Award to senior defensive back Jason Roach (Dorchester, Mass.). Roach, who was recognized for his selflessness and dedication as the ideal teammate, was honored by wearing Todd’s uniform No. 80 during the Blue-White Game.
By University of New Hampshire Sports Information