|« Air Lehigh still needs defense to keep foes grounded||UNI makes Farley winningest Valley coach »|
New Hampshire looks legit
It might be time to conclude No. 7 New Hampshire is for real, given their sandwiching an upset victory over Richmond (then No. 5) between victories against No. 13 Lehigh and Holy Cross, arguably the two toughest teams in the Patriot League. UNH coach Sean McDonnell, however, has been around the football scene long enough to know it’s far too early to anoint the Wildcats.
“We’re OK. We’re playing good enough to win games and playing hard enough to win,” McDonnell said. “But, it’s a fine line when you sit here and look at it (on film). We’re winning games by making plays at the end, but there are a lot of things we have to improve on like securing the football, and adjusting to coverages.”
In Saturday’s 39-32 win over HC, UNH (3-1) received a solid effort from tailback Dontra Peters (18 carries, 104 yards) and its customary double-digit tackles from Chris Beranger of Winthrop (12) and Matt Evans of Hanover (11). But the biggest smile in Durham belongs to hard-luck senior wide receiver Mickey Mangieri. Seeing his first action Saturday since December 2009 thanks to a broken leg in last season’s Blue & White scrimmage and a concussion, Mangieri had career bests with six catches for 102 yards and touchdown.
The Crusaders (2-2) wasted a terrific effort by Ryan Taggart. The senior quarterback completed 40-of-57 passes for 412 yards and two scores, plus he rushed 12 times for 55 yards and two TDs. (He did have his school-record streak of 209 straight passes without an interception come to an end.)
Crimson stack up
Harvard (2-1) belted Lafayette, 31-3, for its 10th win in the schools’ last 11 meetings, including six straight in Easton, Pa. The Crimson defense led the way, limiting Lafayette to 42 rushing yards on 29 attempts and making four first-half sacks. It was the first time in 24 road games that Harvard held an opponent without a touchdown.
Standouts were captain Alex Gedeon and junior end Grant Sickle; Gedeon had eight tackles, as did unsung junior linebacker Josh Boyd of Hyde Park and Catholic Memorial, and both Gideon and Sickle forced a fumble. Senior defensive back Dan Minamide intercepted a pass in the end zone for a second straight game.
“The defense played tremendously all day,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “They continuously gave us good field position.”
Junior quarterback Colton Chapple (14-for-18 for 121 yards, TD) had his back tighten up following a hit; sophomore Mike Pruneau (4-of-6 for 44, TD) replaced him in the second half. Starter Collier Winters (hamstring) has missed the last two games.
“I saw (Chapple) walking over the bridge as I was going up to the infirmary to visit (injured linebacker) Blaise Deal, who just had knee surgery, and he looked fine,” said Murphy. “I’ll know more when I get the injury report, but we may have three quarterbacks playing this week.”
A no-huddle offense had UMass (2-2) off-balance as the Minutemen fell, 48-33, at Old Dominion.
Quarterback Kellen Pagel threw for 245 yards and three scores, but left with an injury in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Brandon Hill (7-for-10, 99 yards, TD) came on in relief. UMass co-captain Emil Igwenagu had a career-high 10 catches for 85 yards and a TD. Senior Jonathan Hernandez added his ninth career 100-yard rushing effort (121 yards). . . .
On the small college scene, Plymouth State (3-2, 1-1 NEFC Boyd) had a do-it-all performance by senior Christian Mulcahy in its 27-14 win over Nichols (0-5, 0-2). Mulcahy had two interceptions, four pass breakups and two tackles, went 4-for-5 kicking PATs, handled punting chores and ran a kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown.
“He’s really settled into a role for us at free safety,” Plymouth State coach Paul Castonia said. “He’s a talented kid. He’s getting better and better.” . . .
Senior quarterback Phil Konopka broke his own school single-game records for passing yardage (385) and touchdown passes (five) in a 55-7 thrashing by Endicott (5-0, 2-0 Boyd) of Curry (3-2, 1-1).
By John Connolly, Boston Herald