WEST POINT, N.Y. The New Hampshire Wildcats turned a pair of Army turnovers into touchdowns and ran back a kickoff for a score to defeat Army, 28-10, in front of 25,762 fans at Michie Stadium on Saturday. The Black Knights are now 0-2 on the season, while the Wildcats improved to 1-0.
Army lost four fumbles, including one that was returned for a score. It was the second straight week that the Black Knights’ opponent found the end zone off an Army miscue. The Wildcats also scored on an 87-yard kickoff return, marking the second time in as many weeks Army allowed a score on special teams.
Junior QB Carson Williams paced the Army offense by completing all seven of his attempts for 95 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game in the second quarter with an injury to his left hand. Williams’ scoring toss to senior TE Mike Evans moved the Cullman, Ala., native into sole possession of seventh place on the Black Knights’ career touchdown passes list with 16.
Senior FB Collin Mooney topped Army’s rushing chart for the second straight week with 57 yards on 16 carries. Sophomore QB Chip Bowden ran 14 times for 39 yards. Bowden did not complete a pass in three attempts.
Sophomore LB Josh McNary led the Army defense with eight tackles, including seven solo stops. Senior LB Frank Scappaticci and junior DT Mike Gann each recorded sacks, the first of the season for the Black Knights. Gann and sophomore DB Donovan Travis accounted for two turnovers with a fumble recovery and interception, respectively.
While the Black Knights once again held a significant advantage in time of possession (35:02-24:58), the Wildcats outgained Army, 322-264, including a 184-169 advantage on the ground.
Sean Jellison was UNH’s top rusher with 84 yards on 10 carries. Chad Kackert ran 12 times for 68 yards and a score, while Mike Boyle also accounted for a score on the ground. R.J. Toman completed 12 of 17 passing attempts for 138 yards one interception.
Hugo Souza and John Clements each recorded 10 tackles for the Wildcats’ defense. Souza made two stops behind the line of scrimmage and returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. Clements also reached paydirt with an 87-yard kickoff return.
After each team punted on its opening possession, the Black Knights put together a 6-play, 77-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Williams found Evans for a 2-yard scoring strike on 3rd-and-goal. Senior Adam DeMarco’s PAT was good to give Army its first lead of the season with 2:35 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was the first of Evans’ career.
The lead lasted exactly 16 seconds after Clements went the distance on the ensuing kickoff. The extra point was good to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:19 left in the quarter.
Following a second-quarter Army fumble, the Wildcats took the lead for good, marching 74 yards in eight plays for the go-ahead score. Kackert did the honors with a 23-yard run. The PAT pushed the lead to 14-7 with 8:35 left in the half.
Army closed within four points on a 42-yard field goal by Matthew Campbell with 20 seconds left in the half. It was Campbell’s first career field goal attempt.
The Wildcats scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to push their lead to 18 points. UNH took the second half kickoff and drove 66 yards on nine plays, capped by a Mike Boyle 5-yard run.
The two teams exchanged punts before Steve Young forced a Geoffrey Hewitt fumble that Souza recovered and returned 22 yards for the game’s final score.
New Hampshire entered the game ranked 15th in the nation in the latest Football Championship Subdivision poll. It was the Wildcats’ fourth straight win over a team from the Football Bowl Subdivision after knocking off Rutgers in 2004, Northwestern in 2006 and Marshall last season. The loss snapped Army’s three-game winning streak against FCS squads.
Army has next week off before completing its three-game home stand versus Akron on Sept. 20. The game is part of the Army Hall of Fame celebration. The first 10,000 fans will receive a limited edition print of all 10 inductees, highlighted by former West Point men’s basketball coach Bob Knight. Tickets are available by calling the Army Athletics Ticket Office at 1-877-TIX-ARMY or visiting www.goARMYsports.com.