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Wildcats blow past Georgia State

The New Hampshire

Published: Monday, October 8, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02


Andy Vailas threw for four touchdowns, Nico Steriti scored three times and University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell earned his 100th career victory as the No. 14/17 Wildcats defeated Georgia State, 44-21, in CAA action on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

With their second straight win, UNH improves to 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in the CAA. GSU falls to 0-6.

McDonnell, in his 14th season, joins his former head coach, Bill Bowes (175 victories in 27 seasons), as the only UNH coaches to ever reach the century mark in career wins.

The Wildcats totaled 624 yards on offense while holding the Panthers to 299 yards. UNH accumulated 332 rushing yards, as both Steriti (11 carries-126 yards, two TDs) and Jimmy Owens (15 rushes-120 yards) eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

The New Hampshire defense forced five turnovers, with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Jared Smith notched a forced fumble and two sacks among his five tackles. Matt Evans (five tackles) and Cody Muller (one tackle, fumble recovery) also registered sacks.

Chris Houston, Hayden Knudson and Alan Buzbee each intercepted a pass.

Vailas went 18 of 35 for 252 yards and four TDs. Harold Spears set career highs with six receptions for 94 yards and his first career TD. Jimmy Giansante tallied four grabs for 65 yards.

UNH snapped a 7-7 tie early in the second quarter by parlaying the game’s first turnover into points. Smith, applying backside pressure, blindsided GSU quarterback Ronnie Bell, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Muller at the Panthers’ 21. Steriti then picked up 13 yards on a sweep around the right end before nabbing a Vailas pass on a shallow crossing route from right to left for an eight-yard TD –the first scoring reception of the sophomore’s career and a 14-7 lead.

Special teams set up New Hampshire’s next scoring drive. After a Smith sack forced GSU into a fourth-and-19 from its own 16, Knudson deflected Matt Hubbard’s punt, resulting in a 24-yard kick that gave the ‘Cats possession at the Panthers’ 40. Steriti subsequently carried for eight yards, Vailas connected on a 25-yard seam-route pass to Spears and Steriti scored his second touchdown of the game by reversing direction on a left-side Andy Vailas threw for four touchdowns, Nico Steriti scored three times and University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell earned his 100th career victory as the No. 14/17 Wildcats defeated Georgia State, 44-21, in CAA action on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

With their second straight win, UNH improves to 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in the CAA. GSU falls to 0-6.

McDonnell, in his 14th season, joins his former head coach, Bill Bowes (175 victories in 27 seasons), as the only UNH coaches to ever reach the century mark in career wins.

The Wildcats totaled 624 yards on offense while holding the Panthers to 299 yards. UNH accumulated 332 rushing yards, as both Steriti (11 carries-126 yards, two TDs) and Jimmy Owens (15 rushes-120 yards) eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

The New Hampshire defense forced five turnovers, with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Jared Smith notched a forced fumble and two sacks among his five tackles. Matt Evans (five tackles) and Cody Muller (one tackle, fumble recovery) also registered sacks.

Chris Houston, Hayden Knudson and Alan Buzbee each intercepted a pass.

Vailas went 18 of 35 for 252 yards and four TDs. Harold Spears set career highs with six receptions for 94 yards and his first career TD. Jimmy Giansante tallied four grabs for 65 yards.

UNH snapped a 7-7 tie early in the second quarter by parlaying the game’s first turnover into points. Smith, applying backside pressure, blindsided GSU quarterback Ronnie Bell, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Muller at the Panthers’ 21. Steriti then picked up 13 yards on a sweep around the right end before nabbing a Vailas pass on a shallow crossing route from right to left for an eight-yard TD –the first scoring reception of the sophomore’s career and a 14-7 lead.

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