Rams Can't Hold Off New Hampshire, Fall 20-17

Rams Can't Hold Off New Hampshire, Fall 20-17

How it Happened
Rhode Island jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but it was unable to hold off New Hampshire, as the Wildcats scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Rams, 20-17, Saturday.

With the defense shutting the Wildcats down, Rhody (1-7, 1-4 CAA Football) scored the first 17 points of the game. Defensive back Isaiah Hill forced a fumble deep in UNH territory, which led to a 37-yard field goal by Justin Rohrwasser with 5:18 to go in the first quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, Wesley McKoy hit Harold Cooper wit a swing pass for a 31-yard touchdown to help extend the lead to 10-0. It was the second straight game McKoy and Cooper have connected on a touchdown pass.

Cooper added his second score of the game on the final play from scrimmage before halftime. With three seconds left, Jim Fleming elected to send his offense back on the field, rather than take a field goal. Cooper punched it across the goal line to give Rhody a 17-0 lead heading into the break.

New Hampshire came out of the half hot, taking its opening possession 82 yards in three plays. Sean Goldrich hit Dalton Crossan with a 52-yard touchdown pass. Following a three-and-out by Rhody, the Wildcats came right back with another touchdown, as Crossan ran it in from 12 yards out to cap a 10-play, 54-yard drive, making the score 17-14.

Goldrich orchestrated the game-winning drive for New Hampshire (4-4, 2-3 CAA Football) in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats drove 84 yards on seven plays, reaching the end zone on Goldrich's second touchdown pass of the day, a 5-yard strike to Kyon Taylor with 5:46 remaining.

Inside the Box Score

  • Harold Cooper had 222 all-purpose yards. He rushed for 97 yards, caught four passes for 48 yards and had 77 kick return yards. He also scored a pair of touchdowns.
  • The defense forced four possessions of three plays or less in the first half, getting the only turnover of the first half. Rhody held New Hampshire to 1-for-6 on third down in the first half.
  • In the second half, New Hampshire was 6-for-9 on third downs. 
  • New Hampshire managed just 17 rushing yards in the first half, but ran for 167 after halftime.
  • Rhode Island opened the game with seven consecutive running plays and ran the ball 32 times in the first half. 
  • Tim Wienclaw blocked a punt in the third quarter, the second blocked punt by Rhody against New Hampshire in as many seasons. Last year Romeo Masuku blocked one. 
  • Wienclaw also had a team-high eight tackles and moved into seventh place in program history with 283 career stops.
  • Sophomore defensive back Isaiah Hill forced a fumble in the first quarter, which led to Rhode Island's first points of the game. Hill had five tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass break up and one forced fumble. 
  • Sophomore defensive tackle Mike Ezirike had his first career sack in the first quarter.
  • Senior Greg Doutre also had a sack and finished with three tackles.
  • Freshman quarterback Wesley McKoy made his first career start. mcKoy finished 9-for-16 for 104 and threw a touchdown pass for the second straight game.
  • Senior Myles Holmes had two tackles and two pass break ups. He now has 19 for his career and is tied with Jim Robertson (1981-82) for sixth in team history. 
  • Senior linebacker Connor Caponegro was the team's anchor bearer, while senior wide receiver Phadrae White served as the game captain.
  • Attendance for the game was 5,003.

Stat of the Game
1,000 – Harold Cooper finished the game with exactly 1,000 career rushing yards. 

What's Next
Rhode Island returns to Kingston for back-to-back home games. The Rams host Villanova Saturday, Nov. 7 and Stony Brook Saturday, Nov. 14. Both games kick off at 12:30 p.m.