Last-Second Field Goal by UNH Drops Rams to 0-3

Photo Credit: Shane Donaldson
Photo Credit: Shane Donaldson

How It Happened
Rhode Island (0-3, 0-2 CAA Football) lost another heartbreaker, falling 27-24 to New Hampshire on a field goal on the final play of the game Saturday night.

After Zoe Bryant, Jr. scored on a 2-yard rush with 1:30 remaining in regulation to help the Rams tie the score, New Hampshire (1-2, 1-0 CAA Football) drove 60 yards in 1:25 to set up the game-winning play. Jason Hughes hit a 29-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Wildcats to victory.

New Hampshire led throughout the night. UNH took the lead immediately when Max Brosmer hit Malik Love for a 78-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage, giving the Wildcats a 7-0 lead just 44 seconds into the game.

The Wildcats extended the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Brosmer ran it in from 2 yards out. The rush capped a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ate 9:05 off the clock.

Rhody used a nine-play, 80-yard drive late in the second quarter to get on the board. Ahmere Dorsey scored on a 4-yard run out of the wildcat formation to cut the deficit in half just 2:14 before the break. The Rams nearly got a second score in the closing seconds of the half, but a long pass over the middle from Vito Priore to Isaiah Coulter just went off the receiver's finger tips.

New Hampshire pushed the lead to 14 points midway through the third quarter. An 81-yard rush by Evan Gray set up first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Rhody's defense made the stop on the first three downs, but on fourth-and-goal, Brosmer hit Brian Espanet on a fade pass in the corner of the end zone. The pass was tipped by cornerback Malik Wilder, but Espanet pulled the pass in as he fell to the ground.

A 40-yard field goal by C.J. Carrick with 4:40 left in the third pulled Rhode Island within 21-10. Jason Hughes hit a 34-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to make the score 24-10.

Vito Priore capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Coulter with 8:51 remaining. The touchdown made it a one-score game, as Rhody pulled within 24-17.

After a defensive stop, Priore led Rhody on a 13-play, 77-yard drive to tie the score. Twice Priore came up with big plays on fourth down to get the Rams to the end zone. On fourth-and-10 from the UNH 31, Priore scrambled and gained 10 yards. Then, facing fourth-and-8 from the UNH 29, he hit Coulter for 27 yards to set up Bryant's game-tying score.

However, New Hampshire responded with the game-winning drive to hand the Rams their second league loss.

Inside the Box Score

  • Junior wide receiver Isaiah Coulter matched his career high with 10 catches. He also topped 100 receiving yards, finishing with 105 and a touchdown. It was his fourth 100-yard game.
  • Senior wide receiver Aaron Parker also topped 100 yards, grabbing nine passes for 144 yards. It was the third time in three games this year that Parker has gone over 100 receiving yards. He now has 12 career 100-yard games.
  • Parker also passed Dameon Reilly for second place in receiving yards in program history, ending the game with 2,751. Reilly had 2,698 from 1983-85.
  • Parker also now has 165 career catches, tying Reilly for fourth place in program history. Through three games this year, Parker has 30 receptions for 515 yards.
  • Redshirt junior quarterback Vito Priore had his second 300-yard game of the season, and the third of his career in seven starts. He was 28-of-38 for 312 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He has already topped 1,000 passing yards, going for 1,033 through three games.
  • Redshirt senior Zoe Bryant, Jr. rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown, his first on the ground this season. He also caught four passes for 32 yards.
  • Senior wide receiver Ahmere Dorsey recorded his second rushing touchdown of the season. He had 114 all-purpose yards.
  • Redshirt senior Momodou Mbye had his third straight game with an interception. It was the seventh pick of his career. He finished with seven tackles, including one for a loss.
  • Senior safety Brian Campbell recorded the first sack of his career. He and senior linebacker Branyan Javier-Castillo tied for the team lead with eight tackles each.
  • Redshirt junior Andre Bibeault and redshirt senior Tez Wilson, both defensive ends, combined for 11 tackles.
  • Rhode Island continues to struggle against the run. New Hampshire rushed for 229 yards. Opponents have now run for 705 tonight through three games. All three opponents have run for at least 198 yards this year.
  • Senior cornerback Malik Wilder served as the game captain for Rhode Island.
  • Redshirt senior running back Zoe Bryant, Jr. was the anchor bearer.
  • The attendance for the game was 7,519.

What's Next
Rhode Island will return home to host Stony Brook on Saturday, Sept. 28. Game time is 7 p.m.