New Hampshire football routs Lafayette, faces UMaine on Dec. 7

New Hampshire Wildcats running back Nico Steriti (22) scores a touchdown during the first half of Saturday's NCAA playoff game against the Lafayette Leopards at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H.
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
New Hampshire Wildcats running back Nico Steriti (22) scores a touchdown during the first half of Saturday's NCAA playoff game against the Lafayette Leopards at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H.
New Hampshire Wildcats wide receiver Justin Mello (81) runs with the ball during the second half of Saturday's Football Championship Subdivision first-round game against the Lafayette Leopards at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H.
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
New Hampshire Wildcats wide receiver Justin Mello (81) runs with the ball during the second half of Saturday's Football Championship Subdivision first-round game against the Lafayette Leopards at Cowell Stadium in Durham, N.H.
Posted Nov. 30, 2013, at 7:53 p.m.

DURHAM, N.H. — Sean Goldrich tossed two touchdown passes and Nick Cefalo returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown as the host Wildcats cruised to victory in the opening round of the FCS playoffs.

Goldrich (15-for-30, 267 yards) connected with wideout R.J. Harris on eight occasions for 173 yards and a touchdown. Dalton Crossan had a rushing and receiving score and Nico Steriti and Chris Setian each rushed for a touchdown for New Hampshire (8-4), which visits fifth-seeded Maine (10-2) on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. at Alfond Stadium in Orono. The Wildcats posted a 24-3 triumph over the Black Bears last week.

Making its nation-best 10th consecutive FCS postseason appearance, New Hampshire got off on the right foot as Steriti raced to the pylon to score from 1 yard out. Shane McNeely’s sack of Drew Reed forced a fumble nearly six minutes later and Harris scored on the ensuing play with a 22-yard curl route along the left sideline.

Crossan used a nifty move to extend into the end zone to cap a 17-yard score with 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter before Cefalo put the game out of reach early in the second. The junior gave New Hampshire a 28-0 lead after shuffling through the first wave of tacklers on a punt return before bolting up the right sideline for a touchdown.

Blake Seafoss connected with Mike Duncan on a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for Patriot League champion Lafayette (5-7), which rebounded from a 1-5 start to make the tournament.

 

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