David Ball had nine catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns yesterday as fifth-ranked New Hampshire built a 40-14 halftime lead and held on for a 50-36 win over Maine in Orono.
The Wildcats (9-2, 6-2) scored four times in the first quarter, with the last two touchdowns coming on passes from Ricky Santos to Ball. Santos completed 18 of 33 passes for 249 yards.
The Black Bears (5-6, 3-5) trailed by as many as 29 points in the third quarter but scored 22 straight points to pull within 43-36 with 7:10 to go.
Ron Whitcomb passed for a season-high 422 yards and four touchdowns for Maine, but he threw a late interception that set up UNH's final touchdown, a 24-yard run from John McCoy to ruin the Black Bears' comeback bid.
Maine's Arel Gordon caught nine passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy rushed for 129 yards for the Wildcats, who outgained Maine, 291-66, on the ground.
Delaware 41, Villanova 35 -- Freshman Omar Cuff ran for four scores (tying a school record) and the 11th-ranked Blue Hens held off a Villanova surge in Newark to claim a share of their second straight A-10 title. The victory earned the Hens their second consecutive berth in the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs.
Delaware (8-3, 7-1) built a 41-21 lead early in the fourth quarter but had to hold off the Wildcats (6-5, 3-5), who scored 14 unanswered points in the final nine minutes and had the chance to tie the game before Kyle Campbell intercepted a desperation pass by Marvin Burroughs at the 10-yard line on the last play of the game.
Sidney Haugabrook returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter as the Hens built a 24-7 halftime lead.
William & Mary 38, Richmond 14 -- At Williamsburg, Va., Lang Campbell threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 6 Tribe gained a share of the A-10 championship and a Division 1-AA playoff berth. William & Mary (9-2, 7-1) led, 14-0, at halftime and put the game away in the third quarter, scoring 24 points on three touchdown passes by Campbell and a field goal.
The Tribe earned the league's automatic playoff bid, while Richmond (3-8, 2-6) lost for the seventh time in eight games to finish Dave Clawson's first year as coach. Jon Smith added 88 rushing yards and a 2-yard touchdown run as the Tribe rolled up 473 yards of offense in the 114th meeting of the schools. The rivalry, which started in 1898, is the fourth oldest in Division 1-AA.James Madison 31, Towson 17 -- Raymond Hines rushed for 142 yards and scored two touchdowns to power the ninth-ranked Dukes in Towson, Md. The win gave the Dukes (9-2, 7-1) a share of the A-10 championship with Delaware and William & Mary.
James Madison took a 7-0 lead when Chris Iorio scored on a 2-yard run. Justin Rascati then tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Iorio to give the Dukes a 14-0 lead in the game's first five minutes.
The Tigers (3-8, 0-8) pulled within 14-10 when Ron Halbruner kicked a 38-yard field goal and Kerry Miles scored on a 1-yard run with 4:47 left in the first half.