Sept. 24, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. - The Dartmouth football team improved its total offense output in the second game of the season, but it wasn't enough to counter the high-power attack of New Hampshire as the Wildcats rolled to a 49-20 victory on Saturday.

In the annual battle for the Granite Bowl, UNH amassed 547 yards of total offense as sophomore quarterback Ricky Santos threw for 267 and rushed for 43. The Wildcats, second in the national I-AA poll, improved to 3-0 while Dartmouth is 1-1.

"We were beat by a very good football team," said Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens. We had trouble stopping them. Offensively we did not finish things off. I have tremendous respect for them."

The first quarter was evenly played. After UNH tight end Jon Williams grabbed a 14-yard scoring pass from Santos, Dartmouth answered two minutes later with a 44-yard field goal by Erik Hinterbichler (Albuquerque, N.M.). Just 1:34 later, the Big Green took advantage of junior Joe Scola's (Punta Gorda, Fla.) 44-yard interception return. Senior quarterback Charlie Rittgers (Lebanon, Ohio) found senior wide receiver Ryan Fuselier (Escondido, Calif.) for a 24-yard touchdown, pushing Dartmouth to a 10-7 lead.

With 5:46 left in the first quarter, Santos scored on a one-yard scamper, giving UNH the lead for good at 14-10. The Wildcats had three touchdowns in the second quarter, including two TD catches by David Ball, and took advantage of a Big Green fumble at the start of the third quarter for a 42-10 lead on a Keith LeVan seven-yard run.

"They are a good offense, like Coach just said," said senior co-captain Josh Dooley (Tuttle, Okla.), "but it didn't come down to fancy schemes or fancy blitzes, anything like that. Fundamental defense is just tackling and hitting people, and we didn't do that today."

Coach Teevens gave all three of his quarterbacks time in the game. Senior Dan Shula (Cooper City, Fla.) relieved Rittgers in the third quarter, and freshman Josh Cohen (Berwyn, Pa.) completed five of eight passes in the fourth, including a three-yard TD throw to tight end Brett Lowe (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) at 4:12 of the final quarter.

Fuselier finished with eight catches for 90 yards, while freshman Milan Williams (Mobile, Ala.) rushed five times for 44 yards, an impressive average of 8.8 yards per carry.

Dartmouth returns home to Memorial Field next weekend, hosting Penn in the Ivy League opener at 12:30 p.m.

"Coach (Chris) Wilkerson [defensive coordinator] was down there after the game," said Dooley, "and really pointed out the positives of the game and how we need to move on. This is what counts is league play. You either let your past haunt you and let it fuel your future. We have a reason to come out with our hair on fire next week, especially defense, because we have a lot more to prove."