UNH football: Laube, Corcoran star in 2022 Blue-White spring game


Spencer Marks, Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.H. – The page has officially turned in Wildcat country as the annual Blue-White spring game stamped the end of spring practice. 

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats hosted their scrimmage Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium where team ‘Cats bested team Wild 7-3. The low-scoring bout might be attributed to the heavy rain showers that passed through Durham starting at kickoff and tapering off midway through the second half.  

A more likely reason for the limited offense was under center. With both junior quarterbacks Max Brosmer and Bret Edwards ruled out due to injuries, the reigns were passed down to the third and fourth stringers for the night. Redshirt first-year quarterbacks Brody McAndrew and Zane Olmsted split reps. Each quarterback attempted the same number of passes with Olmsted going 10-for-14 with 126 yards. The stat line was exactly double the amount that McAndrew passed for (8-of-14 for 63 yards).  

In his opening remarks, head coach Rick Santos touted McAndrew and said that he has taken a lot of reps throughout the spring mentioning there is a “three-horse race” for the starting role come this fall.  

McAndrew started off at quarterback for team Wild and marched his squad down the field in methodical fashion. The extended drive took just under half the quarter. The longest play of this six-minute drive was a 20-yard rush from junior running back Dylan Laube. He paced the running backs for the night racking up 92 yards on nine rushes.  

The 10-play, 44-yard drive stalled at the ‘Cats’ 21-yard line and the field goal unit was sent out. First-year kicker Nick Mazzie just barely cleared the ball over the goal post to gift the Wild the first three points of the game. UNH is hoping to see a better production out of the kicking game this season as they recorded just two successful field goals on 11 attempts a season ago. 

Team ‘Cats took a much quicker pace on their first drive of the game, and it seemed to work well for them. With the rain pouring down heavily the drive consisted of only running plays. Sophomore running back Tyler Pereira carried the ball four plays in a row and managed to break through the line for a 20-yard gain on his fourth attempt to get team ‘Cats to the Wild’s 36-yard line. This was quickly followed up by an end-around rush by redshirt first-year wide receiver Joey Corcoran. He took the ball 36 yards for the sole touchdown of the game. That touchdown marked the last points of the game making the final score 7-3 in favor of team ‘Cats.

Corcoran, a confident wideout from across the border in Montreal, spoke on the team dynamic coming out of spring practices.  

“We have probably the most confidence in the [Colonial Athletic Association] right now,” said Corcoran.  

Along with the confidence he has in his team, Corcoran has just the same in himself. 

 “I’m definitely a deep threat. I can catch the ball and make plays; my coaches know that and it’s time for the CAA to know that.” 

The receiving group doesn’t stop there for the Wildcats this season. Star senior wide receiver Brian Espanet (Did not participate in the Blue-White game) will return as one of four captains including senior defensive tackle Niko Kvietkus, graduate student safety Pop Bush and senior offensive lineman Patrick Flynn. 

Espanet led the team with 454 receiving yards, seven touchdowns last season and will be a major asset to the offense this fall.  

On the other side of the ball Santos expressed his excitement with last year’s CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year, sophomore defensive end Josiah Silver. 

“We haven’t seen anything that would indicate [Silver] is going to have a sophomore slump,” said Santos. “He’s played really well all spring, he’s been a great leader for us, he’s shows up every day, he’s consistent, and a great worker. So, he’s an unbelievable young man and we expect big things from him” 

The Wildcats enter the summer with their new head coach and a confident team on both sides of the ball. The team seems adamant they’ll bounce back in 2022 after a 3-8 campaign in 2021.  

Photo courtesy of UNH Athletics