UNH Football: The Granite Bowl Trophy Returns to Durham

Spencer Marks, Sports Editor

The stakes were high on the beautiful Saturday afternoon when the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats (5-2, 4-0) took a quick bus ride over to the Memorial Field to take on the Dartmouth College Big Green (1-4, 0-2) in the 41st meetup between the two New England schools. 

Not only was the coveted Granite Bowl Trophy on the line but so was the series record between this long-time rivalry. Going into this matchup, the series was tied at 19-19-2. After a three-hour defensive battle, UNH now leads the series 20-19-2.

Senior captain defensive lineman Niko Kvietkus recorded four solo tackles and one sack for eight yards. He spoke after the game and touted the way the defense played but also mentioned this season is a revenge tour that will keep moving along. 

So far the “revenge tour” has seen nothing but success as the Wildcats are hoping to beat all the teams that beat them last year.  It all started against UAlbany earlier this season. Last year the Wildcats took a 20-7 loss in Albany but they managed to flip the script in early September and came away with a 28-23 win. Dartmouth was the second victim of the tour this past weekend. 

Something UNH head coach Rick Santos reiterated over the past week was how the Big Green “embarrassed and beat up” the ‘Cats last year. He was not lying as Dartmouth beat the Wildcats 38-21 in the dungeon on Family Weekend and almost doubled the total UNH yards (604 to 372). 

You could see the revenge in the ‘Cats 14-0 victory on Saturday (the last time UNH shut out an opponent was in 2018 vs. Villanova, 34-0). Although the score differential was two possessions the stat sheet says otherwise.  

Yes, you saw that right, UNH had Dartmouth beaten out in every single statistic. Regardless of the score, there never seemed to be a moment where the Wildcats seemed out of control of the game. In the mid-week press conference head coach, Rick Santos expressed his urgency to control the clock and the Wildcats did just that as they won the time of possession by over 17 minutes.

A big help in that was sophomore quarterback Max Brosmer whose season is aging like fine wine. Every game he looks more poised and comfortable in the pocket. Aside from the poor decision-making on his interception throw, Brosmer went 20-29 for 217 yds and one touchdown. 

Once again redshirt first-year wide receiver Joey Corcoran was the quarterback’s top target. In fact, he led both teams in receptions (6) and yards (89). This is nothing new to Corcoran as he leads the ‘Cats in all receiving categories besides touchdowns (senior wide receiver Brian Espanet with 3). On the year so far, he has racked up 33 receptions for 389 yards and averages 55 yards per game. 

Another one of Brosmer’s favorite assets this season is junior running back Dylan Laube. The star back was sidelined for this game which seemed to be a last-second decision to give sophomore running back Isaac Seide the starting role. But following the Wildcat’s victory coach Santos expressed this was in the works for the past week as Laube had been suffering from minor injuries all week.

This would prove to be a scare in the first half as Seide didn’t start his show for the offense until the 3rd quarter. But the moment he kicked it into gear we saw a truly special performance from the sophomore. Seide ended the game with 149 all-purpose yards which crushed his career highs. Following his career performance, he expressed how he made the adjustments necessary to start picking up big gains for the ‘Cats, mentioning that he knew he had to run harder. 

The Wildcats trotted out onto the field in their new “Granite Uniforms” looking to make a statement on their first drive.


They started that statement in the first play from scrimmage when Brosmer found Corcoran for a 56-yard gain that would bring the Wildcats down to the Big Green 10-yard line. Just a few plays later Brosmer found the hole in the Big Green defense to find Espanet alone in the endzone for the first points of the game. 

The next points did not come until one minute remaining in the 1st half. Brosmer shook up the defense by taking a rare keeper for 8-yards into the endzone. This was a powerful run by the quarterback as he bounced off a few Dartmouth defenders and it seemed like no one could stop Brosmer from getting to that endzone. That touchdown would serve as the final points of the game to get the score of 14-0. It was all defense from there on out as the ‘Cats held the Big Green offense to 58 rushing yards and 140 passing yards. 

Factoring into the powerful Wildcat defense was their two sacks and two turnovers. Sophomore defensive end Josiah Silver (6 yards) and Kvietkus (8 yards) picked up a sack. Silver was also one of two players to force a fumble, however, this was recovered by the Dartmouth offense. Later in the game, Redshirt first-year linebacker Brandon Perkins forced another fumble and this time graduate student safety Pop Bush jumped on the ball to give possession to UNH.

The Granite Bowl Trophy now sits in Durham until the next meeting between the rival schools. Coach Santos mentioned he would love to continue the rivalry in the future and make it more of an annual matchup. 

UNH looks to continue their success and push their win streak to four this weekend as they host the #25 (FCS Coaches Poll) Elon University Phoenix (5-2, 3-1) for Family Weekend. This will be a true test for the ‘Cats as this CAA opponent averages 27 points per game. You can catch all the action on FloSports. 

Stay tuned later this week for an in-depth preview of this crucial conference matchup that kicks off this Saturday at 1 p.m.