action:article | category:SPORTS22 | adString:SPORTS22 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » College Sports

September 07. 2013 12:19AM

Vailas, Wildcats get going today against Chippewas

DURHAM — Junior quarterback Andy Vailas of Bedford, the former standout at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, is excited and ready to lead the University of New Hampshire football team into its season opener in Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich., this afternoon.

Game time against Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference, which plays a step up from UNH in the Football Bowl Subdivision, is 3 p.m. (ESPN3).

“Since I first stepped on the field here as a freshman, this is what I’ve wanted to do the entire time,” Vailas said. “Now that it’s here, I’m ecstatic. I just want to go out there and make sure I get the ball to our playmakers and do what I’m supposed to do.”

Vailas started half of UNH’s 12 games a year ago and Sean Goldrich, now a sophomore started the other half.

Goldrich won the job at the beginning of last season and led the team to a win over Holy Cross. He got hurt on the second play of the game the next week at Minnesota and Vailas came on in relief. The two shared the job the rest of the season.

Head coach Sean McDonnell and offensive coordinator Ryan Carty informed the two quarterbacks that Vailas had earned the starting job a week ago.

Goldrich will play at least a series in today’s game, as Vailas did against Holy Cross last year. The competition is far from over, Vailas said.

“It’s always a competition,” Vailas said. “Everyone is competing every day here and even though I was chosen the starter for Game 1, I’ve still got to do what I’m supposed to do and Goldy’s got to do what he’s supposed to do and it can always change.”

Now, though, it’s Vailas’ job and he’ll try to get the ball to junior running back Nico Steriti and junior wide receiver R.J. Harris and the rest.

“We’ve got some very powerful weapons,” Vailas said. “It’s going to be good. We’ll try to get the ball in a lot of people’s hands.”

On the other side, the Wildcats need to slow down a big, strong team that wants to run the ball.

The Chippewas lost their opener, 59-9, last week at Michigan and also lost a couple of their key players in quarterback Cody Kater (broken collarbone) and running back Zurlon Tipton (broken ankle) to injury in the game.

A couple of sophomores, Alex Nivnak at quarterback and Saylor Lavallii at running back, will take their place.

No matter who is in, McDonnell is concerned about Central Michigan’s size and physicality. The Chippewa starters on the offensive line are listed at 305, 306, 305, 300 and 306 pounds.

Sean Ryan, a senior out of Londonderry, was pegged as UNH’s starting left guard but hurt his knee earlier in the week and is out. Redshirt freshman Tad McNeely is expected to start in that spot.

Running backs Jimmy Owens, a junior, and Dalton Crossan, a redshirt freshman, are also sidelined. So are senior defensive back Chris Houston and junior defensive end Tre Williams.

- - - - - -

St. Anselm College and Plymouth State University open their seasons with home games today.

The Hawks, who went 2-9 last year, take on Bowie State at Grappone Stadium at 1. Bowie finished 5-5 in 2012.

Plymouth State, 2-8 last season, plays Castleton State at Currier Field, also at 1. Castleton went 6-4 and beat the Panthers 35-7 last year.


  • Should professional sports teams impose penalties on athletes for behaviors unrelated to performance on the field?
  • Yes
  • 59%
  • No
  • 13%
  • Depends on offense
  • 28%
  • Total Votes: 64
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices as productive as any

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!