DURHAM — He’s a true freshman, but University of New Hampshire quarterback Max Brosmer looked a lot more experienced on the final possession of UNH’s 27-24 victory over the University of Rhode Island on Saturday night.
After URI tied the game 24-24 with 1:30 to play, UNH took possession on its own 28-yard line. Brosmer helped UNH move the ball 60 yards in seven plays to set up Jason’s Hughes’ 29-yard field goal as time expired.
Brosmer made at least two key plays during the drive:
He scrambled for 8 yards on a third-and-4 play to give the Wildcats a first down on their 42-yard line.
On the play that followed his 8-yard run, Brosmer completed a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Brian Espanet that gave UNH a first down on the URI 17.
“That was a great call,” Brosmer said. “I was really hoping we were going to call something down the middle of the field because they were playing Cover-2 and Cover-4, which is two high safeties. Brian got to a really good spot. He made an incredible catch. I threw it a little behind him. He saved the drive.”
Brosmer added a 6-yard run before UNH (1-2, 1-0 CAA) made the game-winning field goal.
Making his second college start, Brosmer completed 12 of 23 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. He was intercepted once, and also scored UNH’s second TD on a 2-yard run.
“Ultimately, getting it done in a pressure situation is going to give him a ton of confidence and us a ton of confidence as an offense going forward,” UNH interim head coach Ricky Santos said. “The first two games of the season we didn’t find a way to close games out. We really harped on that — finishing the game strong — and we did that.”
Hughes kicking in
Although he handled the kicking duties for Timberlane Regional, Hughes, an Atkinson resident, was known more for his ability as a quarterback in high school. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 CHaD East-West All-Star Game, when he passed for 179 yards and three TDs to lead the East to a 28-14 victory.
Hughes entered Saturday’s game having made three of his four previous field goal attempts this season, including a 34-yard kick earlier in the fourth quarter. His miss was a 40-yard attempt in wet conditions at Florida International University.
“I came here as a kicker and a wide receiver,” Hughes explained. “The opportunity presented itself for me to become the kicker. I took it.”
URI called a time out after Hughes was sent on the field to attempt the game-winning kick.
“You have to stay focused,” Hughes said. “You can’t lose focus. You can’t let that affect you.”
UNH scored on each of its four red zone opportunities against URI. The Rams were 3-for-3 in the red zone. … Despite rushing for 229 yards on 35 carries — original statistics didn’t account for a 1-yard loss on a kneel-down before the game-winning field goal — UNH didn’t have the edge in time of possession. URI had the ball for 34 minutes and 34 seconds of the 60-minute contest. … Cornerback Prince Smith led the Wildcats with a career-high 13 tackles. … Safety Pop Bush intercepted a pass during the third quarter. It was the first turnover UNH has created this season. … Safety Evan Horne and inside linebacker Oleh Manzyk each had a sack in the victory. … UNH will play Duquesne in Durham on Saturday (1 p.m.). The Dukes, a member of the Northeast Conference, improved to 2-1 with a 35-31 win at Dayton on Saturday.