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CAA Football: Young backs step up

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 22. 2017 2:03AM

UNH's Nick Lorden holds onto his second quarter touchdown as Towson's Tyron McDade jumps on him at UNH in Durham on Saturday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

DURHAM - The University of New Hampshire didn't have many options in its running game Saturday, but the ones the Wildcats did have worked out OK.

With running backs Evan Gray (thigh), Donald Goodrich (concussion) and Jerickson Fedrick (concussion) all in street clothes, freshman DeUnte Chatman stepped into the starting role and ran for 187 yards and two touchdowns to help UNH defeat Towson, 40-17.

Sophomore Brandon Gallagher also got his first carries of the season and added 104 yards on 12 rushing attempts. UNH (5-2, 3-1 CAA) rushed for 299 yards in the game and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.

The Wildcats were held to 10 yards rushing on 28 attempts in last weekend's 38-24 loss to Stony Brook.

"I thought it was very important that we came back and were able to run the football," UNH coach Sean McDonnell said. "What was really good to see is two of our younger guys, Brandon Gallagher and DeUnte Chatman, really carried the load and did a nice job. Our offensive line did a nice job blocking.

"Coming off our performance last week we felt it was important to establish some balance in our offense. Good bounce-back win after that tough loss down in Stony Brook."

Chatman was moved to running back from linebacker after running back Trevon Bryant suffered a season-ending knee injury during the summer. Chatman entered Saturday's game with 138 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries this season. Chatman's 107-yard rushing effort in a loss to Holy Cross was the only other time UNH has had a player run for at least 100 yards in a game this season.

"Every opportunity he's had, DeUnte's gotten better," McDonnell said.

Safety Rick Ellison led the UNH defense with 12 tackles (eight solo). Defensive tackle Rick Holt, a Portsmouth resident, recorded the team's only sack.

After Chatman opened the scoring on a 23-yard run in the first quarter, UNH took control when quarterback Trevor Knight tossed four touchdown passes in the second quarter. Milford's Nick Lorden caught two of the TD passes (4 and 6 yards). Kieran Presley (14 yards) and Neil O'Connor (5 yards) had the other touchdown receptions. It was 33-3 at halftime.

Knight, who played high school football at Nashua South, completed 19 of 30 passes for 197 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. He was intercepted once.

Chatman's second TD run covered 23 yards and helped the Wildcats increase their lead to 40-3 with 10:57 left in the third quarter.

Towson (2-5, 0-4 CAA) received a 40-yard field goal from Aidan O'Neill in the first quarter and an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Stover to Sam Gallahan with 4:32 to play. The Tigers' other TD came when Kanyia Anderson returned a Christian Lupoli fumble 92 yards with 13:12 remaining in the fourth.

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