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UNH Blue-White Scrimmage: Jacob Post making transition

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 21. 2018 10:00PM
8/21/18--DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER--UNH's Justin Malone-Woods catches a touchdown pass during the UNH Blue-White football game at Wildcat Stadium in Durham on Tuesday. 

DURHAM — About one year ago, Timberlane Regional High School running back Jacob Post suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the Queen City Jamboree.

The injury forced Post to miss the football and wrestling seasons and prevented him from playing a spring sport during his senior year as well. He was considering both baseball as well as track and field.

The University of New Hampshire’s Blue-White scrimmage Tuesday was the closest thing to a meaningful athletic contest Post has participated in since his injury. He received significant time in the backfield and rushed for 34 yards on nine carries in the scrimmage, which ended in a 21-21 tie.

“I knew it was going to be tough, but I feel like my transition (from high school football) has been pretty smooth overall,” Post said. “I feel like I’ve been getting enough reps where I’ve been learning and I’ve been getting into the system.”

Post, who accepted a preferred walk-on position with UNH, became a starter for the Timberlane football team during his freshman season. He had 3,595 all-purpose yards — 1,938 yards rushing — and scored 31 touchdowns during his injury-shortened three-year career. He ran for 1,341 yards on 176 carries and scored 15 TDs as a junior.

Post also won more than 30 matches at the 195-pound weight class during his sophomore and junior seasons with the Timberlane wrestling program.

“I try not to think about it (the injury), but I use my injury more as motivation and to help me push forward at the level I’m at and keep playing,” Post said. “It’s been a great experience. Everything about this team I like. I think it’s a great fit.”

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Quarterback Trevor Knight completed 10 of 14 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage even though he was without wide receivers Neil O’Connor and Malik Love, neither of whom played. Former St. Thomas quarterback Stephen Hedberg also tossed a TD pass.

Kieran Presley led all receivers in receptions (six) and receiving yards (64). He also caught a 21-yard TD pass. Tight ends Kyle Lepkowski and Justin Malone-Woods each had a receiving TD as well.

“We need Kieran (Presley) to help with Love and O’Connor and the tight ends and the other guys to be able to give us threats that can get in open space and be in one-on-one coverage,” UNH coach Sean McDonnell said. “He’s a very talented kid. Now he’s got to put it all together and play. He got close at the end of last year. He’s had a heckuva camp and I hope he continues to grow on it. ... It’s been a tough run for him (health-wise). He’s had a good run since spring. He’s one of the few receivers who stayed healthy all spring. We’re expecting big things from him if he stays healthy.”

Running back Carlos Washington Jr. scored the other offensive TD on a 1-yard run. It was a rough day for QB Tommy Herrion, a transfer from the University of Iowa. Herrion completed 4 of 13 attempts and was intercepted twice, once by safety Matt Sherlock and once by safety Evan Horn. Each interception was returned for a touchdown.

McDonnell said his focus entering the scrimmage was on tackling.

“I was looking to see how we tackled in open spaces,” he said. “We only get three chances to have live scrimmage. I think our (starters) tackled real well, but I think our twos did not tackle well in open spaces. That was a huge evaluation for a lot of guys on who’s the next guy in. Who’s going to travel and play on special teams and stuff like that. I have to go see the tape.”

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Post wasn’t the only true freshman from New Hampshire to receive extensive playing time in the scrimmage. Defensive back Christian Peete (Portsmouth) had a game-high eight tackles (four solo), defensive back Joe Eichman (Merrimack) made five tackles and defensive back Tim Bouchard (Barrington/St. Thomas) made four stops. …

Mitch McPike missed a 38-yard field goal attempt, and Jordan Conn was off the mark on a 42-yard attempt. …

Freshman running back Dylan Laube led all rushers with 55 yards on seven carries. …

There are 20 players on the UNH roster from New Hampshire. …

UNH will open the regular season next Thursday night at Maine.

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