Scores

Final

New Hampshire 35

(7-5, 4-4 CAA)

Northern Iowa 38

(12-0, 6-0 MVFC)

7:35 PM ET, November 24, 2007

UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls, IA

1 2 3 4 T
UNH 7 7 7 1435
UNI 7 7 10 1438

Top Performers

Passing: R. Santos (UNH) - 251 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: C. Lewis (UNI) - 32 CAR, 220 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: S. Sicko (UNH) - 5 REC, 53 YDS, 2 TD

N. Iowa 38, New Hampshire 35

Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) -- Eric Sanders threw a 24-yard TD pass to Montari Leonard with 7 seconds left to give top-seeded Northern Iowa a 38-35 victory over New Hampshire on Saturday night in the opening round of the FCS playoffs.

Corey Lewis added 220 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Northern Iowa (12-0), which drove 71 yards in the final 1:16 without any timeouts.

The Panthers will host Delaware (9-3) next week in the quarterfinals.

New Hampshire (7-5), which had trailed for much of the game, took its first lead, 35-31, on Chad Kackert's 15-yard touchdown run with 1:16 left. At that point it appeared that New Hampshire might get payback for 2005, when the top-seeded Wildcats fell to Northern Iowa at home in the first round.

But Sanders, a senior, calmly led the Panthers to their sixth consecutive first-round win. He hit Victor Williams for a pass that, after two laterals, moved the Panthers to the New Hampshire 24. Sanders got a little help on the winning throw, as Leonard juggled the ball, almost lost it over his shoulder, then corralled it.

New Hampshire attempted a series of laterals on the ensuing kickoff, but the last pitch by the Wildcats went over the head of a player and out of bounds.

Ricky Santos, the 2006 Walter Payton Award winner as the top player in FCS, was 26-of-35 passing for 251 yards and two touchdowns for New Hampshire. He led the Wildcats 75 yards for a go-ahead score in the final drive of a record-setting career.

Sanders completed 27 of 36 passes for 314 yards, and Lewis broke the school record for rushing yards in the postseason.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UNH
UNI
1st Downs2231
Total Yards370570
Passing251314
Rushing119256
Penalties5-313-10
3rd Down Conversions6-128-15
4th Down Conversions1-21-2
Turnovers01
Possession25:5434:06

Passing Leaders

New HampshireC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Santos26/352517.220
Northern IowaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Sanders27/363148.710

Rushing Leaders

New HampshireCARYDSAVGTDLG
Kackert11615.5115
Santos12322.7016
Northern IowaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lewis322206.9336
Sanders5153.009

Receiving Leaders

New HampshireRECYDSAVGTDLG
Boyle47017.5025
LeVan55611.2014
Northern IowaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gray9717.9015
Williams67111.8022

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUNHUNI
TD09:52Corey Lewis 34 Yd Run (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 80 yds, 2:28
07
TD03:54Chris Ward 1 Yd Run (Tom Manning Kick)
Drive: 16 plays, 83 yds, 5:58
77
SECOND QUARTERUNHUNI
TD08:01Johnny Gray 15 Yd Run (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 97 yds, 3:51
714
TD07:49Chad Kackert 94 Yd Kickoff Return (Tom Manning Kick) 1414
THIRD QUARTERUNHUNI
TD11:14Corey Lewis 36 Yd Run (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 67 yds, 3:46
1421
FG05:03Billy Hallgren 22 Yd
Drive: 12 plays, 33 yds, 5:02
1424
TD01:35Scott Sicko 17 Yd Pass From Ricky Santos (Tom Manning Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 61 yds, 3:28
2124
FOURTH QUARTERUNHUNI
TD13:25Corey Lewis 3 Yd Run (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 74 yds, 3:10
2131
TD10:44Scott Sicko 16 Yd Pass From Ricky Santos (Tom Manning Kick)
Drive: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:41
2831
TD01:16Chad Kackert 15 Yd Run (Tom Manning Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 75 yds, 2:12
3531
TD00:07Montari Leonard 24 Yd Pass From Eric Sanders (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 71 yds, 1:09
3538