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The No. 24 William & Mary football team defeated a ranked opponent for the second consecutive week with a 34-18 victory against No. 19/20 New Hampshire at Zable Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Although W&M (4-2, 3-1) trailed, 15-7, early in the second quarter, it allowed just three points during the remainder of the contest en route to securing the significant conference win.
The Tribe outgained UNH (3-3, 1-2) by nearly 200 yards, 470-281, and piled up 325 yards on the ground. In addition to averaging 6.6 yards per carry, it marked the second time this season W&M has rushed for more than 300 yards.
Junior running back Kendell Anderson totaled 174 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns – which included a 69-yard score in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Steve Cluley also found the end zone twice on the ground and connected with sophomore wide receiver DeVonte Dedmon on a 30-yard touchdown pass for another score.
The Tribe’s defensive effort included five sacks, nine tackles for a loss and two interceptions. Junior cornerback Trey Reed and senior linebacker Zach Fetters provided the picks, while junior defensive end Peyton Gryder totaled seven tackles, 2.0 tackles for a loss and a sack.
Senior free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson also came up big on special teams with blocked punt – the ninth blocked kick of his career – that helped set up a touchdown.
After UNH took an early 7-0 lead on a 90-yard punt return by Casey DeAndrade, W&M responded with a touchdown on its ensuing drive when Cluley found the end zone with a 2-yard run.
The Wildcats reclaimed the lead, 15-7, with a 37-yard touchdown run by UNH’s Dalton Crossan, which was followed by a successful 2-point conversion, early in the second quarter.
However, W&M answered with a touchdown once again as Anderson broke off a 69-yard score on the second play of the following drive.
Anderson’s second touchdown run, coming from 1 yard out with 2:05 remaining in the second quarter, gave the College its first lead, 21-15.
UNH drove to W&M’s 10-yard line on its following possession, but the second quarter clock expired on an incomplete pass from Sean Goldrich to Matt Torrey in the end zone.
W&M outgained the Wildcats, 290-149, in the opening half, while Anderson’s stat line include 134 rushing yards on 14 carries with two scores in the opening 30 minutes.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Cluley with 0:19 left in the third quarter increased the margin to 27-15. The short, two-play, 10-yard drive began after a UNH punter Christian Breda was unable to handle a snap in the end zone and managed just a 2-yard punt that was returned seven yards by Houston-Carson.
Houston-Carson’s blocked field goal early in the fourth quarter helped set up the college’s final touchdown, as Cluley connected with Dedmon on a 30-yard strike on the following play.
UNH’s lone score of the second half came on a 27-yard field goal by Breda with 9:37 remaining.
The Tribe will return to action when it hosts Hampton for Homecoming next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.