Campus Currents

Making History

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UNH football
Jonathan Bachman/AP
WILD LEAP: Wide receiver R.J. Harris '15 leaps for a pass just out of reach during the second half of the Wildcats' NCAA FCS championship quarterfinal game against Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 14, 2013. UNH defeated the Lions 20-17, earning a trip to the semifinals in North Dakota on Dec. 10.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the scoreboard might have shown the bigger number next to the other team's name, but the UNH football team's Dec. 20 matchup with North Dakota State University was a huge triumph for the Wildcats nonetheless. The team's 52-14 loss capped a 10-5 season that took the Wildcats farther than any football team in UNH program history, all the way to a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision semifinal game.

"I am immensely proud of how we played that game, and played the entire season," says head football coach Sean McDonnell '78. Noting that North Dakota, which went on to win its third straight FCS championship, boasts a winning streak that stretches back to 2011, McDonnell says his team acquitted itself admirably. "We played a hard, physical football game right to the end. I couldn't be prouder of our team and especially our senior class."

The Wildcat squad was making history even before squaring off in the Fargodome against the first-ranked North Dakota squad. The team's selection to the FCS playoffs at the end of a 7-4 regular season marked its 10th straight postseason appearance, a national record. UNH hosted Lafayette College at Cowell Stadium to prevail in the playoff opener and went on to away-game victories over perennial conference rival UMaine and then 7th-ranked Southeastern Louisana University.

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