DURHAM, NH (WWBT) - The William and Mary football team led at New Hampshire late in the fourth quarter, but was edged by the eleventh-ranked Wildcats, 28-25, on Saturday afternoon. The narrow loss was W&M's (2-7, 1-5) fifth defeat this season by three points or fewer.
Sophomore wide receiver Tre McBride led the Tribe with a pair of touchdown catches, while redshirt freshman Mikal Abdul-Saboor and sophomore Keith McBride II rushed for 87 yards and 75 yards, respectively.
Although UNH (8-2, 6-1) owned a narrow edge in total yards, 428-405, the College held more than a 10-minute advantage in time of possession (35:27-24:33).
W&M took an early 7-0 lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass down the middle of the field from junior quarterback Brent Caprio to McBride with 4:12 remaining in the opening quarter.
UNH answered with a 16-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by Mike MacArthur.
The Wildcats took their first lead of the contest on an 18-yard touchdown run by Nico Steriti with 5:20 remaining in the second quarter. A successful two-point conversion gave UNH an 11-7 advantage. The nine-play, 92-yard scoring drive lasted just 2:05.
UNH utilized another quick-moving drive to add its second touchdown of the half, as a 2-yard scoring run by quarterback Sean Goldrich capped off a nine-play, 70-yard drive that lasted just 58 seconds. The touchdown came with just 0:16 remaining in the first half and increased the Wildcats' lead to 18-7.
W&M narrowed the margin to 18-10 when sophomore John Carpenter capped off the opening drive of the second half with a 23-yard field goal. The drive was highlighted by a 29-yard run by Abdul-Saboor.
After forcing a UNH punt on the ensuing possession, W&M found the end zone on a 19-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Michael Graham to Tre McBride. A successful two-point conversion on another pass to McBride tied the score at 18-18 with 4:06 left in the third quarter.
The College had an opportunity to reclaim the lead late in the third quarter, but Carpenter's 46-yard field goal missed wide to the left.
A 24-yard field goal by MacArthur put UNH back ahead, 21-18, with 11:22 remaining.
Facing a fourth-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line, W&M briefly reclaimed the lead when Graham found the end zone with a quarterback sneak with 6:00 remaining. The scoring march was keyed by a 29-yard screen pass to Abdul-Saboor on a third-and-8 near midfield.
The Wildcats responded with a six-play, 84-yard drive that lasted just 1:38 and culminated with a 19-yard touchdown scamper by Steriti to put UNH back ahead, 28-25.
The Tribe drove into UNH territory on the following possession, but Graham was intercepted by Keith Parkinson at the Wildcats' 22-yard line with 1:52 remaining.
W&M's defense forced a punt with a three-and-out on New Hampshire's ensuing possession and took over at its own 19-yard line with 0:44 remaining. Although the Tribe moved to the 50-yard line, Graham's final heave in the waning seconds was batted down by a UNH defender.
The Tribe will return to action next weekend when it plays at Old Dominion on Saturday at noon.