November 27, 2004
STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) _ R-J Harvey gave New Hampshire its first lead on a 52-yard run early in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats defense made it hold up for a 27 to 23 victory over Georgia Southern in a first-round Division I-AA playoff game tonight.
The Wildcats (10-2) trailed 21-6 early in the second quarter but scored the game's last three touchdowns, handing Georgia Southern (9-3) the first first-round defeat in the school's proud history. The Eagles, making their 15th playoff appearance, have won the Division I-AA championship six times.
Redshirt freshman Ricky Santos, who completed 22-of-30 passes for 204 yards, hooked up with Aaron Brown for a 24-yard T-D with 1:38 left in the third quarter. But the Wildcats failed for the second time on the point after, leaving them down 21 to 19.
Georgia Southern led 21 to 13 at the half despite losing the ball three times on fumbles, caused in part by a steady rain that hampered both high-powered offenses.
With wins earlier in the day by Delaware, William & Mary and James Madison, the Atlantic 10 became the first conference in the 27-year history of the Division I-AA playoffs to land four teams in the quarterfinals.