Goldrich leads UNH past Southeastern La. 20-17

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm •  Published: December 14, 2013

HAMMOND, La. (AP) — New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell knew quarterback Sean Goldrich had the athleticism to win a game with his feet.

Goldrich picked a fine time to prove his coach right.

Goldrich ran for a career-high 99 yards and three touchdowns, the last from 2 yards out with 47 seconds left, and UNH defeated Southeastern Louisiana 20-17 in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs Saturday night.

"I got to clear something up for everybody. This kid can run," McDonnell said of his quarterback, who'd rushed for only three TDs all season before doubling his total on a wet, windy night in south Louisiana. "He's something special as an athlete. You just don't get to see it."

The victory put New Hampshire (10-4) into the national semifinals for the first time. The Wildcats will play at two-time defending national champion North Dakota State on Friday night.

Bryan Bennett was 25 of 46 for 269 yards and a touchdown for Southeastern (11-3), which saw its school-record 10-game winning streak snapped. The junior transfer from Oregon also ran for a 2-yard score. His touchdown pass to Marquis Fruge, which came after he escaped the grasps of two defenders on fourth-and-goal from the 5, gave the Lions a 17-14 lead with 5:17 left.

UNH had more total yards (479-344), possessed the ball for 31:49, and its defense found a way to slow a Southeastern team averaging 40 points a game. But the Lions blocked two field goals and stalled another drive with Marice Sutton's interception in the end zone to stay within one score the whole way.

"Our guys played hard. I'm real proud of them," Southeastern coach Ron Roberts said. "We made some huge plays ... It was a great football game."

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