Talk about good timing.
Sophomore red-shirt quarterback Sean Goldrich and the University of New Hampshire football team couldn’t be peaking at a better time.
With Goldrich leading the way, the Wildcats (10-4) advanced to the Division 1-AA semifinals for the first time Saturday with a dramatic 20-17 quarterfinal upset victory over Southeastern Louisiana. It was their sixth straight win.
Goldrich, who red-shirted as a freshman and split time with former Phillips Academy QB Andy Vailas last year and part of this year, was terrific throughout the game, but particularly on a late 14-play, 80-yard drive that he capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run.
For the game, Goldrich finished with a career high running the ball (21 carries, 99 yards, 3 TDs) and was more than effective passing (24 of 35, 276 yards). Although known more as a drop-back passer than Vailas, his run option helped keep Southeastern Louisiana off guard.
“It (running) wasn’t originally in the game plan, but they were giving us the lanes,” explained Goldrich. “The coach always says we’ll take what they give us and that’s what happened.
“In high school (in West Haven, Conn.), I had a good line that protected me and I was more of a passer. But I always knew I could run if I had to. Now I like it. It makes it tougher on the defense and it helps me take the edge off, get rid of the butterflies, if I run and get hit.”
Getting to the next round, and playing so well in the process, is something Goldrich definitely won’t forget anytime soon.
“That’s a great atmosphere (in Louisiana) and it was a great experience — definitely a career highlight,” he said. “I’d never been on that kind of stage before and there was a little bit of pressure on us because we’d never gotten past the quarterfinals.”