52-19 was the final score of Saturday’s State of New Hampshire game where our Wildcats took on Dartmouth’s Big Green. The score was not what was amazing about this game though, although UNH has been on a roll lately with victories in the last few weeks… The amazing part of Saturday’s game was the time: 6pm. Normally, games at Cowell Stadium kick off at noon but with the installation of lights over the summer, night games became a possibility. And that was a large appeal for many students and New Hampshire residences as proven by the 10,000 fans in attendance. I would bet that the rather funny advertisement UNH Football put out also helped to draw in the crowd (you can watch it here).
With rumors around campus that there would be lines to get into Cowell on Saturday, in part to the promise of free sunglasses for the first five hundred students to swipe in, I arrived with some of my dorm-mates around 5pm on game day. Luckily for us, we were one of the first to arrive at the Cat Pack section. We found seats near the front of the bleachers and watched. We watched the alumni and public file into the newly renovated seats at the field house. We watched the team warm up, although there was some regrets about watching that when one of the girls in our group had her face make contact with one of the practice field goals… Shaking that off, we watched and got pumped up to watching our team win. A win which quickly became obvious after the first two touchdowns were made within the first few minutes.
During the game, as the sun set the Cat Pack seemed to find a new energy that seemed to match what usually seemed reserved for hockey games. Peter Wilkinson and his Cat Pack leaders lead the student section in new cheers and old, getting everyone involved. And I mean everyone, one of the Captains would go around and make those sitting get on their feet. When it was time for a kickoff, everyone stood together with their fists held high. Wildcats on defense meant a change from the old “Hey [Insert Goalie Name Here], We’re All Behind You!” from hockey games to “Hey Defense, We’re All Behind You!” As the midway point of the first quarter came around, everyone closed in for a jumping up and down rendition of “I BELIEVE IN UNH!” And this year’s team gave everyone a reason to believe in UNH.
Going into this season, our Wildcats are coming off of a run for the NCAA Football Championship where they had made it to finals. Now, they’re 3-1 in their season so far and more supported than ever before. And it is clear that University of New Hampshire owns the 603!