BY JEFF FALK
NEWARK, DELAWARE – The New Hampshire football coaching staff should be commended for putting him in a position to succeed, to make plays. Evan Horn has repaid the Wildcats with his versatility, an immeasurable competitive spirit and leadership.
On a glorious Saturday afternoon at Delaware Stadium, Horn was all over the field – as has always been his M.O., dating back to his days as a star at Cedar Crest – for New Hampshire, but despite his efforts it wasn’t enough to rescue the Wildcats from dropping a 16-10 decision to the home-standing Blue Hens. Horn and the New Hampshire defense certainly did their part, limiting Delaware to a single touchdown, forcing the Blue Hens to settle for field goals three times and yielding just 251 yards of total offense.
The outcome snapped 22nd-ranked New Hampshire’s four-game winning streak. The Wildcats are now 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
With the victory, 24th-ranked Delaware improved to 4-3 on the fall and 2-1 in the CAA.
“I see myself as an emerging leader,” said Horn. “I’ve been here for three years now. I want to lead the defense. I want to be the guy that everyone wants to follow.
“It kind of began in the spring of this year,” added Horn. “When we were doing drills, things were just going better for me, more my way.”
Horn, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Crest, is a junior who plays the hybrid position of weak safety for the Wildcats. It’s kind of a cross between a cornerback and a linebacker, one in which he has defined responsibilities against the run and against the pass.
But it also allows Horn to freelance, to use his natural instincts and to make plays. To contain and pursue and attack, depending upon reads and situations.
Against Delaware, Horn was on the field for almost every New Hampshire defensive snap. He was in on nine total tackles, five solos and four assists.
He also returned a punt for 11 yards and participated on the Wildcats’ punt coverage team.
“I try to be an all-around player,” said Horn. “My role is to just go out and make plays, and try not to do too much. I think I could be a little faster. I’d like to read plays better. I see a lot more things I could do.”
On this particular Saturday, the Wildcats assumed a 10-3 lead with 3:23 remaining in the second quarter on Carlos Washington Jr.’s four-yard touchdown run. But the Blue Hens navigated 74 yards in five plays and 2:05 before the break to create a 10-10 halftime tie.
New Hampshire was shut out during the second half of play and the difference in the outcome proved to be two Jake Roth field goals for Delaware.
“Things went OK,” said Horn. “We didn’t get the win and that’s what matters most. We could’ve done better defensively. Sixteen points usually isn’t enough to win a game.
“We were on a four-game win streak and in first place,” added Horn. “It would’ve been nice to stay undefeated in the league.”
But 16 points is exactly what Horn and the New Hampshire defense has allowed, on average, this season. That ranks the Wildcats seventh in the nation in that particular category, and first in the CAA.
“I played OK,” said Horn. “It wasn’t the perfect game. Defensively, as a whole, we’ve got to be strong earlier. We need to get more three-and-outs.”
Currently, Horn is tied with teammate Pop Bush for the team lead in tackles with 48 total, 34 solos and 14 assists. The former Falcon has also recorded two sacks, two pass breakups, two interceptions and a forced fumble this season.
Two weeks ago, during a 26-10 home victory over Elon on October 5th, Horn returned an interception for a touchdown.
During his career at New Hampshire, Horn has appeared in 32 games and registered 148 total tackles, 95 solos and 43 assists.
“We’ve just got to focus on the next game,” said Horn. “We’ve got to win as many as possible. We just want to keep it going.
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|DATE||OPPONENT||RESULT||W-L (CONF)||HI PASS||HI RUSH||HI REC|
|Sat, Sep 7||@Holy Cross||L13-10||0-1 (0-0)||Brosmer 106||Washington Jr. 107||Briscoe III 71|
|Sat, Sep 14||@Florida International||L30-17||0-2 (0-0)||Brosmer 224||Gray 71||Laube 87|
|Sat, Sep 21||vsRhode Island||W27-24||1-2 (1-0)||Brosmer 184||Gray 123||Love 92|
|Sat, Sep 28||vsDuquesne||W23-6||2-2 (1-0)||Brosmer 202||Gray 99||Love 53|
|Sat, Oct 5||vsElon||W26-10||3-2 (2-0)||Brosmer 135||Gray 89||Helm 56|
|Sat, Oct 12||@Stony Brook||W20-14||4-2 (3-0)||Brosmer 196||Gray 54||Espanet 59|
|Sat, Oct 19||@Delaware||L16-10||4-3 (3-1)||Brosmer 160||Washington Jr. 60||Washington Jr. 48|
|Sat, Nov 2||vsVillanova||1:00 PM|
|Sat, Nov 9||@James Madison||3:30 PM|
|Sat, Nov 16||@Albany||1:00 PM|
|Sat, Nov 23||vsMaine||1:00 PM|