Nov. 29, 2008

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -R.J. Toman threw for 257 yards as No. 10 New Hampshire defeated No. 9 Southern Illinois 29-20 in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

New Hampshire (10-2) capitalized on three SIU turnovers and a blocked punt return for a touchdown to advance to its fourth second-round playoff appearance since 2004.

With the game tight at 19-13 in the last minutes of the third quarter, New Hampshire defensive back John Clements returned a blocked SIU punt 26 yards to put New Hampshire up 26-13 heading into the final quarter.

SIU quarterback Chris Dieker answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Haruff to come within a score, but Kicker Tom Bishop iced the game with a 32-yard field goal, his fifth on the day.

Bishop?s five field goals tied the Division I playoff record set previously by Fordham in 2002 and Western Illinois in 2003.

Bishop and the Wildcats were given a short field on many scores because of SIU turnovers. Dieker, who finished with 163 yards, threw two interceptions and running back Larry Warner recorded a costly fumble on an early Saluki drive to set up a New Hampshire score.

New Hampshire wide receiver Mike Boyle finished with 131 yards. Nearly half of those yards came on a 54-yard reception late in the second quarter that set Toman up for a two-yard rushing touchdown to put the Wildcats up 16-13 at the half.

The loss was Southern Illinois? first at home since last season?s semifinal playoff defeat against Delaware.