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Golden arms: Toman and Pierce

Posted by Craig Larson, Globe Staff  September 29, 2010 02:42 PM

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toma.jpg R.J. Toman (right) and Michael Pierce were teammates for one season at the University of New Hampshire.

A red-shirt sophomore in 2008, Toman was stepping in as the starting quarterback after the graduation of the acclaimed Ricky Santos. Pierce was a freshman recruit out of Andover High, the reigning Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year.

Toman started 13 games, threw for 3,110 yards and 28 yards. Pierce watched from the sideline and then transferred to Saint Anselm

On Wednesday, Toman and Pierce were each recipients of the weekly Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Awards from the New England Football Writers. The UNH senior collected Division 1 honors, with the Hawk sophomore earning the nod in D2-3.

A native of Mission Viejo, Calif., the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Toman guided the 16th-ranked Wildcats to a 31-10 victory over Lehigh, completing 26 of 37 passes for a career-high 348 yards through the air, while contributing 19 more on the ground. His first of four touchdowns on the day came on 1-yard fade in the corner of the end zone to Joey Orlando. The drive began with a 51-yard bomb from Toman to senior Kevon Mason, the longest pass play of the season for UNH. With the game tied at 10, Toman found Terrance Fox for a 21-yard touchdown strike, giving the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish. Toman added 14-yard touchdown passes to Dontra Peters in the second quarter and Orlando again in the third.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Pierce set a single-game school-record with 408 passing yards, completing 24 of 37 attempts, in a 45-35 win over Pace. His first touchdown broke a 7-7 tie when he hit Marc Wilson for an 11-yard score. Pierce connected with Marcel Bouie on a 56-yard deep ball to push the Hawk’s lead to 39-20 in the third quarter.

He contributed 42 yards rushing for 450 total yards, a mark that is second only to his own school-record of 496 set last year against Stonehill.

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