Black Bears keep playoff hopes alive with win

STONY BROOK, N.Y. - The University of Maine football team, which led 27-0, was able to hold off a late Stony Brook surge, taking the Colonial Athletic Association contest, 27-21. The win elevated Maine to 5-2 in league play, locked in a four-way tie for second place in the conference. The Black Bears host New Hampshire on Saturday, Nov. 19 in a key CAA matchup with plenty of postseason relevance.

Stony Brook, trailing by six, took over with 1:36 left in regulation. However, its first play of the drive was picked off by Najee Goode, locking up Maine's fourth consecutive road victory.

Freshman running back Josh Mack set a career high with 39 rushing attempts for 147 yards. Mack added a rushhing touchdown and a 21-yard receiving touchdown; his first game with a rushing and receiving touchdown.

Quarterback Dan Collins finished the day 16-for-24 with 156 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Black Hole defense turned Stony Brook's offense one-dimensional, holding the Seawolves to just 67-yards through the air and 222 total for the game. Sterling Sheffield finished the game with two sacks while DeAndre Scott paced the team with eight tackles. Mozai Nelson added a defensive score with a 23-yard fumble recovery.

The Black Bears opened the game with a 12-yard touchdown run with 6:49 left in the first. Brandon Briggs tacked on the extra point to give Maine a 7-0 lead. That play capped off an 11 play, 56-yard, 4:53 drive.

Maine outgained the Seawolves in total yards in the first quarter, 71-34 and converted on 4-of-5 third downs.

With 6:47 remaining in the second quarter, Stony Brook mishandled the snap. Nelson scooped up a fumbled snap for 23-yards and brought it back to pay dirt as the Black Bears increased their margin to 13-0.

The Black Bears started their final drive of the first half at their own 28-yard line, with 4:47 remaining in the half. Collins completed 6-of-7 on the drive before connecting with Jared Osumah on second and goal to give Maine a touchdown just before the end of the half, Black Bears led 19-0. Briggs added the extra point to put Maine on top 20-0.

Stony Brook received the ball in the second half. On the first play of the quarter, Sheffield sacked Seawolves' quarterback Pat Irwin for a loss of seven yards. Stony Brook went three and out.

Maine took over at their own 37-yard line. Mack carried the ball four times on the drive 25 yards, before Collins completed a screen pass to the freshman back for 21-yards, giving Maine a commanding 26-0 lead. Briggs completed the extra point to give the Black Bears a 27-0 advantage.

Stony Brook took over at their own 26-yard line. The Seawolves strung together two first downs before Donald Liotine rushed for 35 yards down to the Maine six yard line. Liotine eventually carried it in for a touchdown, Stony Brook's first of the game bringing the score 27-7 after converting on the extra point.

After the Black Bears took over, Collins threw a pass that was intercepted by Stony Brook's Reid-Segure for a 12-yard pick-six, closing the gap 27-14 after completing the extra point.

After each team traded possessions that lead into the fourth quarter, Stony Brook started their first drive of the fourth. A Jordan Gowins rush of 23-yards to the 50 yardline set up Donald Liotine for a 50 yard rushing score for Stony Brook's 20th unanswered point of the game. After the PAT, Maine's lead was just six.

With 4:25 remaining, Stony Brook started their drive at their own 4-yard line. Irwin was able to give the Seawovles some breathing room with a 16-yard pass play to Ray Bolden. The Black Bears then forced Stony Brook to turnover on downs after Zachary Hume broke up a pass over the middle.

With 2:32 remaining in the fourth, Maine took over at Stony Brook's 22. After three straight Mack rushes and Stony Brook burning all of their timeouts, Maine was unable to convert on fourth down to ice the game.

On the first play of the drive with 1:36 remaining in the game, Stony Brook's Pat Irwin dropped back to pass and through to the right side of the field as Najee Goode ripped away the pass for the interception to secure the Black Bear victory.

Maine returns home for its final regular season game of the year when it hosts rival New Hampshire at 1 p.m.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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