Villanova snaps Maine's 5-game winning streak

Villanova snaps Maine's 5-game winning streak

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The University of Maine football team's (5-4, 4-2 CAA) five-game win streak came to an end with a 26-7 loss to No. 10 Villanova (7-2, 5-1 CAA) on Saturday afternoon at Alfond Stadium.

Micah Wright matched a season-high with eight catches for a season-best 99-yards receiving. Freshman Earnest Edwards totaled 245-yards of offense including a 97-yard kick return for Maine's lone score. The score was Maine's first on a kick return since Damarr Aultman's in 2013's playoff game against New Hampshire. The 97-yard total was the longest for the Black Bears since Arel Gordan matched the yardage with a kickoff score in 2004.

Dan Collins went 18-for-35 through the air for 235-yards. On the ground, freshman Josh Mack led Maine with 61-yards on 10 carries.

Defensively, Pat Ricard was a constant in the Villanova backfield as the tackle recorded a career-high 5.0 tackles-for-loss on eight total stops and a blocked PAT. For the fifth time this season, the CAA's second-leading tackler Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga tallied double-digit tackles with 10. Villanova, which came into play averaging 225.1 rush yards per game, were limited to just 94.

Villanova was led by quarterback Zach Bednarczyk who finished 23-for-31 with 326-yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Ryan Bell had two touchdown catches while Jarrett McClenton added six receptions for 91-yards.

It was a defensive battle throughout a scoreless first quarter before the Wildcats struck first with a 42-yard field goal from Gerard Smith.

Villanova took a 10-0 lead with 11-seconds left in the half. The Wildcats took advantage of one of four Maine interceptions, marching 69-yards and ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bednarczyk to Brandon Chadbourn.

The Black Bears came out hot in the second half when Edwards took the opening kickoff 97-yards for Maine's first score of the game. Following Patrick Leonard's point-after, Maine found itself down three, 10-7.

Smith and the Wildcats answered with a 43-yard field goal to extend the Villanova lead out to 13-7. On its next drive, Villanova put together an 11 play, 40-yard drive after forcing a Maine turnover on downs. Bednarczyk's 8-yard pass to Bell put the Wildcats up 19-7 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

Villanova looked to put the game away, extending its lead to 19 on a 7-yard pass from Bednarczyk's second touchdown pass to Bell.

The Black Bears had once last drive but failed to score, dropping the CAA matchup, 26-7.

Maine is back in action on Nov. 12 for its final regular-season road game when it travels to take on Stony Brook at 2 p.m.
 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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