AMHERST, Mass.--The University of Maine football team fell to No. 15 University of Massachusetts by the score of 39-24 on Saturday afternoon in Amherst, Mass. With the loss, Maine goes to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in CAA play while UMass improves to 6-3 and 3-3 in league play.
UMass got on the board first, as Ryan Carter returned the opening kick for a 97-yard score. However, the Black Bears pressured the point after attempt, and UMass pushed the kick wide. The Black Bears were not able to capitalize on their first possession, but would get solid field position on their next drive as Jeremy Kelley (West Seneca, N.Y.) notched his second blocked kick of the season.
The Black Bears could not quite convert on the drive however. Maine freshman Michael Cole (North Brunswick, N.J.) notched a sack for a 12-yard loss on the ensuing Minuteman drive, but UMass was able to eventually get in the endzone on a Kyle Havens shovel pass to Jonathan Hernandez two minutes into the second quarter.
The Black Bears would get on the board when Pushaun Brown (North Brunswick, N.J.) busted through the middle for a 40-yard touchdown run. The score capped a four play, 63-yard drive that included a pair of catches by Tyrell Jones (Gaithersburg, Md.).
UMass would answer with a Dan Sheeran 19-yard touchdown reception, and would intercept a pass for a touchdown on the next Maine possession to take a 25-7 lead with under six minutes left in the second quarter. Cole would block the extra point to keep it an 18-point deficit.
Brian Harvey (Wayland, Mass.) would answer for the Black Bears as he nailed a 34-yard field goal, to make it a two-score game with 3:22 left in the first half.
The Minutemen would score with 45 seconds left to take a 32-10 lead into halftime.
Brown led the Black Bear attack in the first half with 106 yards on the ground and the score. Donte Dennis (Rahway, N.J.) made 10 tackles to lead the defense.
Maine would cut into the lead just under five minutes into the second half when Warren Smith (Forked River, N.J.) found Maurice McDonald (Paterson, N.J.) for a 12-yard score. Jeff Falvey (Cicero, N.Y.) made a key, 16-yard leaping first down reception on third down to keep the drive going and set up the score.
The Black Bear defense would hold UMass scoreless in the third quarter, and the Black Bears had a chance to score early in the fourth, but Smth's pass in the corner of the endzone was broken up by the Minutemen.
UMass would drive down to midfield, but Jerron McMillian (Hillside, N.J.) forced a fumble and Trevor Coston (Greenlawn, N.Y.) recovered it. The Minutemen would intercept a pass and return it for a score to take a 39-16 lead with 9:40 left in the game on the next Black Bear possession. Maine fought back, as Smith found an open Jones for a one-yard score, and would convert the two-point attempt to cut the lead to 39-24.
The Black Bears recovered the onside kick, but could not convert on the possession. Maine would get the ball back after forcing a UMass punt, and would get down to the 18-yardline, but Smith's pass would get intercepted.
Brown finished with 141 yards and a score while Smith went 27-for-39 for 253 yards and two scores. Dennis finished with 16 tackles.