Football Knocks Off Old Rival, FBS Program UMass, 24-14
FOXBORO, Mass. -- The University of Maine football team won its second ever game against a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent when it defeated UMass 24-14 on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Maine last defeated an FBS school when it beat Mississippi St. 9-7 in 2004. The win moves Maine to 2-0 on the year.
Maine's defense came up big on several stands as held UMass to just 64-yards rushing. Leading the way on defense was senior defensive back Jamal Clay (Mahwah, N.J.) with seven tackles, including two for loss. Cabrinni Goncalves (Taunton, Mass.) added seven tackles.
Quarterback Marcus Wasilewski (Kulpmont, Pa.) went 20-for-28 for 267 yards. Wasilewski's career day totaled his 2,850th career passing yard which puts him ninth all-time, one spot ahead of head coach Jack Cosgrove. Wasilewski was Maine's leading rusher with 76-yards and one score while Rickey Stevens (Rochester, N.Y.) and Zedric Joseph (West Palm Beach, Fla.) each rushed for 65-yards and a touchdown.
Justin Perillo (Wilmington, Del.) led the receiving contingent with a trio of catches for 80-yards.
UMass started off the game in great field position after Trey Dudley-Giles returned the opening kickoff 41 yards. The Minutemen took advantage of the great starting spot, piecing together a four-play, 54-yard drive, capped with a seven yard touchdown pass from Mike Wegzyn to Bernard Davis.
Maine's offense looked to answer as Wasilewski worked quickly, connecting with Derrick Johnson (Hempstead, N.Y.) for 23 yards followed by a 48-yard strike to a wide open Perillo down the sideline to set up Maine first and goal. However, a lob just short into the end zone was picked off by the Minutemen's Jovan Santos-Knox.
After trading possessions, a 34-yard Jeffrey Ondish (Elkton, Md.) punt was fielded at the UMass 40 yardline by Dudley-Giles. Dudley-Giles fumbled the punt allowing Khari Al-Mateen (Baltimore, Md.) to dive on the loose ball as Maine regained possession in UMass territory.
The Black Bears took advantage of the UMass turnover when a 10-play, 31-yard drive ending with a 26-yard field goal from Sean Decloux (Ottawa, Ontario) to get Maine on the board.
The Maine defense again held strong, forcing UMass to punt after a three-and-out series. Stevens and the Maine offense wasted no time on the drive as the senior running back slashed through the line of scrimmage and finished off a 35-yard run untouched in the end zone to put Maine up 10-7.
Maine outgained UMass 242-187 in the first half as the Black Bear defense held UMass to just 48-yards on the ground. Goncalves led the defensive effort with five tackles including a crunching blow towards the end of the half on UMass tailback Stacey Bendell. Al-Mateen finished the opening half with an interception and a fumble recovery.
The Black Bears began their second drive of the second half on their own 32. After working the ball into UMass territory, a 15-yard penalty backed Maine up as it faced third and 17. Wasilewski scrambled and was able to find Perillo for a leaping catch down to the UMass six yardline. Joseph punched in a third down run from one yard out as Maine took a 17-7.
Shortly after, Maine's defense forced UMass to its fifth three-and-out in its last six drives as the Black Bears took over on the UMass 35 yardline. A six play drive was capped after Wasilewski broke a tackle on a 39-yard quarterback draw, giving Maine a 24-7 lead.
The Minutemen cut the lead to 10 when UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle hit Tajae Sharpe with an eight yard touchdown pass. However, it would be too little too late as Maine ended the game by taking a knee deep in UMass territory to seal off its second ever win over an FBS program, 24-14.
The Black Bears open their home schedule next Saturday, Sept. 14 when it hosts Bryant at 3:30 PM.