ORONO, Maine -- Quarterback Marcus Wasilewski (Kulpmont, Pa.) matched a career-high with four touchdown passes as he helped lead the University of Maine football team to a 35-22 win over visiting Bryant on Saturday evening at Alfond Stadium. The win gives Maine its first 3-0 start since 2002 while Bryant falls to 2-1.
Wasilewski hit four different receivers for touchdown passes including Derrick Johnson (Hempstead, N.Y.) (nine catches, 69-yards) and Damarr Aultman (Wheatley Heights, N.Y.) (five catches, 89-yards). The Black Bears rushed for 181-yards led by Rickey Stevens' (Rochester, N.Y.) 67-yards on 10 carries while Wasilewski added 64-yards and a score on the ground, giving the senior quarterback five total touchdowns on the day.
Christophe Mulumba (Montreal, Quebec) led the Black Bear defensive charge with a career-high 12 tackles including a half sack and a pair of pass breakups. Senior linebacker Troy Eastman (Rahway, N.Y.) add seven tackles and an interception.
Following a Bryant missed field goal on the opening possession of the game, the Black Bears took over on their own 32. Maine began to march down the field as a 39-yard pass from Wasilewski to John Ebeling (Mahwah, N.J.) gave Maine a first and goal situation. Back-to-back three yard rushes from Wasilewski resulted in a touchdown as the Black Bears took an early 7-0 lead.
Bryant answerd as running back Paul Canevari scored on back-to-back drives to give the Bulldogs the lead after a 42-yard score from Canevari with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter.
Bryant extended its lead to 16-7 after Ricardo Mccray blocked a Black Bear punt, causing the ball to roll out of the back of the endzone, resulting in a safety.
Maine ended the half on a positive note as it would score a pair of touchdowns late in the second quarter to regain the lead. Wasilewski connected with Ebeling for a 14-yard strike before hitting Aultman for a 51-yard score. On the ensuing Bryant possession, Eastman leapt in front of a Bryant pass, intercepting the ball at the 50 and returning it deep into Bulldog territory. Maine's offense went back to work as Wasilewski capped off a five play, 28-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Johnson as Maine took a 21-16 lead with 1:15 left in the half.
The Black Bears wasted no time adding to their lead in the third quarter. On its second possession of the third quarter, Wasilewski hit Johnson for 16-yards before breaking the quarterback broke out a 34-yard run down to the Bryant 17. Following the long run, Wasilewski rolled out and hit tight end Justin Perillo (Wilmington, Del.) for a 17-yard touchdown as Maine extended its lead to 28-16.
Bryant would miss another deep field goal, this time from 47-yards out, before Wasilewski and the offense went back to work from the Black Bear 30-yardline. An extended drive from the Black Bears took them down to the Bryant 9-yardline before Wasilewski hit Jordan Dunn (Hamilton, N.J.) for a touchdown. The score, Wasilewski's fourth toss and fifth overall score of the game, was also Dunn's first career touchdown catch.
The Bulldogs chipped into the Maine lead late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Mike Westerhaus hit Jordan Harris for a 58-yard score. For Harris, it was his ninth catch as he totaled 182-yards receiving. However, Maine was able to kill the clock it the end as it wrapped up a 35-22 home opening win.
Maine returns to action when it travels to take on FBS opponent Northwestern on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 3:30 EST.