Torrid Start Lifts #14 Football Over William & Mary, 34-20
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine football team got off to another fast start as it scored 24 unanswered first half points en route to a 34-20 victory over visiting William and Mary (4-3, 1-2 Colonial Athletic Association) on homecoming weekend. The win moves Maine to 6-1 overall and a perfect 3-0 in CAA play.
Marcus Wasilewski (Kulpmont, Pa.) was efficient in the win, completing his first 12 passes before finishing 16-for-22 with 192-yards and a pair of touchdowns. The total yards pushed Wasilewski over the 4,000-yard passing mark for his career. The senior quarterback also rushed 14 times for 71 yards in the win. Classmate Rickey Stevens (Rochester, N.Y.) returned from injury and rushed 24 times for a game-high 99-yards and a touchdown.
The Black Bears outgained William and Mary 420-279 and were led on defense by its linebacking corps as Cabrinni Goncalves (Taunton, Mass.) totaled nine tackles and a trio of pass breakups followed by Christophe Mulumba (Montreal, Quebec) with eight tackles while senior Troy Eastman (Rahway, N.J.) added seven stops.
Maine wasted no time grabbing a lead as it took the opening possession down to the William and Mary six yardline. Wasilewski snapped the ball and rushed to the one, stretching to try and break the plain but lost the football. Black Bear center Bruce Johnson (Rochester, N.Y.) was able to fall on the ball for a touchdown.
A Tribe punt led to another long drive for the Black Bears. Maine would depend on its rushing attack, keeping the ball on the ground for 10 of the 12 plays on the drive, capping it off with a one yard blast into the endzone from Stevens.
A three and out forced by the Black Bear defense put the ball right back into the offense's hands. Wasilewski guided another drive down the field, highlighted by a 22-yard pass to Justin Perillo (Wilmington, Del.) into the William and Mary zone. Sean Decloux (Ottawa, Ontario) ended the drive after booting a 42-yard field goal, giving Maine a 17-0 edge.
Midway through the second quarter, Maine took advantage of great field position after a 28-yard punt was returned 23-yards by Justin Flores (Woburn, Mass.), setting Maine up deep in Tribe territory at the William and Mary 15. A pair of Black Bear rushes set Maine up 3rd and six at the 11 before Wasilewski floated a pass to Damarr Aultman (Wheatley Heights, N.Y.) for a touchdown.
William and Mary got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter after piecing together a 13 play, 53 yard drive which ended when Kendell Anderson bounced in from one yard out. Maine would take a 24-7 lead into the break.
The Black Bears outgained William and Mary 240-94 as the defense held the Tribe to just 23 first half passing yards.
Maine opened the second half much like the first. After forcing a Tribe three and out, Wasilewski orchestrated a 13 play, 59 yard drive over 5:48, ending with a six yard touchdown pass to Perillo as Maine stretched its lead to 31-7.
The Black Bears carried their 24 point edge into the fourth quarter. William and Mary's Keith McBridge punched in a one-yard rush for a touchdown early in the final quarter to cut the lead to 31-13.
Maine once again answered as a 14-yard rush from Stevens set up a a 21-yard Decloux field goal.
The Tribe continued to make a run as they scored a late touchdown when replacement quarterback Brent Caprio hit Tre McBridge for a four yard score. But it would be too late, as Maine moved to 3-0 in league play with a 34-20 win.
The Black Bears return to action on Saturday, Oct. 26 when they travel to face Villanova in a battle of two of the top three teams in the CAA.