Late Touchdown Propels #10 Football Past Stony Brook, 19-14
ORONO, Maine -- John Ebeling's (Mahwah, N.J.) touchdown reception with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference as the Black Bears moved to 8-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play after defeating Stony Brook (3-5, 1-4 CAA) on Saturday afternoon at Alfond Stadium.
Marcus Wasilewski (Kulpmont, Pa.) went 15-for-24 for 188-yards and a touchdown as Maine compiled 258-yards of total offense. Ebeling went over the century mark in receiving yards as he had six catches for 106-yards and touchdown. Rickey Stevens (Rochester, N.Y.) paced Maine's ground attack as he rushed 12 times for 74-yards and a score.
Defensively, the Black Bears held Stony Brook to 129-yards passing led by the pass rush attack of Michael Cole (North Brunswick, N.J.) who recorded five tackles, including two sacks. Cole is now the all-time leader in sacks at Maine with 28.0, surpassing Mike Denino's 27.5 sacks which he recorded in 1989.
The Black Bears used great starting field position on their second drive of the game to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. On second down at the Stony Brook 29, Wasilewski dropped back and hit Derrick Johnson (Hempstead, N.Y.) for a 15-yard gain down the sideline. Backed up after a holding penalty, Wasilewski found John Ebeling (Mahwah, N.J.) for a seven yard gain down to the Stony Brook 17-yardline. Maine would be forced into a field goal try as Sean Decloux (Ottawa, Ontario) converted from 33-yards for the first score of the day.
Maine ended the second half on a high note after being backed up into a first and 24 situation, Wasilewski ended the first half with a 26-yard rush to give Maine first down from its own 40. The Black Bears kept driving as Rickey Stevens (Rochester, N.Y.) broke free down the sideline for 33-yards to the Stony Brook 18-yardline. Decloux finished off the drive with his second field goal of the day, this time from 38-yards, to give the Black Bears a 6-0 lead.
Wasilewski and the Maine offense padded its lead with an eight play, 74-yard drive over 2:56 which ended in the game's first touchdown. Faced with a third and nine from their own 27-yard line, Wasilewski hit Stevens on a designed screen. Stevens scampered down the sideline for 18-yards and was tackled via a facemask. Following the penalty, Maine would take over with first down on the Stony Brook 40-yardline. Another deep pass play, this time to Ebleing for 30-yards down the sideline, gave Maine first and goal from the seven. A five yard rush from Wasilewski set Maine up on the two-yard line before Stevens bounced in for a touchdown. A Decloux extra point gave Maine a 13-0 lead at the half.
Stony Brook chipped into the Maine lead as it started the second half with an 11-play, 67-yard drive over 5:01, ending with a one-yard end around run on third down from quarterback Lyle Negron.
Following a Maine punt, the Seawolves were again knocking on the Maine door with a 13 play, 71-yard drive over 6:42. Facing third down deep in Maine territory, Troy Eastman (Rahway, N.J.) leaped in front of Negron's pass, intercepting the ball at the Maine five yard line and returning it out to the 19.
Stony Brook once again forced a Maine punt and was able to take its first lead of the game, 14-13. James Kenner capped off a nine play, 59-yard Seawolve's drive as he slashed in from one-yard out, giving Stony Brook the advantage with 11:02 to play in regulation.
With 7:24 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Black Bears took over on their own nine yard line. Wasilewski began the drive with three straight completions, including an 18-yard strike to Justin Perillo (Wilmington, Del.), to give Maine a first down at its own 43. Back-to-back pass completions to Ebeling followed, the last a 24-yard touchdown pass to put Maine back on top, 19-14. Wasilewski looked again to Ebeling on a two-point conversion try which came up unsuccessful.
Stony Brook began its final drive on its own 20 with 40-seconds left. However, a third down try from its own 33-yardline was intercepted by Axel Ofori (Gaithersburg, Md.), sealing the 19-14 win for Maine.
Maine looks to remain perfect in CAA play when it travels to Albany on Saturday, Nov. 9 for a 3:30 PM kickoff.