Football Season Ends with 41-27 Loss to New Hampshire in NCAA Second Round
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine football team's (10-3) historic season came to an end on Saturday in front of 7,992 fans in Alfond Stadium's first ever NCAA FCS playoff game where the Black Bears dropped a 41-27 decision to New Hampshire (9-4).
Quarterback Marcus Wasilewski (Kulpmont, Pa.) finished the day 21-for-39 with 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wasilewski ends his season with 3,238 passing yards; the most total passing yards for a Black Bear quarterback in Maine history. Wasilewski ends his career with 5,613 passing yards; sixth most all-time. Wasilewski also added 15 rushing attempts for a team-high 71 yards. Fellow senior Rickey Stevens (Rochester, N.Y.) added to the rushing attack with 12 attempts for 65 yards.
Junior receivers Arthur Williams (Springfield, Mass.) paced the receiving core with five catchers for 81 yards while fellow junior Damarr Aultman (Wheatley Heights, N.Y.) hauled in five catches for 39 yards. Justin Perillo (Wilmington, Del.) and John Ebeling (Mahwah, N.J.) each added a touchdown reception.
Maine gained a total of 384 yards on offense in the contest which puts them at 5,542 total yard on the season to best its record year for most yards in a single season.
Maine defense was led by its young line-backing duo of Christophe Mulumba (Montreal, Que.) and Cabrinni Goncalves (Taunton, Mass.) Mulumba matched a game-high with 13 tackles while Goncalves added 12 stops, including 1.5 sacks and 2.0 total tackles for loss.
New Hampshire started the scoring midway through the first quarter when it took advantage of good starting position at the Maine 37 before Mike MacArthur hit a 43 yard field goal.
The Black Bears were quick to answer as Aultman sliced through the New Hampshire kickoff coverage, taking the ensuing Wildcat kick 88 yards for a touchdown.
The Wildcats quickly regained a lead when the second play of their next drive went for 57 yards on a pass and catch from Sean Goldrich to Justin Mello.
Maine knotted the game up at 10-10 behind an eight play, 44 yard drive over 4:28 at the start of the second quarter. After forcing New Hampshire into a three-and-out situation, Wasilewski rushed for 24 yards on first down up to the New Hampshire 23. Wasilewski hit Williams for a seven yard gain before a pair of three-yard rushes by Stevens and Wasilewski gave Maine first down at the Wildcat 11. The Black Bears would come up short of the goal line on third down before Sean Decloux (Ottawa, Ontario) hit a 21 yard field goal.
New Hampshire snagged the lead on its following drive. Goldrich moved the Wildcats into Maine territory before hitting Jimmy Giansante for a 48 yard touchdown strike.
The Wildcats advanced their lead to 10 when they turned a Wasilewski interception into a 22 yard field goal from MacArthur.
Maine cut the lead back down to seven with a well orchestrated drive at the end of the half. Wasilewski moved Maine into Wildcat territory with back-to-back receptions before rushing 12 yards to the New Hampshire 32. Stevens followed with rushes of eight and 15 yards before Wasilewski hit Ebeling in the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown. New Hampshire took a 20-17 lead into the break.
The Wildcats ran their lead back to 10 on the opening drive of the second half when Goldrich moved the offense 51 yards on eight plays, ending with Mello's second touchdown reception of the day.
Maine was able to cut the New Hampshire lead to a seven when Decloux knocked through a 28 yard field goal. The kick was setup early in the drive when Wasilewski hit Williams for 28 yards down the sideline to the New Hampshire 30.
New Hampshire made it a two possession game when Chris Setian bounced in from 12 yards out with under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Setian pushed the Wildcat lead to 21 on New Hampshire's following drive when he rushed in from seven yards out.
Maine kept fighting as Wasilewski hit Williams for 32 yards before finding Aultman on a 13 yard pattern to move the Black Bears down to the Wildcat 30. Wasilewski found Perillo on fourth down for an 11 yard first down pickup before going back to his tight end for an 18 yard touchdown.
However, it would be too late as the Wildcats took a knee to run the clock out and take a 41-27 victory.