AMHERST, Mass. — Cornerback Norman Smith intercepted a desperation pass from midfield with no time remaining Saturday, helping the University of Maine secure a 21-20 Colonial Athletic Association football victory over Massachusetts at McGuirk Stadium.
Redshirt freshman fullback Jared Turcotte of Lewiston rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown to help the Black Bears (7-3) roll up 296 yards on the ground while earning their fifth straight victory.
UMaine improved to 4-2 in conference play and kept its postseason hopes alive, while the Minutemen (6-4, 3-3 CAA), the two-time defending league champions, watched theirs evaporate.
UMass had a chance to tie the game after Jeremy Horne caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Liam Coen with 11:39 remaining. However, Armando Cuko’s PAT kick in rainy conditions ricocheted off the right upright.
Tailbacks Derek Session (16 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD), Jhamal Fluellen (10 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD) and Pushaun Brown (6 carries, 52 yards) also were instrumental in the ground assault.
Coen completed 15 of 33 passes for 200 yards and two scores, but was intercepted four times. Jeremy Horne caught nine passes for 141 yards.
UMaine returns to action Saturday with a road game at Rhode Island.