May 26, 2018
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Maine falls short against Delaware

By Pete Warner

ORONO, Maine – The second-half woes continued for the University of Maine football team Saturday night.

Delaware dominated the final 30 minutes, controlling the ball with a balanced offensive attack while grinding out a 27-17 Colonial Athletic Association victory over the Black Bears in front of 4,314 fans at Alfond Stadium.

UMaine scored first in the second half, but the Blue Hens answered with 13 unanswered points to hand the Bears their third consecutive loss.

Coach Jack Cosgrove’s Bears (2-3 overall, 1-1 CAA) managed only 100 yards of offense in the second half, while Delaware (3-2, 1-2 CAA) rolled up 271 yards.

Blue Hens quarterback Pat Devlin, a Penn State transfer, completed 21 of 31 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown in the contest. David Hayes rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries and caught five passes for 49 yards.

UMaine QB Warren Smith passed for 258 yards, completing 23 of 36 throws with two TDs and two interceptions. Landis Williams made 10 receptions for 104 yards.

Sophomore linebacker Donte Dennis spearheaded the Bears defense with 23 tackles (nine solos), including a sack. Jerron McMillian and Ryan McCrossan posted 10 tackles each.

UMaine regained the lead on its first possession of the second half. Jordan Waxman closed out a 12-play,53-yard drive with a 35-yard field goal that gave the hosts a 17-14 edge at the 9:14 mark.

Delaware responded late in the quarter, sparked by Devlin’s 48-yard sideline throw to Mark Duncan. Leon Jackson punctuated a 71-yard march with a 2-yard TD dive as the Blue Hens went on top 21-17 with 2:27 to play in the third quarter.

The visitors continued to control their game with an effective pass-run mix. Delaware eventually scored the clincher with 3:57 remaining, moving 62 yards on 10 plays.

Hayes raced 25 yards off right tackle on a fourth-and-two play to give the Hens a 10-point cushion.

Smith was intercepted on a long pass on UMaine’s next series, ending the Bears’ hopes.

Smith had driven the Bears down the field on their last possession of the second quarter as the hosts forged a halftime tie.

Ty Jones leapt high to gather in a 9-yard timing toss from Smith in the left rear corner of the end zone and Waxman added the PAT kick to make it 14-14 with 1:40 left in the half.

UMaine demonstrated resilience in the half, overcoming an early missed field goal and two go-ahead scores by Delaware to even things up at the break.

The Blue Hens got on the board first, right after UMaine marched 58 yards on 11 plays only to have Waxman pull a 31-yard field-goal try left of the uprights.

On second down, Devlin found wideout Duncan streaking behind the Bears defense for a 79-yard touchdown pass with 6:37 to play in the first quarter. Jon Striefsky’s PAT made it 7-0.

UMaine responded five minutes later with a quick, five-play drive aided by a pass interference penalty. Smith fired a fade ball down the left sideline to Des Randall, who made the catch and sidestepped a defender at the 10-yard line to complete a 45-yard TD hookup.

Waxman’s PAT tied it 7-7 with 1:30 left in the first quarter.

Delaware failed to convert Ricky Tunstall’s interception of Smith early in the second quarter. The visitors drove to the UMaine 2-yard line, only to be thwarted on three consecutive runs, including Devlin’s fourth-down quarterback sneak.

The Bears played it safe and punted — a 59-yarder by Waxman. The Hens went back to work with their short passing attack as Devlin three quick throws to set up three straight runs, including an 8-yard scoring burst off right guard by Leon Jackson.

Devlin kept the drive going by eluding an apparent sack on a second-down play.

Striefsky’s kick put UD on top 14-7 with 5:12 remaining in the first half.

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