The University of Maine’s unexpected and unprecedented run toward a potential Football Championship Subdivision national championship came to a screeching halt on Saturday afternoon.
Eastern Washington University had its way with the Black Bears’ defense, jumping out to a 28-0 lead on the way to a 50-19 victory at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Eric Barriere threw seven touchdown passes, including four to redshirt senior wide receiver Nsimba Webster, to lead the Eagles past the Black Bears.
Seventh-seeded and No. 12-ranked UMaine closes out its best season ever at 10-4.
Third-ranked and No. 3 seed Eastern Washington, 12-2 including an 8-0 record at Roos Field, advances to take on 14-0 and top seed North Dakota State in the national title game Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas.
The Black Bears became the first team in program history to win two playoff games and reach the FCS semifinals.
The Black Bears had a record-setting offensive showing in the 55-27 victory over Jacksonville State. Sophomore quarterback Chris Ferguson’s five touchdown passes, UMaine’s 55 points and 42 first-half points were all school records.