Brown's fumble return lifts Maine to 2nd win

NEWARK, Delaware (NEWS CENTER) -- Austin Brown's 62-yard fumble recovery with 56-seconds remaining in regulation gave the University of Maine football team (2-3, 1-1 CAA) a 28-21 victory over Delaware (2-3, 0-2 CAA) on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Tubby Raymond Stadium.

The win, Maine's fourth-straight over the Blue Hens, was the first Colonial Athletic Association win of head coach Joe Harasymiak's career.

Dan Collins threw for a career-high 307-yards and three touchdowns, the passing total putting him over 3,500 yards for his career.

Micah Wright hauled in eight catches for 98-yards, including the 1,000 receiving yard of his career. Jaleed Reed added five catches for 60-yards and a score.

Defensively, Maine completed its game plan of keeping the Blue Hens one dimensional as the Black Hole limited Delaware to just 74-yards through the air. Jason Matovu paced the effort as he notched a team-high eight tackles; the fourth time in five games in which the safety has tallied 8+ stops.

The Blue Hens jumped out to a 7-0 lead, gaining all 68-yards of their opening series on the ground, ending with a 1-yard score by Jalen Randolph.

Early in the second quarter, in the shadow of their own end zone on third down, Collins was able to find Wright for 37-yards out to the Maine 40. On the very next play, Collins hit Earnest Edwards on a streak down the middle of the field. Edwards ran away from the defense for a 60-yard score. Maine would miss the point-after but close the gap to a point, 7-6, with 13:44 remaining in the half.

After a key third down tackle-for-loss by Darius Greene forced Delaware to punt out of its own end zone, the Black Bears would take over in great field position at the Blue Hens' 39. Maine immediately began its march when Collins dropped off a screen pass to Mack who scampered down to the Delaware 1-yard line. On the next play, Collins rolled out, hitting Michael Supp in the corner of the end zone for the tight ends' first career score. After the PAT, Maine led 13-6 late in the first half.

Delaware answered on its next possession when Wes Hills' 17-yard touchdown run put the Blue Hens back on top, 14-13.

At the half, all 168-yards of offense from Delaware came on the ground, while 173 of Maine's 195 first-half yards were through the air.

Collins and the offense regained the lead after putting together a nine play, 79-yard fourth quarter drive. Back-to-back completions to Wright, for 17-yards, and Jeremy Salmon, for 22-yards, brought the Black Bears down to the Delaware 16. Two plays later, Collins found Jaleel Reed in the corner of the end zone. Maine would go for two, looking to distance itself by seven. A pass to the goal line was tipped by three different Delaware defenders before Reed pulled it down, giving Maine a seven-point advantage with 5:48 remaining.

Delaware immediately responded as it was Hills finding the end zone for the second time on the day, this time for 61-yards, knotting the score at 21-all with 5:01 on the clock.

Maine took the ensuing drive down to the Delaware 17 where it was faced with a fourth and three. Patrick Leonard came on to try a 35-yard field goal but the attempt was wide left.

Delaware took over on its own 20, advancing the ball to the Maine 40-yard line. Hills next rush would end in a fumble as Greene came through with another huge defensive play. Brown scooped up the loose ball and sprinted down the Maine sideline all the way in for a score, giving Maine a 28-21 lead it would not relinquish.

The Black Bears return to Alfond Stadium for homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 15 when they host UAlbany in a CAA match-up at noon. 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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