An offense plagued with inefficient play and costly turnovers lost the Maine Black Bears their fourth consecutive game, falling to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) 22-6 on Saturday afternoon in Durham, N.H.
Maine aided the Wildcats (7-4, 5-3 CAA) offense with four turnovers, two from interceptions and two lost fumbles. After the loss, the Black Bears fall to 3-8 (3-5 CAA), their worst record since the 1995 season.
New Hampshire has defeated Maine for the Brice-Cowell musket five consecutive times, retaining the trophy again this year.
Black Bears third-year quarterback Dan Collins contributed with over 200 yards passing, finishing 18 of 34 through the air with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Fourth-year receiver John Hardy ended his career as a Black Bear with five catches for 56 yards and his first career touchdown. First-year receiver Micah Wright added eight catches and 83 receiving yards.
The Wildcats used the Black Bears offensive miscues to capitalize offensively. UNH outgained Maine offensively 379-334 in the contest.
Maine would drive within the UNH 30-yard line four times in the contest, but only came out with points on one of those occasions. Two of those drives stalled out in Wildcats territory on interceptions.
Wildcats fourth-year quarterback Sean Goldrich had an exceptional day through the air, completing 29 of 47 passes for 286 yards and a touchdown. Goldrich added 21 yards rushing on six attempts, adding a touchdown on the ground as well.
A Belcher fumble would help UNH notch its first points of the contest. Belcher fumbled at the Black Bears 32-yard line, before Goldrich would lead a drive to the end zone.
Goldrich connected with third-year running back Dalton Crossan from two yards out to give UNH a 7-0 advantage.
Crossan would add a 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help the Wildcats take a 13-0 lead into halftime.
After halftime, a special teams miscue by Wright set UNH up in great field position. Wright made contact with the ball after a punt but muffed the catch, and the ball was recovered by the Wildcats on Maine’s 40-yard line.
Goldrich would connect with third-year receiver Kyon Taylor on a 39-yard pass to put the Wildcats at the Black Bears goal line. After a penalty, Goldrich would cash in an 11-yard touchdown run to extend the UNH lead to 19-0.
After two third quarter turnovers, the Black Bears finally found the end zone seconds into the final quarter. Collins found Hardy from six yards out, capping a six-play, 51-yard drive to cut the Wildcats lead to 19-6. Maine’s extra point attempt by second-year kicker Sam Lenson was blocked.
The Wildcats third-year kicker Morgan Ellman added a 25-yard field goal to enhance the UNH lead to 22-6 with just under six minutes remaining in the contest. Maine failed to score for the remainder of the contest.
Maine finished three for 15 on third-down and failed to convert on both of their fourth down chances.
With the win, New Hampshire looks to get a Football Championship Subdivision bid for
postseason play. The Wildcats have made 11 straight playoff appearances.