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UMaine Black Bears football season review

After the last season was shortened due to COVID-19 where the University of Maine Black Bears only played two games all, the team was ready to play football again.

The Black Bears started the season by facing the number five ranked Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens. The Black Bears scored 24 points in the second quarter to give the Black Bears a surprising 24-17 lead at the half. However, UMaine failed to score in the second half and fell to Delaware 34-24 for their first game back with fans in attendance.

While Delaware was a tough team, they were nothing compared to the FCS third ranked team in the country, the James Madison University Dukes, that the Black Bears faced the very next week. The game wasn’t close at all as the Dukes beat the Black Bears 55-7.

During the first quarter, the Black Bears’ star third-year quarterback Joe Fagnano suffered a high ankle sprain that sidelined him until the last three games of the season. Second-year quarterback Derek Robertson took his place.

In Robertson’s first start for the Black Bears, UMaine was able to pick up their first victory against Merrimack College 31-26 thanks to two extra point blocks and a late interception in the endzone to secure UMaine’s first victory of the season.

The very next week, the Black Bears faced an FBS team, the Northern Illinois University Huskies. While the game was 7-7 in the first quarter, the Huskies scored 27 unanswered points from the second quarter on and won handily 41-14.

Coming off of a loss to the Huskies, the Black Bears faced the Elon University Phoenix, where UMaine fell short in a comeback effort after being down 26-10. Robertson and fourth-year wide receiver Andre Miller led the offense by scoring 13 unanswered points, but it was not enough. The Black Bears lost their fourth game, losing 33-23.

UMaine won their second game of the year against the William and Mary Tribe 27-16 on Homecoming Weekend after fending off a fourth quarter comeback from the Tribe thanks to a late interception from fourth-year linebacker Adrian Otero.

The Black Bears won again the very next week in a tight matchup against the University of Albany Great Danes, holding off a comeback in the fourth quarter to win their second straight game of the season.

UMaine pushed their win streak to three games, defeating the University of Rhode Island Rams. The Black Bears led 24-3 going into halftime and even though the Rams got within a touchdown to tie the game, a touchdown from Robertson to third-year tight end Shawn Bowman and another from second-year running back Freddie Brock ended the game with the Black Bears winning 45-24.

On senior night, the Black Bears fell to the Stony Brook University Seawolves 22-17 after UMaine’s comeback attempt fell short. Robertson threw an interception on the final drive, ending a frustrating day for the Black Bears. Giving up 12 penalties for 108 yards and costly turnovers doomed the Black Bears.

 In Fagnano’s first game back from injury, the Black Bears cruised to an easy victory over FBS opponent the University of Massachuestts Minuteman. While the Minuteman led 10-0 after the first quarter, it was all Black Bears afterward with UMaine scoring 35 unanswered points leading to an easy 35-10 victory.

In the Black Bears’ final game against arch rivals the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, the Black Bears controlled the second half after going into halftime tied at 20 and held the Wildcats scoreless to win 33-20, snapping a seven game losing streak against New Hampshire and claiming the Brice-Cowell Musket.

The Black Bears did not qualify for the FCS playoffs and their season has come to an end. They finished with a respectable 6-5 record, and fought hard to do it by winning five of their last six games. 

Robertson finished the year as the Black Bears leading passer, completing 121 passes on 238 attempts for 1505 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Brock led the team in rushing with 131 carries for 739 yards and seven touchdowns. Fourth-year wide receiver Devin Young led the team in receptions, with 54 for 585 yards and three touchdowns, while Miller caught 39 passes for 684 yards and three touchdowns

Sixth-year linebacker Ray Miller led the team with 106 tackles while only four players registered sacks on the year. Second-year defensive lineman Dorian Royal led the team with 1.5 sacks and first-year defensive back Kahzir Brown led the team with three interceptions.


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