On Saturday afternoon, the University of Maine Blacks Bears got their first win of the season in a dominating fashion over the visiting Stony Brook University Seawolves. A hot start and stifling defense led the Black Bears to a 56-28 victory.
UMaine had a record of 0-4 going into this game, coming off a 28-3 loss against William & Mary. Their opponent Stony Brook was also winless, as they headed into the conference matchup at 0-4 following a heartbreaking loss to Richmond University on a last-second field goal.
Before kickoff, the university honored the nine new members of the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame Class: former all-conference guard and NBA coach Jim Boylen, leading goal scorer of the 1993 National Hockey Cal Ingraham, three-time all-conference women’s basketball forward Stacey Porrini, softball career hits leader and regional All-American Alexis Souhlaris, Associated Press All-American football wide receiver Rameek Wright, 1959-1960 men’s basketball team and the only undefeated football teams in school history, the 1951 and 1961 squads.
Stony Brook received the kickoff and started the game on offense. Unfortunately for them, the drive did not last long. UMaine’s “Black Hole” defense set the tone early, forcing a fumble on Stony Brook’s first offensive play. The Black Bears easily marched down the field, and Tristen Kenan, a first-year running back, scored the first touchdown.
Fourth-year quarterback Derek Robertson connected with fourth-year wide receiver Joe Gillette for a 55-yard touchdown, the game’s longest pass. Robertson, who has struggled throughout the first four games, showed out against the Seawolves. He threw five touchdowns and had an 83% completion rate, throwing just five incompletions for 394 yards.
The scoring didn’t stop there. Second-year wide receiver Trevin Ewing ripped off a 30-yard touchdown run, his first rushing touchdown of his college career. After their defense got another stop, Maine dug deep into its bag of tricks.
A perfectly executed flea flicker allowed Robertson to find third-year wide receiver Montigo Moss wide-open down the field. He strolled into the endzone untouched for the touchdown, putting the Black Bears up 28-0.
UMaine had 234 yards of offense just in the first quarter. The 28 points scored is the most in a single quarter since also scoring 28 in 2019 against Elon University.
Stony Brook finally got on the board early in the second quarter with some trickery, pulling off a flea flicker of their own. The UMaine defense fell for it, and Seawolves third-year quarterback Casey Case capitalized, finding fourth-year running back Jayden Cook wide open down the field for the touchdown.
The aerial attack was on full display for both teams throughout the quarter. On the next drive, Robertson once again connected with Gillette for a long touchdown, extending Maine’s lead. After scoreless drives by both teams, fifth-year tight end Cal Redman caught a pass from Case, broke multiple tackles and ran in for the score.
At the tail end of the second quarter, Stony Brook was forced to punt the ball back to the Black Bears. With 51 seconds on the clock, Robertson and the UMaine offense moved down the field with ease, ending with Moss’ second touchdown of the game. The Black Bears entered halftime with a 42-14 lead.
UMaine got the ball to start the second and did not waste it. Keenan opened the third quarter scoring with his second rushing touchdown, just as he did to start the game. Hoping for a quick answer, Case was picked off by third-year Maine defensive back Abdul Stewart, his second interception of the year. Stewart had an excellent return after the pick, giving the UMaine offense an excellent field position.
It only took the Black Bears three plays to once again get on the scoreboard. This time it was via a diving catch in the endzone by fourth-year tight end Cooper Heisey.
Stony Brook scored twice during the late-game drives, with Cooks scoring his second touchdown and fourth-year wide receiver RJ Lamarre scoring his first. Their late-game rally was not enough, and the Black Bears officially won their first game of the season.
UMaine ended the game with an insane 512 yards of offense on the day. The 56 points scored against Stony Brook are the most points a Black Bears team has scored since 2017 while also being more points than they had scored all season up to that point.
The Black Bears look to continue their winning ways as they travel to Virginia to play the Richmond Spiders on Saturday, Oct. 7, before returning home to face Long Island University on homecoming weekend Saturday, Oct. 14.