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Maine shuts down Stony Brook running game

Stony Brook LB Jeremy Leggiero and LB Rahim

Stony Brook LB Jeremy Leggiero and LB Rahim Cassell sack Maine QB Dan Collins for a loss in the first quarter of a game on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Credit: George A. Faella

ORONO, Maine - Stony Brook found itself in a black hole Saturday afternoon, and its offense could not escape.

The University of Maine held the Seawolves to four first-half first downs and cashed in on a pair of Stony Brook miscues en route to a 23-10 Colonial Athletic Association football victory at a chilly, blustery Alfond Stadium.

Even though a pair of Black Bears turnovers helped the Seawolves (2-4, 1-4) take a 10-3 halftime lead, coach Chuck Priore's team could not establish a running game and took its fourth straight loss.

Stony Brook came in averaging 164 yards on the ground but was limited to 10 net rushing yards on 26 attempts by the Black Bears (3-4, 3-1). "We weren't able to sustain the line of scrimmage," Priore said. "They've got a good front there."

Said Maine's Trevor Bates, "The first goal is to stop the run. Stony Brook is a very physical team. They like to pound the rock and try to dominate you up front with their size.''

Stony Brook drew even at 3-3 on Przemslaw Popek's 27-yard field goal in the second quarter. The Seawolves had marched 53 yards in eight plays after Maine turned it over on downs.

After Dan Collins' fumble on Maine's next possession, Stony Brook needed only six plays to find the end zone, with Conor Bednarski and Cal Daniels hooking up on a 2-yard pass to give the Seawolves a 10-3 lead.

Donald Liotine's fumble on the Seawolves' first series of the second half set up the Black Bears at the SBU 31, and Maine needed five plays and a pass-interference penalty to tie the score at 10 on quarterback Drew Belcher's 2-yard run.

Sean Decloux, who was 3-for-4 on field-goal attempts for the Black Bears, connected on a 19-yarder to put the Black Bears ahead for good early in the fourth quarter.

Maine put the game away a short time later when Bates scooped up Bednarski's fumble and took it 34 yards for a touchdown and a 20-10 lead.

Bednarski was 15-for-30 for 106 yards and a TD but was sacked four times. Ray Bolden had nine receptions for 97 yards.

Said Bolden, "I feel our coaches are doing more than enough to prepare us every week. We're just not going out there and executing. That's what it comes down to at the end of the day."


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