Joe Harasymiak knows he has to settle the University of Maine quarterback situation soon. But his decision will need to wait a few more days.

With injuries cutting the depth on the offensive and defensive lines, Harasymiak postponed the Black Bears’ second scrimmage – scheduled for Monday – to Friday. He plans to name the starting quarterback Saturday.

The Black Bears, coming off a 6-5 season, open their season at rival New Hampshire at 7 p.m. Aug. 31.

“We’re pretty banged up, especially up front,” said Harasymiak, stressing that the injuries were not long-term. “We just need to get guys back. We were hoping to get through this scrimmage (Monday) and plan out our days like (we) had them planned. But this is football and we had to change up.”

That means Drew Belcher, Max Staver, Chris Ferguson and Isaiah Robinson have a couple of more practices to impress Harasymiak, the second-year head coach of the Black Bears.

Belcher, who redshirted last year and has two years of eligibility remaining, is the holdover with the most experience – nine starts in two years at Maine. Staver transferred in after stints at Florida, Houston Baptist and Tyler Junior College, and has one year of eligibility remaining. Ferguson is a redshirt freshman and Robinson is a freshman from Bowie, Maryland.

UMaine Coach Joe Harasymiak.

“I wouldn’t say we’re behind (in evaluations), we’re at where we’re at,” said Harasymiak. “We’re not going to make a decision without seeing them in another live situation … We just have no one to block for them. We’ve got to make sure we get back to where we can get fair evaluation.”

Harasymiak added that over the course of the last week, one quarterback contender has emerged as the leader but he wouldn’t say who.

“Obviously, the way reps have been going, there has been some separation there,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the scrimmage and taking (it) to the next level. But we felt if we rushed guys back, we would hinder ourselves more. We’ve got to make the right choices and get these guys back to where we can have effective practices.”

Harasymiak said that of the 15 offensive linemen that began training camp, only about six are healthy.

The same goes for the defensive line. The injuries aren’t considered serious, a matter of strains and sprains and pulls, but he didn’t want to risk further injury for any of the players.

“The starters are intact,” said Harasymiak, “but we don’t want to wear them out.”

He added that the Black Bears are going to cancel a third scrimmage, scheduled for Aug. 21. “Our goal is to be ready for the 31st,” he said.

NOTES: Fenway Sports Management announced that UMaine will play Massachusetts at Fenway Park at 4 p.m. on Nov. 11 as part of the Fenway Gridiron Series. Tickets are available at redsox.com/gridiron. The game be televised on NESNplus. This will be the 58th game between the former Yankee Conference rivals but the first time that either team will have played at Fenway.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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