SMITHFIELD, R.I. — The University of Maine Black Bears steamrolled to a 51-7 football victory over their hosts – this is Bryant’s first season of Division I eligibility – on a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at Bulldog Stadium.

Defensive backs Khari Al-Mateen and Kendall James turned interceptions into long touchdown returns and running backs David Hood and Rickey Stevens each ran for more than 100 yards as the Black Bears had their way with the overmatched Bulldogs.

It was 14-0 before Maine quarterback Marcus Wasilewski attempted a pass, 31-0 at the half, and 38-0 after Wasilewski connected with Derrick Johnson on a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the third quarter.

A year ago in Orono, Maine took a 28-0 lead over Bryant before two late scores made it a respectable 28-13 final.

Hood (102 yards on 14 carries) scored on two short runs. Stevens finished with 168 yards on 17 carries. Wasilewski ran in from 6 yards out and Isaiah Jones broke free for a 30-yard score on his first collegiate carry to lead the Black Bears.

The only time Bryant crossed midfield in the first half ended with an interception by Al-Mateen, who jumped a sideline route and returned the pick 77 yards for a touchdown.

James intercepted a halfback pass tipped by teammate Axel Ofori, hesitated after his momentum carried him into the end zone, then threaded his way through traffic for a 100-yard touchdown return that, with Brian Harvey’s sixth (of seven) PAT kick, made it 45-0.

After two weeks on the road, the Black Bears (1-1) host Albany next Saturday night before opening their Colonial Athletic Association schedule the following week.


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