ORONO — For the second time in three years, the Albany Great Danes spoiled the home football opener for the University of Maine.

Two years ago, an Albany field goal provided the game’s only points.

On a damp Saturday night, the Danes held Maine scoreless for two more quarters before leaving town with a 30-20 victory before a boisterous but ultimately disappointed crowd of 7,101 at Alfond Stadium.

The Black Bears (1-2) begin their Colonial Athletic Association schedule next Saturday against Villanova coming off a performance that had plenty of promise, but ultimately failed to deliver for a substantial crowd that included a significant number of students.

Albany (2-2) showed why it is the defending Northeast Conference champion and ready to join the CAA next fall. The Danes built a 9-0 halftime lead, responded whenever Maine scored and put the game away with a ball-control offense.

Maine came as close as two points early in the third quarter (9-7) but Albany immediately responded with a 74-yard reverse on the next play from scrimmage to regain momentum.

Drew Smith scored on fourth-quarter runs of 10 and 28 yards — the latter on a 4th-and-2 situation — to keep Albany ahead by two scores.

Maine scored a late touchdown when Marcus Wasilewski connected with Derrick Johnson for a 5-yard score, but Brian Harvey’s ensuing onside kick attempt failed to go the required 10 yards.

After a frustrating first half, the Black Bears opened the third quarter with a methodical 61-yard drive on 10 plays, and even converted a 4th-and-1 despite a fumbled snap.

Wasilewski recovered the ball, moved the chains and hit a wide-open Damarr Aultman for a 19-yard touchdown strike after a convincing play-action fake. Harvey’s PAT kick made it 9-7 in favor of Albany, which responded with the long touchdown run by wide receiver Ryan Kirchner for a 16-7 advantage.

Harvey finished with field goals of 31 and 30 yards for the Black Bears.

Everything seemed in place for the University of Maine’s home opener. Alfond Stadium was well-populated, in part because of a coordinated effort by the administration called Black Bear Fanfair to attract more students and fans. The band and students sat across the main grandstand, behind the visiting team bench.

Although the home team gave glimpses of the offense that scored 51 points a week ago, mistakes kept the Black Bears off the scoreboard through the first half.

Rickey Stevens replaced David Hood at tailback, after Hood had started the first two games (and lost two fumbles). Stevens ran for 20 yards on his second carry but a promising drive sputtered because of a holding penalty that negated another 20-yard run by Stevens.

The Black Bears let another good chance slip away after safety Jamal Clay recovered a fumble following an Albany pass completion. Maine drove inside the 15, but Wasilewski had to fall on the ball after a dropped shotgun snap and Harvey’s 31-yard field goal attempt was blocked after a problematic snap/hold threw off his timing.

Albany kicker Sean Kenny was perfect on all three of his first-half field goal attempts. He connected from 44, 39 and 25 yards, all in the second quarter, to give Albany a 9-0 halftime lead.

The Black Bears extended two of the Albany scoring drives with roughness penalties of 15 yards each by defensive linemen Michael Kozlakowski and Matt Wilson.

In all, the Black Bears were penalized four times for 44 yards before the break, and converted only one of eight third-down opportunities.

For the game, Maine was penalized nine times for 95 yards, one fewer penalty than in last weekend’s 51-7 victory over Bryant.

Wasilewski finished 23 of 36 passing with one interception and two touchdowns. Stevens gained 83 yards on 20 carries, but Smith led all rushers with 114 yards on 18 attempts.

The last time Albany visited Orono, the Great Danes came away with a stunning 3-0 victory to open the 2010 season. Maine gained a measure of revenge a year ago in New York by winning 31-15.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.