KINGSTON, R.I. — Maybe there will come a time when the University of Maine football team wins an easy one.

For now the Black Bears will take victories any way they come.

Maine won its fourth consecutive game Saturday, turning back Rhode Island 28-21 at murky Meade Stadium when Jason Matovu intercepted a pass in the end zone on the game’s final play.

That was Maine’s fifth interception of the game, with defensive end Connor Walsh returning one 48 yards for a touchdown.

“The bottom line is that this team is finding ways to win these last four,” said Joe Harasymiak, the first-year head coach of the Black Bears. “We’ve done it in exciting fashion. Obviously we’d like to make it a little easier on us but that’s this league. There’s no easy games and we’re going to keep battling to the end.

“We’re finding ways to win. And that’s the bottom line.”

Maine is now 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Rhode Island lost for the third consecutive week to drop to 1-7 overall, 0-5 in the CAA.

Maine quarterback Dan Collins completed just 13 of 30 passes for 147 yards, but threw two touchdown passes to Micah Wright, including a 43-yard game-winner with 6:35 remaining.

Maine never trailed, taking the lead just 2:40 into the game when freshman Josh Mack (115 rushing yards to lead Maine) broke loose for a 65-yard touchdown run on the game’s sixth play. But the Rams, who got a career-high 347 passing yards from redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Vazzano, kept coming back.

Rhode Island had one last chance, getting the ball with 2:02 remaining at its 24. Vazzano completed a 21-yard pass to Harold Buckner III on a fourth-and-9, then hit Marven Beauvais for 25 to the Maine 18.

After spiked the ball to stop the clock with 11 seconds left, Vazzano tried to find the 6-foot-4 Beauvais down the middle. But Maine linebacker Sterling Sheffield dove and tipped the ball. It deflected off Beauvais and into the hands of Matovu, who ran the ball out of the end zone to run the clock out.

“I saw the ball go in the air and it’s coming down where I know I need to make a play,” said Matovu. “(Sheffield) ended up hitting the ball at the last second and I saw the ball, and my eyes lit up.”

Vazzano said he thought Beauvais, who was lined up in the slot, had the advantage over Maine’s smaller defensive backs.

“He’s a big body and making plays all day for me,” he said. “I thought I’d give him a shot. If I could get it back I’d probably throw it to a different spot. But at the end of the day you’ve got to live with it.”

Vazzano’s 65-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Parker (and PAT kick by Justin Rohrwasser) made it 21-21 with 10:32 remaining.

Four minutes later, Maine was back in the lead.

After the defense forced a punt, the Black Bears took over on their 45. A 12-yard run by Zaire Williams put the ball on the Rams’ 43. Collins then faked a handoff to Williams and dropped back, with plenty of time to survey the secondary.

He locked onto Wright, who was streaking down the right, and placed a perfect ball that found Wright in stride in the end zone.

“I found him in a coverage that we liked and Micah ran a great route,” said Collins.

“He was playing off and I felt I was going to run by him,” said Wright. “I had done it earlier in the game and I told Dan, so I had a feeling he was going to throw it to me.”

Wright caught seven passes for 97 yards. The Black Bears also rushed for 201 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.

But in the end it came down to the defense making one more play to secure the win.

“We’re finding ways to win,” said Harasymiak. “The stats probably don’t look great, but the only stat that matters is wins. We hadn’t found a way to win these types of games the last couple of years. So we’re starting to do that.”

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