ORONO — Kenny Doak has struggled at times as the placekicker for UMaine. He knows that.

He also knows that he has the support of his coaches and teammates. And he was happy to reward them Saturday afternoon.

Doak, a sophomore, kicked a career-best and school-record-tying 52-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Black Bears to a 13-10 win over Villanova on Saturday.

Doak had kicked a 30-yard field goal earlier in the game, but also had a 40-yarder blocked. In his career, he was 6 for 10 before making the game-winning kick.

“Honestly I just wanted to get it done for the team,” he said. “It’s a really big win … It was really important for the team to get that win.”

That Doak even attempted the 52-yarder was a surprise to many. His previous career-best kick was 38 yards, kicked earlier this year.

But Coach Joe Harasymiak never hesitated to call timeout with three seconds left to send Doak onto the field. Every day in practice, the Black Bears run a game-winning field goal drill at the end of practice and Doak had kicked such a ball on Thursday, “Almost from the exact spot,” said Harasymiak.

With a breeze at his back, Doak had just enough to get the ball over the crossbar to win the game. “I knew I could do it,” he said.

And, after Maine had driven from its 17 to the Villanova 35, Harasymiak said he deserved the chance. “The wind had something to do (with the decision),” said Harasymiak. “But we’ve seen him make it in practice. When you can’t get in range to score a touchdown, you’ve got to give you kicker a shot. And he did a good job.”

EARNEST EDWARDS had a busy day for the Black Bears. Not only did he line up in his normal position (wide receiver) and return kicks, but he lined up as a running back at times as well. Considered one of Maine’s most dynamic playmakers, he gained 52 yards rushing and caught five passes for 18 yards.

“Every day I tell the coaches I’m a running back, I’m not just a receiver” said Edwards, who had 92 all-purpose yards. “It was in the game plan this week and it just worked out.”

“Earnest is special,” said Harasymiak. “It’s our fault as coaches if we don’t put the ball in his hands.”

FRESHMAN QUARTERBACK Ryan Walsh got the start for the Black Bears instead of Isaiah Robinson. Harasymiak said it was because of “a violation of team rules” for Robinson.

“I’ll leave it at that,” said Harasymiak. “You’ve got to be accountable every day in your life.”

Walsh completed a couple of passes and led Maine to one first down. Robinson took over for Walsh on the second series.

Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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