WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — The bounces and a little bit of luck went Maine’s way in its first three conference games this season.

But that changed Saturday when William & Mary beat the Black Bears 27-20 for its first victory over Maine in the last six meetings.

The result came after Maine won its previous two games on last-second field goals.

No. 16 Maine (4-3, 3-1), which fell out of first in the Colonial Athletic Association as Towson won at Albany, was called for 13 penalties for 130 yards and quarterback Chris Ferguson was intercepted three times.

Was it an opportunity missed?

“No doubt about it,” said Coach Joe Harasymiak. “We talked all week about not taking them lightly. Certainly we didn’t get the message. With a third-string quarterback … they handed it to us.

“Overall we are turning it over way too much. We have nine (turnovers) in the last three games. We got caught today. We have not been playing lights out. The discipline stuff caught up with us. We had 16 (penalties) last week. It has been a lot of penalties, no doubt about it. Everything caught up to us.”

The Tribe (3-4, 2-2) missed several top players due to injuries, including starting quarterback Shon Mitchell, top rusher Albert Funderburke and standout receiver DeVonte Dedmon.

Dean Rotger made his first start at quarterback but was replaced by Ted Hefter, who completed 12 of 27 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown.

Earnest Edwards of Maine had nine catches for 196 yards but was hut on the final drive and not on the field for the last offensive play. He went over 1,000 career receiving yards.

Ferguson completed 26 of 46 passes for 278 yards but no touchdowns.

He had one interception returned for a touchdown. Another pass was deflected, then picked off in the final minutes as Maine drove for a possible tying touchdown.

“Things did not go our way,” Ferguson said. “We put ourselves in those positions with penalties and mistakes. We don’t get these games back, which is unfortunate. We have a lot to learn.”

Hefter threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Christian to give the Tribe a 24-17 lead with 14:17 left.

William & Mary, after an interception, made it 27-17 with 10:21 remaining on a 37-yard field by Kris Hooper.

Maine cut the lead to 27-20 on a 40-yard field goal with 6:47 left by Kenny Doak, whose kicks won the previous two games.

The Tribe had tied the game at 17-17 with 5:31 left in the third quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Hooper.

Ramon Jefferson (80 yards rushing), who didn’t play Oct. 13 against Rhode Island due to injury, ran 24 yards around left end for a touchdown as Maine took a 17-14 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.

That came after Ferguson threw an interception to linebacker Arman Jones, who returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Tribe a 14-10 lead with 13:19 left in the second quarter.

Ferguson had thrown just two interceptions in his first 111 attempts this season.

The Black Bears’ offensive line had an average weight of 32 pounds more than the William & Mary defensive line but was only able to gain 69 yards on the ground.

“I think they had a plan for us,” Ferguson said of the defense. “I think we took what they gave us. The penalties killed us. They set us back on some certain series.”

NOTES: Maine junior defensive end Kayon Whitaker had to set out the first half after he was ejected in the previous game against Rhode Island. He had two tackles. … It was the second-to-last home game for Tribe Coach Jimmye Laycock, who has announced his retirement after this, his 39th season. … The Black Bears will be home against Albany next Saturday.


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