ORONO — Finally, nearly three quarters into the second game of the season, the University of Maine football team’s offense got rolling. But the Black Bears came up just short in a 21-18 loss to Colgate on Saturday in front of 5,295 fans at Alfond Stadium in Maine’s home opener.

Maine had a chance to tie the game in the final minute after driving from its own 14 to the Colgate 29, but Cole Baker’s 47-yard field-goal try with 25 seconds left was just short.

Colgate improved to 1-1, while Maine is now 0-2, with a game at Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Boston College next Saturday.

“We go through two-minute drill once a week at practice. We always feel like we’re ready for those situations. I thought we executed pretty well,” said Maine quarterback Joe Fagnano about the final drive. “With no timeout there, we tried to keep it outside, try to get out of bounds and stop the clock. We didn’t want to get inbounds, a guy get held down, have the game end that way.”

Colgate was led by quarterback Michael Brescia, who ran for a game-high 87 yards and three touchdowns. The Patriot League Rookie of the Year last season, Brescia’s 68-yard touchdown run with 6:24 to play gave the Raiders a 21-10 lead. Brescia also had a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:26 left in the second quarter, and a 2-yard TD run midway through the third.

“Michael Brescia is a special player. … When it’s go time, when you need to get stuff done, he’s a guy who can take the ball and make things happen,” said Colgate Coach Stan Dakosty.


The Black Bears answered Brescia’s long touchdown run with Montigo Moss’ 9-yard touchdown reception from Fagnano, and Zavier Scott caught a 2-point conversion pass to cut Colgate’s lead to 21-18 with 4:02 left.

Maine played without two starting offensive linemen, left tackle Tyrie Francois and left guard Tyler Royal. Jack Webb and Max Lovblad filled in.

Colgate held Maine to 97 yards in the first half.

“They run a lot of tight trips formations (three receivers lined up closely to one side) and we repped that all week. It was either luck or good game planning, they came out and ran that the whole first half,” said Raiders linebacker Tyler Flick, who had a game-high 15 tackles.

Colgate’s first score came after the Raiders stuffed the Black Bears on fourth-and-1 at the Colgate 41 in the first minute of the second quarter. The ensuing drive went 59 yards in 13 plays, with Brescia’s first touchdown giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead.

“Our defense was playing well, and I felt confident in their ability to come out and get a stop. Obviously, there was a momentum swing there,” Maine Coach Jordan Stevens said of going for it on fourth down near midfield. “If we want to instill confidence in our guys up front, we’ve got to believe in them to come through in those moments, and we want to be aggressive.”


After losing 41-0 at New Mexico last week, the Black Bears’ offense finally got moving in the second half. Baker drilled a 33-yard field goal with 3:18 left in the third quarter for Maine’s first points of the season, cutting Colgate’s lead to 14-3.

Fagnano scored Maine’s first touchdown of the season with 13:41 to play. After executing an excellent fake handoff to Elijah Barnwell, Fagnano ran to the right 6 yards for the score, cutting the Raiders lead to 14-10.

Fagnano completed 25 of 39 passes for 246 yards. Tight end Shawn Bowman had five catches for 73 yards.

“The second half showed us we can be as good as we want to be when we’re all on the same page. But obviously not good enough. Eighteen points is not good enough,” Fagnano said.

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