Maine Football falls short in overtime thriller to bitter rivals 42-41
ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Saturday saw the 110th time the Maine Black Bears took on the New Hampshire Wildcats.
And the 74th time these teams have battled it out for the Brice-Cowell Musket.
New Hampshire came in with the lead in the series, but Maine was defending the hardware.
And the crowd here in Orono was eager to see some Black Bear football.
“I think it’s gonna be 40-0!,” said Maine football super fan Dylan Vandez.
In the long history of the rivalry, it took New Hampshire 6 years to score their first points but, in this contest, they got on the board first.
Junior running back Dylan Laube broke the deadlock with a 3-yard touchdown with 6:50 to go in the first.
The visitors built a two-score lead early in the 2nd with a 33-yard touchdown reception by D.J. Linkins.
Down 14-0 late in the 2nd Elijah Barnwell gave Maine their first points of the day off a 1-yard run in the wildcat formation just moments after he broke free on a 57-yard run.
UNH jumped out to another two-score lead on a 15-yard rush by Laube.
With 6 seconds left in the half Barnwell brought it in for a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the day.
Maine went into the half down 21-14.
The Wildcats once again had a 14-point lead after a 48-yard run by Laube for his 3rd touchdown of the afternoon.
On their first play of the drive Zavier Scott broke free on a 75-yard touchdown that saw him shrug off a defender before making the score.
That brought the contest to a score of 28-21.
Maine started with 4th with a bang...
QB Joe Fagnano kept the ball himself on an 11-yard rush that returned the game to parity.
New Hampshire reclaimed their advantage on a 6-yard touchdown pass to Adam Deese.
With minutes to go in regulation Barnwell ran for a 2-yard touchdown to bring the score line to 35-35.
After both defenses stood tall the Border Battle was set for overtime.
UNH put on the pressure with a touchdown snagged by Kyle Lepkowski.
Maine found themselves in a 4th and 18 needing a miracle.
In a play more akin to what you may see in a match of Rugby Sevens, Barnwell caught the pass from Fagnano who then pitched it to Moss.
The wide receiver turned and hurled the ball downfield to Rohan Jones.
Awaiting the first year was a sea of baby blue jerseys and a path to the endzone.
Diving towards the pylon the referee lifted his arms to indicate the improbable had come true.
Maine elected to go for it all.
They lined up for a two-point conversion knowing that no matter what the outcome of the play was, this was the final snap of the season.
Fagnano threw it to Freddie Brock, but it was tipped and fell into the arms the UNH linebacker Bryce Shaw.
New Hampshire reclaimed the musket 42-41.
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