Courtesy of Monmouth Athletics
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. â€“ The Monmouth University football team dropped its second straight contest to begin the 2010 season, falling 31-23 to Maine on Saturday afternoon at Kessler Field.
The Black Bears (1-1) struck for the contestâ€™s first points when running back Jared Turcotte, who led the way for the visitors with 144 rushing yards on 29 carries, scored from three yards out with 3:31 left in the first quarter to give UM a 7-0 lead.
Monmouth (0-2) was able to get into the scoring column midway through the second quarter when freshman kicker Eric Spillane (Howell, N.J. /Colts Neck) converted a 32-yard field goal with 8:47 showing to cut the Maine lead to 7-3. The Hawks then took a 10-7 lead three and a half minutes later when quarterback Kyle Frazier (Gaithersburg, Md. /Damascus), who ran for a career-high 64 yards on seven carries, scored on a 16-yard jaunt.
The Black Bears then struck for 14 unanswered points, on scoring runs from Turcotte and Derek Session, to take a 21-10 lead with 5:26 showing in the third quarter. MU was able to cut the Maine lead to 21-17 less than two minutes later when LJ Caprio (North Caldwell, N.J. /West Essex) piled in on a two-yard run, capping a three-play, 64-yard drive that took only 1:23 off the clock.
Maineâ€™s Brian Harvey started the fourth quarterâ€™s scoring with a 23-yard field goal with 12:51 left to put the Black Bears up 24-17. Spillane answered for Monmouth with a 25-yarder of his own with 9:00 left, but UMâ€™s Steven Barker returned the ensuing kickoff 64 yards down to the Hawksâ€™ 17-yard line. Turcotte put the exclamation point on the short Maine drive, scoring from seven yards out to increase its lead to 31-20. Spillane ended the afternoonâ€™s scoring with a 37-yard field goal, his third of the afternoon, but the Hawks could draw no closer than the 31-23 final.
Maine outgained the Hawks, 433-334 in total offense, including 239-87 on the ground. Monmouth outgained the Black Bears through the air, 247-194 in the contest, but the visitorâ€™s held a slight 32:19-27:41 advantage in time of possession. Neither team was effective on third down as the Hawks converted 1-of-15 chances and Maine converted 4-of-15.
Frazier, who accounted for 304 yards of total offense, was 20-of-36 passing for 240 yards in the game to go along with team-high rushing total. All Monmouth rushers other than the redshirt sophomore signal-caller combined for 23 yards on 19 carries in the game. Matt Plautz (Harmony, Pa. /Seneca) led the receiving corps with a career-high six grabs for 70 yards, while fifth-year senior Ryan Folsom (Somerdale, N.J. /Triton Regional) added six catches for 44 yards.
Fifth-year senior Jack Daniels (Franklin Lakes, N.J. /Don Bosco Prep) had a solid afternoon, punting eight times for an average of 46.4 yards per kick. Junior Jose Gumbs (Queens. N.Y. /Hebron Academy) led the defense with 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops, adding a pass break-up.
Maine QB Warren Smith went 17-of-26 passing for 194 yards for Maine. Session led the Black Bears with four catches for 78 yards to go along with his 22-yard rushing TD.
Monmouth has its bye week this week before hosting Old Dominion at Kessler Field on Saturday, September 25 at 1:00 pm.