College – Press Herald Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:41:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wednesday’s Maine college roundup: St. Joseph’s records third straight shutout in women’s soccer Thu, 21 Sep 2017 02:07:35 +0000 STANDISH — Kenzie Murphy scored early, Sarah Comtois added a second-half goal, and the St. Joseph’s College women’s soccer team held Norwich without a shot on net for its third straight shutout, a 2-0 GNAC victory on Wednesday night.

Monks goalkeeper Brooke Troup has needed to make just two saves in the stretch, which includes a 9-0 win over Anna Maria and a 5-0 victory against Southern Maine.

Murphy converted a feed from Colleen Sheehan at the 2-minute mark to put the Monks (6-3, 3-2) ahead. Comtois doubled the lead in the 47th minute.

Katie Bisho-Manning made 10 saves for Norwich (1-5, 1-3).

NHTI 2, SMCC 1: Danielle Ross scored in the 75th minute to lead New Hampshire TI (5-0-1, 4-0-1 Yankee Small College) over Southern Maine CC (3-3, 3-1) at Concord, New Hampshire.

Piper Cote put the Lynx ahead at 58:07. The Seawolves tied the game eight minutes later on a goal by Samantha Munson.


COLBY 1, UNE 0: Cam Clouse scored on a penalty kick 5:10 into the match and the Mules (1-2-1) held the University of New England (1-6) without a shot on frame at Biddeford.

Avery Gibson and Dan Carlson combined for the shutout. Will Shearon had six saves for UNE.

NHTI 5, SMCC 1: Tim Bortnick scored twice in the opening seven minutes to set the Lynx (2-4, 2-3 YSCC) on the path to a win over the Seawolves (0-5, 0-4) at Concord, New Hampshire.

Jackson Schneider and Jeremy Caruso added goals for a 4-0 lead 11 minute into the match.

Hanssen Casey scored for SMCC on a late a penalty kick.


COLBY 4, HUSSON 0: Georgia Cassidy scored the first three goals of the game to push the Mules (3-2) past the Eagles (3-3) at Bangor.

Cassidy opened the scoring 4:20 into the match, and then added another goal five minutes before the break. She extended the lead to 3-0 less than three minutes into the second half.

Myri Skodock completed the scoring.

Riley Whitmyer had 19 saves for the Mules. Anne Marie Provencal made 28 for Husson.

BATES 2, THOMAS 0: Taylor Lough registered a goal and an assist as Bates (2-3) beat the Terriers (1-5) at Waterville.

The Bobcats took the lead on Jessie Moriarty’s goal five minutes into the game. Lough doubled the lead 7:16 into the second half, converting an assist from Victoria McGee.

Bates goalies Adele Durand and Alyssa Souza each played a half without facing any shots. Thomas keeper MacKenzie Oberholzer made 11 saves.

ST. JOSEPH’S 2, SPRINGFIELD 1: Libby Pomerleau scored 14:43 in off a feed from Alexandra Belaire, and the Monks (3-3) held on to beat the Pride (5-1) at Standish.

The Monks extended their lead at the 27-minute mark on a goal by Hayley Winslow.

Maggie Kennedy scored in the 38th minute for Springfield.

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St. Joseph’s and Bowdoin open their new fields Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:03:13 +0000 STANDISH — What does having a new artifical turf field and eight-lane outdoor track do for the St. Joseph’s College athletic program?

“It means that where we are is where we should have been,” said Brian Curtin, the Monks’ athletic director. “It means a lot to the institution. We’ve already seen a spike in enrollment because of it, with (increased) roster sizes for men’s lacrosse and women’s and men’s track.”

The Monks opened their field this fall and have been putting it to good use. The already strong programs in men’s and women’s soccer, and field hockey are a combined 5-0-1 at the $5 million complex after Wednesday’s 2-1 field hockey victory against previously unbeaten Springfield College.

They have happily adapted to playing on the larger, smooth surface installed by Saco-based Northeast Turf instead of their smallish and overused grass fields.

“I think it just opens up a whole new opportunity for even more success,” said Haley DaGraca of Saco, a speedy junior forward who scored three goals Monday in a 5-0 victory against Southern Maine in women’s soccer. “Everyone is so ready to play on it and I think teams are going to do so much better because we have this motivating factor behind us.”

Another private college in Maine will unveil a new artificial field Saturday when the Bowdoin College football team meets Middlebury.

For Bowdoin, the new turf field, installation of lights, and replacing the old six-lane track with an eight-lane, championship caliber track cost $4.5 million. It was built on an existing and historic site at Whittier Field.

The field is still lined by old-growth pine trees. The brick and wrought-iron entrance gate erected in 1928 remains. Importantly, the stone foundation, and original footprint and access points to the covered Hubbard Grandstand, built in 1903, has been revealed by the removal of bleachers that were built around it over the years.

“We’re really excited about the way the facility comes together,” said Tim Ryan, the Bowdoin athletic director.

Bowdoin’s project will allow men’s lacrosse to use Whittier Field in the spring and provide football a weather-proof practice site, freeing existing space for other varsity and intramural athletic needs.

The two new fields are examples of athletic programs at all levels switching from natural grass to a synthetic surface to maximize playability, something especially important in late fall and early spring in Maine.

There are more than 8,000 synthetic, multiuse sports fields in use in North America at the high school, college and professional level, according to the Synthetic Turf Council.

Curtin said St. Joseph’s chose a crumb rubber infill for its field after doing extensive research.

In 2014, an NBC News report suggested a link between crumb rubber and cancer cases among soccer players. Since then, several studies have shown no evidence that type of infill, made from recycled tires, was carcinigous.

Both colleges used fundraising and private donors to pay for the improvements. Neither has assessed additional student fees.

Also, both are planning a second phase to add further improvements, pending town and, in Saint Joseph’s case, board, approval.

St. Joseph’s next project will be to add permanent seating, a press box and locker-room facilties.

Bowdoin already has built a needed, enclosed press box but is looking to spend another $3.5 million to construct a building for locker rooms, equipment and training.

A big component of St. Joseph’s project was the installation of the eight-lane track. The college of about 1,000 students began its varsity track program in 2012-13 and never has had its own track.

“It’s going to be a great selling point for us. I’ve been telling recruits about the new outdoor track and field complex, and they’re excited to visit,” said Scott Hutchinson, the cross country and track coach.

“Numbers have already doubled for cross country and for track they’ll triple. Last year we had maybe 10 to 12 athletes per gender for track. “

Hutchinson said his goal is to have 50 to 60 track athletes per gender and to consistently get athletes quaified for the NCAA regional.

In the short term, the track athletes are taking pride in having their own facility.

“We had our first track workout (Tuesday), and it was just a great morale booster and a lot of smiles,” said senior captain Lucas Fisher, a distance runner from Strafford, New Hampshire. “Everyone was having a great time just running on our own track.”

The lacrosse teams also will gain a new, permanent home, said Curtin, instead of playing and usually practicing at Deering High in Portland.

“We’ve hosted playoff games at Deering. We won a title there but it’s not a campus life experience there,” Curtin said. “This enhances our entire campus.”

“I think it also shows the athletes that the school is ready to support them, and this has been needed for awhile and now we have it,” said Jenelle Harris, the women’s soccer coach. “And it’s not just the athletes.The staff, students and faculty are more than welcome to go out and use it.”

Curtin said he’s already given officials from the Maine Principals’ Association a tour of the facility and hopes it’s used for high school events.

The school has been the site for high school baseball and softball tournament games for numerous years.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 St. Joseph's field hockey team warms up at the school's new sports complex. The facility has produced immediate results: The Monks are 5-0-1 on the artificial turf in men's and women's soccer, and field hockey.Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:50:54 +0000
Suspended receiver Micah Wright cleared to return to UMaine football team Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:26:09 +0000 ORONO — Suspended receiver Micah Wright was given clearance Wednesday to return to practice for the University of Maine football team.

Wright, a junior, was cleared by both the school’s Student Conduct Office in the Division of Student Life and the athletic department to resume all activities with the team. Wright, who has attended classes during his suspension, can attend team meetings, study halls, practices and weight-lifting sessions, as well as play in games.

Wright was one of the three players suspended by the university at the start of training camp Aug. 2 while being investigated by the student conduct office for a student complaint.

School officials won’t comment on the investigation or what prompted Wright’s return.

“Regarding student conduct proceedings, the University of Maine does not comment,” said Margaret Nagle, the senior director of public relations and operations, in a press release.

Junior running back Darian Davis-Ray was cleared to return on Aug. 11. Junior defensive lineman Uchenna Egwuonwu is still suspended, according to the release.

Wright was greeted at practice with hugs and handshakes by his teammates and coaches. Wright came out wearing No. 21 at first, then changed into his No. 10 jersey before practice began. He participated in some receiving and conditioning drills.

Per NCAA practice rules, he has to practice two days in just his helmet, and two more days in just helmet and shoulder pads, before he can practice in full pads. It’s unlikely that Wright will play in Saturday’s game at James Madison.

Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s second-year head coach, said it’s too early to know when Wright will be able to contribute.

“Obviously he’s been cleared to come back to practice, come back to all football activities,” he said. “Today that starts with practice. After that we’ll just evaluate, get his legs under him and go from there.”

Wright, perhaps the Black Bears’ most dynamic offensive player, was a preseason all-Colonial Athletic Association selection. Wright led Maine with 44 catches for 668 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He also returned a punt for a touchdown. As a sophomore, Wright led Maine with 61 catches for 818 yards and five touchdowns.

Harasymiak said Wright was simply glad to be back with the team.

“He’s missed it,” said Harasymiak. “We’ll get him out here and let him run around.”

This was Wright’s second suspension at Maine.

He served a two-game suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season after being charged with disorderly conduct at a party on May 4, 2016, at an Orono apartment complex.

Wright admitted in court in September 2016 that he illegally possessed alcohol and paid a $300 fine. In his plea agreement, the disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.

MAINE IS as healthy as it’s been in a long time heading into its game with James Madison, the defending national Football Championship Subdivision champion and top-ranked team in the nation.

Safety DeAndre Scott has returned to practice after missing the game against Bryant with a concussion.

WHO’S KICKING? Harasymiak said it will be “a game-time decision” as to who will be Maine’s place-kicker against the Dukes.

Freshman Kenny Doak was brought in this year after the Black Bears made just 1 of 7 field goals last season. And while Doak is 3 of 5 in field-goal attempts (with one of the misses blocked), he has missed three PAT kicks – one in the fourth quarter of the opening 24-23 loss at New Hampshire and two blocked in the 60-12 win over Bryant.

Junior Brandon Briggs of Saco and Thornton Academy missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt in the win over Bryant, but connected on his one PAT kick. Briggs handles the kickoffs for the Black Bears.

“We’ll have them both kick again on Friday,” said Harasymiak, who was most concerned about the missed PATs.

After the Bryant game he said, “Extra points at Division I should be automatic. I shouldn’t even have to look, I shouldn’t have to think about it. It should go and it should be in.”

Maine won’t fill the suddenly open date on its schedule that came about when Central Florida canceled its Sept. 30 game because of a scheduling conflict caused by Hurricane Irma.

“Despite searching for a suitable opponent to fill the gap left by the UCF cancellation for Sept. 30, the University of Maine has determined it will not fill the void and will play a 10-game season for 2017,” Maine Athletic Director Karlton Creech said.

That means Maine will have a second bye following the James Madison game and leading into the Villanova game Oct. 7.

And that, said quarterback Chris Ferguson, might not be a bad thing. James Madison is ranked first in both the FCS coaches poll and the Stats FCS poll. Villanova is ranked eighth in the coaches poll, seventh in the STATS poll.

“We’d have two weeks to prepare for them and that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to get another bye to prepare for another team we lost to (last year).”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0's Micah Wright gets a block on Bryant's Richard Ukelegharanya from Josh Mack during the second half.Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:55:33 +0000
Tuesday’s college roundup: St. Joseph’s beats Bowdoin in men’s soccer, 1-0 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 02:00:44 +0000 STANDISH — Noah Robinson scored on a setup from Cody Elliot at the 26:25 mark of the first half Tuesday to give St. Joseph’s a 1-0 men’s soccer nonconference victory over Bowdoin.

St. Joseph’s (4-0-1) enjoyed a territorial advantage throughout the game, outshooting the Polar Bears 16-9.

Stevie Van Siclen stopped four shots for Bowdoin (4-2), and Blake Mullen turned back three shots to record the shutout for the Monks.


SOUTHERN MAINE 6, SALEM STATE 0: Kaylie Andrews scored twice and Brooke Dugan added three assists to lead the Huskies (3-4, 2-1) over the Vikings (1-6, 0-4) in a Little East conference game in Gorham.

Olivia Brown, Tayla Smedberg, Kerigan Demers and Lindsay Jackson scored for Southern Maine.

Gabrielle Cerro had 14 saves for Salem State.

ENDICOTT 2, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 1: Emylee Wood collected a rebound and put in the winner 7:12 into overtime as the Gulls (5-1, 2-0 Commonwealth Coast Conference) outlasted the Nor’easters (5-2, 2-1) at Beverly, Massachusetts.

Kersey Boulay scored for UNE with 12:02 to play in the second half with an assist from Olivia Madore to take a 1-0 lead. Sophia Cogliano scored an unassisted goal with 3:09 left in regulation for Endicott to force overtime.

Liz Sargent stopped six shots for the Nor’easters; Taylor Farrin had 10 saves for the Gulls.


WHEATON: Five members of a Christian college football team in suburban Chicago face felony charges after one of their teammates alleged they duct-taped his hands and feet and attempted to sodomize him with an object before dumping him half-naked in an off-campus park.

The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office announced Monday that the five Wheaton College players are charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint.

A judge signed arrest warrants and set $50,000 bonds for the players, who are expected to turn themselves in.

Authorities said Kyler Kregel, 21, a senior, of Grand Rapids, Michigan surrendered to police Tuesday evening. The other players are expected at the Wheaton Police Department sometime this week. State’s attorney spokesman Paul Darrah said the most serious charge – aggravated battery – carries a maximum sentence of 2 to 5 years in prison.

Terry Ekl, an attorney representing the alleged victim, his client was attacked on March 19, 2016, while he was watching basketball on television from his dorm room on campus, about 30 miles west of Chicago. Ekl said the teammates tackled him, bound his hands behind his back with duct tape, put a pillowcase over his head and punched him when he yelled at them to stop.

Ekl said the student, a freshman at the time who is now 20 years old, alleges the five put him in the back seat of a car.

After the attack, the victim drove himself to a hospital where he was treated his injuries. Ekl said an emergency room nurse called police. He said his client left campus the next day and returned home to Indiana, where he’s attending college.

Wheaton College said it was notified about the alleged attack that same month and, working with an “independent” investigator, launched an investigation.

GEORGIA: Quarterback Jacob Eason is back at practice but it’s not known if he’ll be cleared to play Saturday when the 11th-ranked Bulldogs host No. 17 Mississippi State.

Eason started in 2016 as a freshman but strained a ligament in his left knee in Georgia’s season-opening victory over Appalachian State. Touted freshman Jake Fromm has played well since taking over, most notably leading Georgia (3-0) to a victory at Notre Dame in his first college start.

When Eason is ready to play, there is no guarantee he will be the starter. Coach Kirby Smart says “a lot of that is determined by how Fromm is playing.”

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College football notebook: Clemson moves up to No. 2 in AP poll Sun, 17 Sep 2017 23:44:06 +0000 Clemson moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll, jumping Oklahoma and closing in on Alabama after beating a team ranked in the Top 15 for the second straight week.

The Tigers received 15 first-place votes, the most the defending national champions have received this season, and 1,446 points Sunday after beating Louisville 47-21 on the road.

Clemson started the season at No. 5 because of uncertainty at quarterback, where it had to replace Deshaun Watson, and other offensive positions. The Tigers have shown they are still a legitimate threat under Kelly Bryant, who passed for 316 yards and one touchdowon, and rushed for two scores.

“I just tried to make plays with my arm and legs,” he said.

Alabama remains No. 1 with 45 first-place votes and 1,504 points.

Oklahoma slipped one spot to No. 3. The Sooners received the remaining first-place vote.

Penn State moved up a spot to No. 4, flip-flopping with No. 5 Southern California. Oklahoma State rose three spots to No. 6, its best ranking since late in the 2013 season.

Washington is No. 7 and three Big Ten teams round out the top 10: Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

AUBURN: Backup quarterback Sean White was arrested early Sunday on a charge of public intoxication.

White had been suspended for undisclosed reasons for the first two games. He started 16 games the past two seasons but lost the preseason competition for the job to transfer Jarrett Stidham.

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Sunday’s Maine college roundup: UMaine upends Dartmouth in field hockey Sun, 17 Sep 2017 23:00:16 +0000 HANOVER, N.H. — Samantha Wagg scored Maine’s first goal and assisted on two others Sunday as the Black Bears earned a 5-3 field hockey win over Dartmouth.

Katie Spanos put Dartmouth (2-4) ahead 1:55 into the game with the first of her two goals, but Wagg answered just over two minutes later. Brianna Ricker put the Black Bears (5-2) ahead for good near the midway point of the first half.

Brittany Smith, Madison Cummings and Emily Hindle added second-half goals.

BOWDOIN 3, WILLIAMS 2: Kara Finnerty scored 2:26 into the second overtime to lift the Polar Bears (3-1, 3-1 NESCAC) over the Ephs (3-1, 2-1) in Brunswick.

Finnerty also got the tying goal 5:19 into the second half.

Alex Bennett scored twice for Williams.

UNE 6, WELLESLEY 0: Brooke Lemerise, Hannah Buckley, Olivia Madore, Kersey Boulay, Kendra MacDonald and Becky Zakorchemny scored for the Nor’easters (5-1) and Liz Sargent made five saves in a win over the Blue (4-2) in Biddeford.

KEAN 6, ST. JOSEPH’S 0: Shauna LaMaina scored three goals to lead the Cougars (7-0) over the Monks (2-3) in Union, New Jersey.

Jenna Patrone, Teresa Carr and Krista LaMaina also scored.

Kaylin Mansir and Megan Baker combined for five saves for St. Joseph’s.

COLBY 1, CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 0: Georgia Cassidy scored 13:16 into the first half to lead the Mules (2-2, 1-2 NESCAC) over the Camels (1-4, 0-3) in Waterville.

Riley Whitmyer recorded three saves for Colby.


BATES 2, UNE 0: Olivia Amdur broke a scoreless deadlock in the 52nd minute, and Riley Turcotte converted a pass from Cassidy McCarns in the 63rd minute as the Bobcats (3-1) beat the Nor’easters (4-3) in Lewiston.

Sarah McCarthy earned the shutout with five saves. Jenna Pannone made six saves for UNE.

WILLIAMS 3, BOWDOIN 0: Natasha Albaneze scored one goal and set up another with a corner kick to lead the Ephs (5-0, 4-0 NESCAC) past the Polar Bears (1-2-1, 0-2-1) in Brunswick.

Williams led 2-0 at halftime on goals by Albaneze and Evan Gancedo, who converted a penalty kick. Liz Webber made it 3-0 early in the second half.

CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 3, COLBY 1: Lauren Steele scored the tiebreaking goal in the 53rd minute as the Camels (4-0-1, 2-0-1 NESCAC) defeated the Mules (2-2-1, 0-2-1) in Waterville.

Michelle Medina and Livi Block each added an unassisted goal.

Colby’s Olivia Greif tied the game just before halftime, assisted by Emily Martin.


BOWDOIN 1, WILLIAMS 0: Freshman Drake Byrd scored his first collegiate goal in the 61st minute to lift the Polar Bears (4-1, 2-1 NESCAC) over the Ephs (3-1, 2-1) in Brunswick.

A shot by Matty McColl eluded keeper Bobby Schneiderman, hit the post and caromed directly to Byrd.

Stevie Van Siclen needed to make only one save for the shutout.

COLBY 2, CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 2: Chris Lockwood of Connecticut College (3-0-2, 1-0-2 NESCAC) tied the game in the 89th minute, forcing Colby (1-2-1, 0-2-1) to settle for a draw in Waterville.

Colby led 2-1 at halftime on goals by Asa Berolzheimer and Jansen Aoyama.

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No. 3 Clemson blows out Jackson and No. 14 Louisville, 47-21 Sun, 17 Sep 2017 12:40:44 +0000 LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kelly Bryant had time to read the defense, allowing the Clemson quarterback to make good decisions and crisp throws. Heisman Trophy-winning counterpart Lamar Jackson didn’t get that same luxury for Louisville.

That stark difference paid off with a decisive victory for the third-ranked Tigers.

While Clemson held Jackson in check for most of the game, Bryant accounted for three touchdowns as the Tigers routed No. 14 Louisville 47-21 on Saturday night in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

Clemson’s first-year starting QB completed 22 of 32 passes for 316 yards, all career highs. Bryant also rushed for 26 yards including an 8-yard TD to get the defending national champions started; they never let up against the 2016 Heisman winner.

“All I was trying to do was do my job. Nothing more, nothing less,” said Bryant, who also rushed for a 1-yard TD. “We could have done better, but I did everything the coach wanted me to do.”

Jackson passed for 317 yards and three TDs, but most of that came with things already in hand for Clemson (3-0, 1-0 ACC). The Tigers’ Dorian O’Daniel returned an interception 44 yards for a TD and a 26-7 third-quarter lead, and they sacked Jackson four times.

Jackson had TD passes of 11 yards to Charles Standberry, 36 yards to Jaylen Smith and 8 to Dez Fitzpatrick. But the junior struggled to throw and run all night for Louisville (2-1, 1-1 ACC). The Cardinals were outgained 613-433, saving face somewhat with a 14-point fourth quarter.

Jackson carried 17 times for 64 yards and broke the ACC career record for rushing yards by a QB, which turned out to be a footnote on a night that belonged to Kelly and Clemson.

“We just didn’t play our game today,” said Jackson, who was 21-of-42 passing with a 78-yard completion. “We came out, we weren’t scoring points. The offense did a horrible job tonight.”

Credit Clemson’s defense making things difficult. Jackson was off in missing his first four attempts, but having just 118 yards passing through three quarters was the biggest example of how effectively Clemson disrupted him and Louisville’s offense.

“We had lot of guys make plays,” said Tigers coach Dabo Swinney, whose team won its 11th straight road game. “We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys. That’s a happy locker room in there. We settled in and really played good football.”

Travis Etienne’s 81-yard run capped Clemson’s scoring.


Clemson: After three wins over the Cardinals by 15 combined points, the Tigers left no doubt this time. Questions about the offense after a 14-6 win over Auburn were effectively answered with their second 40-point effort in three games, this time against a ranked opponent. Bryant had time to find receivers that were frequently open, particularly on the long TD against busted coverage that sapped all the energy in the hostile environment dressed in black.

“(With) Kelly, we told him just do your thing,” said receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, who had seven catches 115 yards, including a 79-yard TD pass from Bryant while wide open. “He went out there and put on one of his best performances.”

Clemson’s defense yielded 433 yards, but it didn’t matter after doing its best work in the first three quarters.

Louisville: A game-tying drive in the first quarter was the Cardinals’ only bright spot on a night nothing worked. As bad as things were for Jackson, it’s much worse for their defense. They yielded at least 500 yards for the second time in five games dating back to last season and failed badly in their quest to not only avenge last year’s 42-36 loss to the Tigers, but prove they could be an ACC contender.

“We got beat in all phases,” coach Bobby Petrino said. “It’s disappointing to me because I really felt like we would be in the game and compete.”


Clemson safety Tanner Muse was ejected in the first quarter for targeting with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jackson, a play that led to Louisville’s game-tying touchdown.

Jackson ran for 10 yards and was being tackled by Tigers defensive end Austin Kelly before Muse’s hit from the left side. The sophomore was immediately flagged and the play was upheld upon review, adding a 15-yard penalty along with Muse’s ejection. Jackson followed with an 11-yard TD pass to Standberry on the next play to help Louisville tie the game at 7.


Clemson: The Tigers’ impressive start continues, and could move them closer to the top.

Louisville: This blowout loss could possibly drop the Cardinals out of the Top 25.


Clemson: The Tigers host Boston College on Sept. 23.

Louisville: The Cardinals host Kent State on Sept. 23, looking to bounce back against a Golden Flashes team that Clemson routed 56-3 on Sept. 2.

]]> 0's Kelly Bryant is tackled by Louisville's James Hearns on Saturday night in Louisville, Ky. Clemson won 47-21.Sun, 17 Sep 2017 16:04:27 +0000
No. 4 USC rallies for double-overtime win over Texas, 27-24 Sun, 17 Sep 2017 12:35:24 +0000 LOS ANGELES — Deep into the fourth quarter, Southern California and Texas played a defense-dominated, turnover-plagued game that had none of the poetry or flair of these powerhouse programs’ last meeting in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Then the offenses finally found their stride. Texas’ freshman quarterback led a gutsy 91-yard touchdown march in the final minutes of regulation. USC answered with a desperate drive to force overtime.

By the time walk-on Chase McGrath hit a walk-off field goal, this famed matchup definitely had its mojo back.

Sam Darnold passed for 397 yards and three touchdowns, and USC’s freshman kicker hit a 43-yard field goal to end the No. 4 Trojans’ thrilling 27-24 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday night.

Vince Young and Matt Leinart were the quarterbacks for Texas’ 41-38 victory in that famous Rose Bowl matchup 12 seasons ago, and they watched every twist in this sequel from the Coliseum stands.

Darnold and his Trojans (3-0) earned their own memorable win by outlasting a Texas offense led by Sam Ehlinger, the freshman from Austin who nearly engineered a huge win early in coach Tom Herman’s debut season with Texas (1-2).

“It’s good to get a great win against such a great Texas team,” Darnold said. “We gave it all we had. They gave it all they had. It was just a great win for our guys. We learned a lot of things about our offense. Good things, and things we’ve got to figure out.”

Christian Rector made the biggest defensive play in a game full of them, forcing a goal-line fumble by stripping the ball from Ehlinger in the second OT. McGrath then coolly ended it with the second field goal of his college career.

USC has won 12 consecutive games and 12 straight at home.

“We had to finish strong, and that’s what we did,” said USC receiver Deontay Burnett, who caught eight passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Ehlinger passed for 298 yards for the Longhorns, who fell agonizingly short in a sold-out Coliseum.

“It’s amazing how many mistakes you can overcome with attitude and effort, and we made our fair share of them,” Herman said. “Turned the ball over four times, had issues with the snap, a couple of costly calls that didn’t go our way, but our guys kept fighting.”

The Longhorns seemed headed to the upset when Ehlinger hit Armanti Foreman with a 17-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds left. But after Darnold drove the Trojans 52 yards in about 30 seconds, McGrath tied it with his first career field goal.

“The plays down the stretch by Sam and Deontay, I don’t know if I’ll ever forget in my life,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “You hope for perfect execution, and that’s what we got.”

Burnett caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Darnold on the first snap of overtime, shaking Leinart’s hand in the back of the end zone to celebrate. Cade Brewer then caught a 3-yard TD pass to cap Texas’ first OT possession.

Texas reached the goal line in the second OT before Rector ripped the ball out of Ehlinger’s arm. Ajene Harris recovered, but the Trojans’ offense stalled before McGrath came through again.

Darnold and Ehlinger embraced briefly after the game, with Darnold giving words of encouragement and slapping the freshman on the helmet.

“I believed in (Ehlinger),” Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson said. “That kid always has heart. He represented a lot tonight of what we want to be.”


Texas: Once the heartache subsides, this will be an encouraging outing. The defense took remarkable strides forward after giving up 51 points to Maryland in the season opener. Sure, the offense needs much more work, but this type of defensive performance will win a bunch of games in the Big 12.

USC: The Trojans’ offense racked up 91 points and ran the ball well in its first two games, but Texas largely shut it down. USC’s defense deserves most of the credit for keeping them in a game that turned out to be much tougher than anybody expected.


The game was scoreless until 2:40 before halftime, when Burnett made a diving TD catch. The Longhorns tied it moments later when Darnold’s perfect pass smacked off receiver Jalen Greene’s hands and DeShon Elliott snatched it for a 38-yard TD interception return.

Instead of kneeling out the half, Darnold threw underneath Texas’ prevent defense to Ronald Jones II, who sprinted across the field for a 56-yard TD. He got a devastating block from receiver Steven Mitchell on the way in.


Collin Johnson had seven catches for 191 yards for the Longhorns, including a 47-yard grab and a fourth-and-10 conversion on Texas’ late regulation drive. USC couldn’t defend the 6-foot-6 Californian consistently.


In the hyper-reactive world of September rankings, USC is likely to slide a bit in the Top 10 after struggling to hold on, even though its defense posted a near-shutout for 59 minutes.


Texas: After a bye week, Big 12 play begins with a visit to Iowa State on Thursday, Sept. 28.

USC: The Trojans’ road opener is at California on Saturday.

]]> 0 cornerback Ajene Harris, right, recovers a fumble by Texas as Texas running back Kyle Porter, left, and defensive lineman Christian Rector fall during the second overtime Saturday night in Los Angeles. USC won 27-24 in two overtimes.Sun, 17 Sep 2017 16:05:06 +0000
Top 25 football: Michigan grounds Air Force Sun, 17 Sep 2017 02:03:19 +0000 ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Donovan Peoples-Jones returned a punt 79 yards for a score and Quinn Nordin tied a school record with five field goals Saturday, helping No. 7 Michigan overcome its offensive struggles in a 29-13 victory against Air Force.

The Wolverines (3-0) didn’t lead by more than three points until Peoples-Jones’ touchdown early in the third quarter.

The Falcons (1-1) failed to convert a pass until Arion Worthman threw a short pass to Ronald Cleveland, who turned it into a 64-yard TD with 11:54 left in the quarter that pulled the service academy within three points again.

Nordin kicked two more field goals, late in the third and early in the fourth, to share a single-game school mark with three players.

(8) OHIO STATE 38, ARMY 7: Freshman J.K. Dobbins ran for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Ohio State (2-1) rebounded from a loss to rout Army (2-1) at Columbus, Ohio.

Dobbins broke away for a 52-yard touchdown run to open the second half after romping for 22 yards on the previous play, extending Ohio State’s 17-7 halftime lead. The Buckeyes then got touchdowns on two of their next three drives.

(9) OKLAHOMA STATE 59, PITTSBUGH 21: Mason Rudolph threw for five touchdowns, all in the first half, and visiting Oklahoma State (3-0) drilled Pittsburgh (1-2).

Rudolph completed 23 of 32 passes for 497 yards and the five scores before being pulled in the middle of the third quarter with the Cowboys in full command. He did throw his first interception of the season.

(10) WISCONSIN 40, BRIGHAM YOUNG 6: Alex Hornibrook threw for four touchdowns and 256 yards as Wisconsin (3-0) eased past BYU (1-3) at Provo, Utah.

(15) AUBURN 24, MERCER 10: Kamryn Pettway ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns as Auburn (2-1) overcame five turnovers to hold off FCS school Mercer (1-2).

(16) VIRGINIA TECH 64, EAST CAROLINA 17: Redshirt freshman Josh Jackson threw for 372 yards and five touchdowns – three to Cam Phillips – to help Virginia Tech (3-0) beat East Carolina (0-3) at Greenville, North Carolina.

(20) TEXAS CHRISTIAN 56, SOUTHERN METHODIST 36: Jalen Reagor made a leaping 38-yard catch between four defenders in the end zone on the last play of the first half, finally putting TCU (3-0) ahead to stay against SMU (2-1) at Fort Worth, Texas.

(24) FLORIDA 26, (23) TENNESSEE 20: Feleipe Franks heaved a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tyrie Cleveland as the clock expired, and Florida (1-1, 1-0 Southeastern) beat Tennessee (2-1, 0-1) at Gainesville, Florida.

MEMPHIS 48, (25) UCLA 45: Riley Ferguson threw for 398 yards and six touchdown passes, and Jacobi Francis broke up a fourth-down pass in the closing seconds to lead Memphis (2-0) over visiting UCLA (2-1).

]]> 0 Isaac of Michigan attempts to run past Marquis Griffin of Air Force during the second quarter of Michigan's 29-13 victory Saturday. The seventh-ranked Wolverines improved to 3-0 and dropped the Falcons to 1-1.Sat, 16 Sep 2017 22:04:04 +0000
College football roundup: Holy Cross rolls by New Hampshire Sun, 17 Sep 2017 00:32:35 +0000 WORCESTER, Mass. — Peter Pujals threw five touchdown passes, two to Martin Dorsey, and Holy Cross pummeled New Hampshire 51-26 in a nonconference game and the Crusaders’ home opener Saturday.

Trevor Knight got New Hampshire (2-1) on the board first with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Neil O’Connor, but Holy Cross (2-1) answered with the first of A.J. Wells’ three first-half field goals, this one from 46 yards.

Pujals hit Dorsey from 14 yards to give the Crusaders the lead for good, and Wells hit from 29 and 37 yards to make it 16-7 at the half. Pujals capped his day with an 86-yard strike to Dorsey to make it 51-19 with 6:43 left.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS 21, NEBRASKA 17: Jordan Huff scored the winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter and Northern Illinois (2-1) made two big defensive stops to finish an upset of Nebraska (1-2), which lost at home to a non-Power Five conference member or major independent for the first time since falling to Southern Mississippi in 2004.

NOTRE DAME 49, BOSTON COLLEGE 20: Brandon Wimbush ran for four touchdowns and 207 yards – a record for a Notre Dame quarterback – and Josh Adams had 229 rushing yards to help the visiting Irish (2-1) defeat Boston College (1-2).

VIRGINIA 38, CONNECTICUT 18: Kurt Benkert passed for a school-record 455 yards and Virginia (2-1) defeated Connecticut (1-1) at Charlottesville, Virginia.

PRINCETON 27, SAN DIEGO 17: Chad Kanoff was 32-of-43 passing for 352 yards and Stephen Carlson had three touchdown receptions to help Princeton (1-0) beat visiting San Diego (1-2).

YALE 56, LEHIGH 28: Kurt Rawlings threw for four touchdowns, Zane Dudek ran for two scores, and Yale (1-0) defeated Lehigh (0-3) at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

BROWN 28, BRYANT 23: Nick Duncan rushed for a pair of touchdowns and threw for one, and Brown (1-0) handled Bryant (1-2) at Providence, Rhode Island.

RHODE ISLAND 17, HARVARD 10: Tyler Harris threw for 235 yards and a touchdown as Rhode Island (1-2) upset Harvard (0-1) at Kingston, Rhode Island, to grab its first victory over the Crimson in five tries.

COLUMBIA 17, WAGNER 14: Oren Milstein kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired and Columbia (1-0) beat visiting Wagner (1-2) at New York.

RICHMOND 68, HOWARD 21: Kyle Lauletta threw for a school-record six touchdown passes and Richmond (2-1)cruised by visiting Howard (1-2).

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Saturday’s Maine college roundup: Maine Maritime footballs falls Sun, 17 Sep 2017 00:05:47 +0000 CASTINE — Massachusetts Maritime stretched its lead to 14 points in the third quarter and held on to beat Maine Maritime 34-25 to win the 45th meeting between the two schools and secure the Admiral’s Cup on Saturday.

Richie Phillips scored on a 3-yard run with 6:29 left in the third quarter as Mass. Maritime (1-1) took a 27-13 lead. Maine Maritime (0-2) got within two on a 21-yard touchdown run by Jacob Doolan in the third quarter and a 1-yard run by Corey Creeger in the fourth. The Mariners attempted to tie it, but Creeger was stopped on the two-point conversion try.

Derek Stegman scored on a 4-yard pass from Chris Haggerty in the fourth for Mass. Maritime.

WILLIAMS 28, BOWDOIN 14: Frank Stola caught seven catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ephs (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) scored 21 straight points in the second half to beat the Polar Bears (0-1, 0-1) in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Noah Nelson scored two touchdowns for Bowdoin.

AMHERST 38, BATES 17: Ollie Eberth threw for four touchdowns, and the Mammoths (1-0) beat the Bobcats (0-1) in Amherst Massachusetts.

Tyler Baum rushed for 49 yards on four carries and a 3-yard touchdown for Bates. Jaason Lopez scored on a 4-yard run as well for the Bobcats.

TRINITY 35, COLBY 0: Max Chipouras rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bantams (1-0) over the Mules (0-1) in the NESCAC opener in Hartford, Connecticut.


BOWDOIN 6, WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE 0: Emma Stevens scored two goals, and the Polar Bears (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC) jumped out to a 5-0 lead at halftime and beat Cardinals in Brunswick.

Elizabeth Bennewitz, Kara Finnerty, Sarah Jane Weil and Juliana Fiore also scored for Bowdoin.

WILLIAMS 4, COLBY 1: Libby Dolan had two goals and an assist as the No. 13 Ephs (3-0, 2-0 NESCAC) beat the Mules (1-2, 0-2) in Waterville.

Meredith Keenan scored for Colby.

UNE 7, ROGER WILLIAMS 2: Vonde Saunders scored three goals and Kendra MacDonald had two assists as the Nor’easters (4-1, 2-0 CCC) beat the Hawks (3-2, 1-1) at Big Blue Turf Stadium in Biddeford.

Hannah Buckley, Brenna Sicard, Brooke Lemerise and Kersey Boulay also scored for UNE.

SOUTHERN MAINE 1, EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE 0: Maggie Redman’s goal 10 minutes into the second half was the difference as the Huskies (2-4, 1-1 LEC) beat Eastern Connecticut (1-4, 1-1) in Willimantic, Connecticut.

BATES 3, UMAINE-FARMINGTON 0: Lily Nygren, Caroline O’Reilly and Lauren Foster each scored to lead the Bobcats (1-3) over the Beavers (1-4) in Lewiston.


BOWDOIN 1, WESLEYAN 0: Ethan Ellsworth scored from Levi Morant 2:13 into the game and the Polar Bears (3-1, 1-1 NESCAC) beat the Cardinals (3-1, 0-1) in Brunswick.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE 2, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Darion Richeme and Max Cano both scored as the Colonials (3-3, 1-0 LEC) beat the Huskies (2-3, 0-1) in Danbury, Connecticut.

Richard Glemawu stopped six shots for Southern Maine.

BATES 3, NEWBURY COLLEGE 1: Nate Merchant, Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene and Austin Sansone scored as the Bobcats (3-0) beat the Nighthawks (2-4) in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Nilton De Andrade scored for Newbury College, while Robbie Montanaro had four saves for Bates.

WILLIAMS 1, COLBY 0: Mark Sisco scored in the first half as the Ephs (3-0, 2-0 NESCAC) beat the Mules (1-2, 0-2) in Waterville.

Bobby Schneiderman had two saves for the Ephs, and Avery Gibson five for Colby.

ST. JOSEPH’S 0, NORWICH 0: Blake Mullen had seven saves, including two in overtime, as the Monks (4-0-1, 1-0-1 GNAC) played to a tie with the Cadets (2-3-2, 1-0-1) in Standish.

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND 3, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 0: Troy Remillard scored two goals as the Golden Bears (5-1, 1-0 CCC) beat the Nor’easters (1-5, 0-1) in Biddeford.

Nick Kubacki also scored. Nathan Delesdernier had six saves for UNE.


WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE 6, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Autumn Sorice had two goals and an assist as the Colonials (6-0, 1-0 LEC) downed the Huskies (2-3, 0-1) in Gorham.

Andrea DeVoe, Devon Shugdinis, Alexandra DeLuca and Jenna Gentile also scored for Western Connecticut State.

WILLIAMS 3, COLBY 0: Natasha Albaneze scored 13 minutes into the game, and the Ephs (4-0, 3-0 NESCAC) shut out the Mules (2-1-1, 0-1-1) in Waterville.

Alison Lu and Ilana Albert scored in the second half for Williams. Dani Lonati stopped nine shots for Colby.

CORNELL 1, MAINE 0: Kaili Gregory scored on a penalty kick and the Big Red (2-3) beat the Black Bears (2-5-1) in Ithaca, New York.

Anna Lena Kriesbisch made eight saves for the Black Bears.

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND 1, UNE 0: Danielle Dixon scored 19 minutes into the game off a pass from Marielle Caron, and the Golden Bears (3-2-1, 1-0 CCC) held off the Nor’easters (4-2, 0-1) in Biddeford.

BABSON 2, BATES 0: Katherine Cullen and Kerry Dunn scored goals as the Beavers (3-3) beat the Bobcats (2-1) in Babson Park, Massachusetts.

SAINT JOSEPH’S 9, ANNA MARIA 0: Kendall Dolan, Haley DaGraca and Emily DeLuca each scored two goals to lead the Monks (4-3, 2-2) over the Amcats (0-5, 0-4) in a GNAC mathcup in Paxton, Massachussetts.

WESLEYAN 1, BOWDOIN 1: Emily Pawlak scored as the Polar Bears (1-1-1, 0-1-1 NESCAC) tied the Cardinals (2-1-1, 0-1-1) in Brunswick.

Kayla O’Brien scored for Wesleyan.


SOUTHERN MAINE C.C. LOSES TWO: Bradley Murphy hit a two-run triple and later scored as New Hampshire Tech. (3-2, 3-2) used three sixth-inning runs for 3-1 victory over the SeaWolves (4-2, 4-2) during the second game of their YSCC doubleheader in South Portland.

Murphy Had two RBI and scored twice as NHTI won the opener 11-9.

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UMaine football game vs. Central Florida canceled Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:37:55 +0000 The University of Maine’s Sept. 30 football game at the University of Central Florida in Orlando has been canceled to allow the Knights to play an American Athletic Conference game against Memphis.

Central Florida’s game against Memphis was postponed last weekend because of Hurricane Irma and needed to be rescheduled.

“They had to choose between us and playing a conference game,” said Karlton Creech, Maine’s athletic director. “They chose the conference game. There’s not much to it.

“They had to make a decision and they did. We respect and understand why they did it.”

Creech said Maine will receive a $350,000 buyout from Central Florida – the amount that the schools agreed to when they signed a contract to play the game. Central Florida is a Football Bowl Subdivision team that traditionally pays smaller Football Championship Subdivision schools like Maine to play a home game.

Central Florida has also postponed a second game this Saturday against Georgia Tech. The university is using its facilities to host 1,000 members of the National Guard assisting with hurricane recovery efforts.

Maine officials are going to try to fill the now-open date, but their options are limited.

“At this point, the options are nonexistent,” said Creech. “But we’re going to look. If we can find a suitable opponent, we’ll play a game.”

If Maine (1-1) cannot fill that opening, it will have two bye weeks in the first five weeks of its season, sandwiched around a road game at defending FCS champion James Madison.

“We want to play a game,” said Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak. “Maybe we can find one. But we certainly can understand the situation that Central Florida is in.”

One possibility is Georgia State, which had its Sept. 30 nonconference game against Memphis canceled. Georgia State received a $1.1 million buyout, according to a release on its website. But that release also quotes Georgia State Athletic Director Charlie Cobb as saying the school would prefer to play an FBS opponent.

“We’ll see what happens there,” said Harasymiak. “It’s a long shot, but we’ll take a look.”

Creech said he contacted officials of the Colonial Athletic Association, of which Maine is a member, when Central Florida notified him of the cancellation to make sure it wouldn’t impact Maine’s playoff chances.

“I was told it would have no effect on our playoff chances,” he said. “So our fate is still in our own hands.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, Maine—08-02-2017— UMaine football head coach Joe Harasymiak directs his team during practice with the UMaine Black Bears football team on Wednesday at Morse Field on the Orono campus. Kevin Bennett PhotoThu, 14 Sep 2017 22:00:58 +0000
Wednesday’s Maine college roundup: St. Joseph’s stays unbeaten in men’s soccer Thu, 14 Sep 2017 02:57:07 +0000 STANDISH — Brett Mattos scored twice, Jesse Ramirez had a goal and an assist, and St. Joseph’s College opened its new athletics complex with a 4-0 victory over the UMaine-Farmington in a nonconference men’s soccer game on Wednesday night.

The Monks improved to 4-0 and have beaten the Beavers (2-2) in seven straight meetings dating back to 2011.

Mattos put the Monks (4-0) ahead on a penalty kick 17:52 into the first half. Ramirez scored at 36:02 off a pass from Noah Elmore.

Mattos scored again in the 85th minute and Trevor Lopes added a goal two minutes later.

BATES 3, UNE 1: Nate Merchant scored two goals and broke a tie in the 88th minute to lead the Bobcats (2-0) past the University of New England (1-2) at Lewiston.

Merchant put in his go-ahead goal at the 87:15 mark, then added his second goal at 88:51.

Callum Heaslewood put UNE up 1-0 in the 31st minute, but Ben Lyons tied the game less than 30 seconds later for Bates.


SMCC 5, CMCC 1: Callie O’Brien had a hat trick to lead Southern Maine CC (3-1, 3-0 Yankee Small College) past Central Maine CC (2-2, 1-2) in Auburn.

Emily Harris and Jessica Haskell also scored for SMCC.

COLBY 6, THOMAS 0: Olivia Greif scored in each half and Kara Wilson had two assists as the Mules (2-0-1) downed the Terriers (0-4) at in Waterville.

Emily Martin and Elizabeth Berry also scored in the first. Ally Ingraham and Katherine Gillespie had second-half goals.

EMMANUEL 2, ST. JOSEPH’S 1: Abba McKenelley scored in the second minute of overtime to lift the Saints (2-4, 2-0 GNAC) over the Monks at Boston.

The Monks (2-3, 0-2) took the lead in the 83rd minute on a goal by Kayla Gooch, before McKenelley tied the game in the 89th.


UNE 8, GORDON 0: Hannah Buckley, Liz Clark and Vonde Saunders each scored twice and the Nor’easters (3-1) poured in six goals in the second half to beat Gordon (1-2) at Biddeford.

Saunders had two assists, and Olivia Madore and Grace Grenier each added a goal.

BOWDOIN 1, BATES 0: Kara Finnerty scored 3:18 into overtime off a pass from Elizabeth Bennewitz to lift the Polar Bears (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) over the Bobcats (0-3, 0-2) at Lewiston.

Maddie Ferrucci stopped four shots to preserve the shutout for Bowdoin, while Adelae Durand saved one shot for Bates.

COLBY 6, THOMAS 1: Georgia Cassidy scored all three of her goals in the first eight minutes, and the Mules (1-1) cruised at Waterville.

Kallie Hutchinson added two goals and Holli Olson also scored. Kelci Faulkingham scored for Thomas (1-2).

UM-FARMINGTON 4, USM 0: Andrea Stemm scored eight minutes into the game, and the Beavers (1-3) beat Southern Maine (1-4) at Gorham.

Sarita Crandall and Nickyia Lovely also scored first-half goals for Farmington. Emmah Spahr scored in the second.

HUSSON 2, ST. JOSEPH’S 1: Sadie Royer scored two goals, including the winner 11 minutes into the second overtime, and the Eagles (3-2) beat the Monks (1-2) at Bangor.

Royer gave the Eagles the lead 17:26 into the game. Libby Pomerleau tied it in the 35th minute.


SMCC 8, CMCC 1: Nathaniel Cyr hit a two-run single during a five-five run fifth inning, and the Seawolves (3-0) beat the Mustangs (2-1) at South Portland.

]]> 0 Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:58:16 +0000
Sports Digest: UNE defeats Husson in women’s soccer Wed, 13 Sep 2017 01:06:06 +0000 COLLEGES

UNE defeats Husson in women’s soccer

Becca Murphy scored with 3:46 remaining in the second half to lift the University of New England (4-1) over Husson (1-3) in Bangor, 3-2.

Katie Beaudoin opened the scoring in the 26th minute for UNE, before Leah Hibbad scored in the 40th and 61st minute to put Husson up 2-1.

Jenna Cowan of UNE scored in the 80th minute on a pass from Murphy to tie it up before Murphy’s winning.

Ashley Leboeuf and Emily Boyle each scored to lead the Salem State (1-2-1) over Southern Maine (2-2) in Salem, Massachusetts, 2-1.

Boyle scored on a penalty kick in the 19th minute and Leboeuf scored in the 24th minute to put Salem State up 2-0.

Madi Freeman scored for Southern Maine in the 51st minute.

MEN’S SOCCER: Asa Berolzheimer scored and recorded an assist to lead Colby (1-1) over Thomas (2-3) in Waterville, 3-1.

Berolzheimer scored in the 25th minute and assisted on a score by Jeff Rosenberg to put Colby up 2-0.

Lucas Periera later scored for Colby and Zenawi Bowen scored for Thomas.

 Ethan Ellsworth and Levi Morant scored second-half goals as Bowdoin (3-1) beat Husson (1-3) 2-0 in Bangor.

Ellsworth scored unassisted at 48:36 and Morant scored from Moctor Niang nine minutes later.

Steve Van Siclen made two saves for Bowdoin, while Cody Gross had five saves for Husson.


NBA: Former New York Knick Charles Oakley sued the team’s owners, saying he was defamed when they claimed he committed assault and was an alcoholic after his February arrest at a game.

The lawsuit details how Oakley was treated before and after he was forcefully removed from Madison Square Garden during the first quarter of a Feb. 8 Knicks’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. It seeks unspecified damages.

 Shabazz Muhammad has reportedly agreed to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves on a one-year deal.

Muhammad has spent all four of his NBA seasons with Minnesota. He averaged 9.9 points last season and was a restricted free agent

 The Los Angeles Lakers announced they will retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 in a ceremony on Dec. 18 during the game against Golden State. Bryant wore No. 8 from 1996-2006, then switched to No. 24 for the remainder of his 20-year career.


IOC: There’s an outside shot the United States won’t have to wait 11 years to host its next Olympics, as Salt Lake City and Denver may pitch for the 2026 Winter Games, which take place two years before the Summer Olympics return to Los Angeles.


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Lionel Messi scored twice to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Juventus in their opening match in Barcelona.


NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been cleared for contact before camp opens Friday.

Letang, who underwent season-ending neck surgery on April 13 to repair a herniated disc, said he hopes to play when the defending Stanley Cup champions open their regular season against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 4.


LPGA: The LPGA Tour has canceled its event next month in China because of permitting problems.

– Staff and news service report

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College football notebook: Tennessee will play at Florida on Saturday Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:12:14 +0000 GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After inspecting the stadium, meeting with campus and city officials, and assessing available resources, Florida decided its Southeastern Conference opener against Tennessee would be played as scheduled.

So it’s game on in Gainesville.

The SEC announced Tuesday that the league opener between the No. 23 Volunteers (2-0) and the 24th-ranked Gators (0-1) will remain a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Florida Field on Saturday, keeping the game intact less than a week after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the Sunshine State.

OKLAHOMA STATE: Redshirt freshman linebacker Brendan Vaughn has been charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a school and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE: Four players were suspended from Saturday’s game at Youngstown State following their arrests at an off-campus party.

Chika Chukwu, 20, and Jose Garcia, 21, both wide receivers and linebackers Randall Laguerre and Kenneth Keen, both 21, are charged with breach of peace and permitting a minor to possess alcohol.

Police say the four live at the home where the party took place last Saturday.

NEBRASKA: Coach Mike Riley got a one-year contract extension through the 2020 season.

BAYLOR: QB Anu Solomon is going through his team’s concussion protocol because of symptoms he felt after the last game.

]]> 0 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:54:42 +0000
UNE football building a foundation Mon, 11 Sep 2017 01:25:01 +0000 BANGOR — In a quiet moment Sunday, right before the first of three University of New England turnovers set up another score for Husson University’s junior varsity football team, a female fan in blue-and-white Nor’easters gear bellowed out from the Winkin Sports Complex bleachers, “There’s a storm coming!”

Perhaps she foresaw the brief outburst of hail that sent fans scrambling in the fourth quarter. Or maybe she was taking the long view with a new Nor’easters program that would lose, 34-21, to drop to 0-2 in its inaugural season.

The latter is how Coach Mike Lichten is choosing to look at things as his players, the vast majority of them freshmen, try this fall to come together as a team while also navigating campus life, keeping up in the classroom and learning how to eat right and bulk up in the weight room.

There will be stumbles on the field, such as the giveaways, bobbled kickoffs and long passes completed behind the secondary in Sunday’s loss. But winning, while preferable, is not everything to Lichten in the first year of the program.

“We will push to win. We want our players to gain development so when we’re playing in our conference next year, we’re ready,” he said. “But becoming a family is the biggest thing. You can’t do that without competing together.”

An hour before kickoff, close to 100 fans, many of them related to UNE players, grilled burgers and tossed beanbags in the parking lot. Beneath their blue metallic balloons was a full-size cardboard cutout of the head coach.

“Yeah, I got introduced to that last week. That was a first for me,” said Lichten, hired 19 months ago after five years as the head coach at Becker College. “I’m getting used to that kind of support, which is obviously tremendous.”

The excitement continued through the opening kickoff, with UNE fans rattling cowbells after third-down stops and grumbling about a shortage of Husson penalties. But after Husson reached the end zone on its first possession and increased the lead to 21-0 late in the second quarter, the buzz started to subside.

Before halftime, quarterback Brian Peters tossed a 30-yard touchdown to Biddeford native Austin Dutremble to get UNE on the scoreboard. But Husson tacked on a couple more touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 34-7.

Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by UNE made the final score respectable.

“It’s tough because we have all those freshman struggles, but we all have to sort them out at the same time while also playing in competitive games,” said wide receiver Haelin Roberts, a first-year player from Washington state.

Before the Nor’easters climbed on their cramped bus for the trek back to Biddeford, a couple players grinned while acknowledging the team had a long way to go on the field, too. This is what everyone signed up for, a chance to be the foundation of what they hope will one day be a powerhouse.

“We’ve been together for like 20 days and are playing these established programs,” said freshman linebacker Jordan Jawdat of Topsham. “But we’re a very young team, and I think the future is really bright, honestly.”

The Nor’easters, who lost their inaugural game, 36-30, to the Curry College JVs on Sept. 3, play nine games this season against JV or prep schools teams. In 2018, the team will make its varsity debut.

If you ask Lichten, his young players and that loud lady in the bleachers, a storm is coming eventually.

“I want us to know who we are (at season’s end). I want us to know what our culture is and to be able to instill into the next group that comes in what our culture is going to be,” Lichten said. “Good things come to those who wait. But better things happen to those who work hard to get them.”

]]> 0 of New England linebacker Nick Scarfo brings down Patrick Cullen during Sunday's game against Husson University's JV team in Bangor. UNE, which is playing JV and prep school opponents this fall before moving to varsity status in 2018, lost 34-21.Sun, 10 Sep 2017 21:34:43 +0000
Sunday’s Maine college roundup: Second-half goal lifts Maine women’s soccer Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:59:29 +0000 ORONO — Kendra Ridley knocked in a corner kick by Charlotte Messer in the second half to lift the University of Maine women’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over Marist on Sunday.

Maine (2-4-1) took a 1-0 lead at nine minutes when Kayla Brace scored on a penalty kick.

Marist (3-4-0) tied it early in the second half on a goal by Nicole Sasso.

Annalena Kriesbisch had four saves for the Black Bears.

ST. JOSEPH’S 3, UMAINE-FARMINGTON 0: Haley DaGraca scored off a pass from Colleen Sheehan 11:21 into the game and the Monks (2-2) downed the Beavers (1-3) in a non-conference game at Farmington.

St. Joseph’s doubled its lead 20 minutes later on an unassisted goal by Brenna Smith. Sheehan scored her second goal early in the second half with an assist from Sarah Comtois.

COLBY 4, HUSSON 1: The Mules (1-0-1) scored four times in the second half and beat the Eagles (1-2) in Waterville.

Husson took a 1-0 lead early in the first half on a goal by Leah Hibbad.

Colby tied it on a goal by Sarah Lofstrom and took the lead 12 minutes later on a goal by Laura Ensminger.

Emily Demmons and Catherine Fraser each added a goal later in the half.

Sami Ireland had 10 saves for Husson.


CORNELL 3, MAINE 2: Krysten Mayers scored in the 38th minute, redirecting a shot from Sam McIlwrick, and the Big Red (4-0) beat the Black Bears (4-2) in Burlington, Vermont.

Cornell led 2-0 16 minutes into the first half, but Samantha Wagg scored two goals off penalty corners in a span of seven minutes to tie the game for the Black Bears.

Emily Hindle and Libby Riedl each recorded assists for Maine.

Maine outshot Cornell 20-11.

SOUTHERN MAINE 2, MANHATTANVILLE 1: Lindsay Jackson scored two minutes into the second half to lead the Huskies (1-2) past the Valiants (0-4) in Gorham.

Manhattanville took a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the game on a goal from Lisa Maxwell, but Olivia Brown scored an unassisted goal 15 minutes later for Southern Maine to tie the game.

MONTCLAIR STATE 2, BATES 1: The Red Hawks (4-0) scored two first-half goals and held on to beat the Bobcats (0-2) in Clinton, New York.

Kailey Dalgauer and Victoria Rossi scored for Montclair State. Meghan Mollahan and Alexis Ambrosino each had an assist.

Taylor Lough scored from Lauren Foster for Bates.


VERMONT TECH 2, SMCC 1: Phillip Hepburn scored in the second overtime to lift the Knights (3-2) over the Seawolves (0-4) in South Portland.

Matthew Brien scored early in the second half to give Vermont Tech a 1-0 lead. Hanssen Casey scored on a penalty kick to tie it for the Seawolves.

Patrick Duddy stopped nine shots for Southern Maine CC, while Alaga Saric made 12 saves for Vermont Tech.

WILLIAM PATERSON 3, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Dromo Quaye broke a scoreless tie in the 49th minute, scoring on a cross from Keysean Brant-Sharp, as the Pioneers (4-1) shut out the Huskies (2-2) in Patchogue, New York.

Christopher Fuentes and Antonio Iliano each added goals in the final 20 minutes to help the Pioneers pull away.

Richard Glemawu made nine saves for Southern Maine.

Tim Morris had two saves for William Paterson.

]]> 0 Sun, 10 Sep 2017 21:59:57 +0000
College football notebook: Oklahoma moves to No. 2 in poll after beating Ohio State Sun, 10 Sep 2017 23:14:37 +0000 Oklahoma moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll behind Alabama after the Sooners scored the most impressive victory of Week 2.

Three of the top six teams from last week defeated other ranked teams Saturday, creating an early shake-up near the top of the AP Top 25. The Sooners jumped three spots after winning 31-16 at Ohio State. The last time the Sooners were this close to being No. 1 was 2011.

The Buckeyes slipped from No. 2 to eighth.

Clemson held its spot at No. 3 after beating Auburn, and Southern California moved up two places to sixth following a victory against Stanford. Penn State is No. 5.

The Crimson Tide received 59 first-place votes. Oklahoma has two and Clemson one.

The Buckeyes have their lowest ranking since November 2014. Ohio State hopes this season takes a similar path.

In 2014, the Buckeyes lost at home to Virginia Tech and fell from No. 8 to No. 22 in the rankings. The Buckeyes did not lose again and won the national championship in Urban Meyer’s third season as coach in Columbus.

The Buckeyes did extend their streak of 41 polls ranked in the top 10, which dates back to the Nov. 9, 2014.

Notre Dame’s stay in the Top 25 lasted one week. The Fighting Irish lost 20-19 at home to Georgia, which moved up two spots to No. 13. The Irish were the only team to fall out of the rankings.

EAST CAROLINA: Pirates Coach Scottie Montgomery says defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson has been reassigned within the football program and will no longer coach, and defensive line coach Robert Prunty has replaced him immediately.

Montgomery announced the changes a day after a 56-20 loss at West Virginia in which the Pirates (0-2) fell behind 49-3 at halftime and allowed 619 total yards.

NOTRE DAME: As Saturday night turned into Sunday morning following Georgia’s 20-19 victory over Notre Dame, Fighting Irish offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey took the blame.

“It’s awful, absolutely awful … it came down to execution at the end and I blew it,” said McGlinchey, a 6-foot-8, 315-pound left tackle who turned down the NFL to try to help Notre Dame rebound from a 4-8 season.

McGlinchey held himself responsible for missing the block that led to Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamy’s sack of quarterback Brandon Wimbush and linebacker Lorenzo Carter’s fumble recovery that ended Notre Dame’s chance of rallying past the No. 13 Bulldogs.

]]> 0 Sun, 10 Sep 2017 19:27:20 +0000
Maine’s high school Class of 2017 fields quite an NCAA dream team Sun, 10 Sep 2017 08:00:00 +0000 It was quite a haul for the Class of 2017.

With a new school year underway, nearly 100 of Maine’s recent high school graduates will be competing in collegiate sports for schools offering athletic scholarships. It’s among the largest – if not the largest – group of Maine student-athletes representing NCAA Division I and II schools, the only institutions that can offer scholarships.

This year’s total represents nearly a 35 percent increase from 2016, according to research by the Maine Sunday Telegram. Neither the Maine Principals’ Association nor the NCAA keeps track of Maine students who go on to compete in college athletics.

“That (many) kids out of Maine astounds me. That’s phenomenal,” said Jack Renkens, a former college coach and athletic director who now travels the country to educate parents and students about college recruiting and scholarships.

He’s not the only one. Longtime coaches and athletic directors in Maine cannot recall another year with so many athletes earning scholarship offers.

“It’s really amazing,” said John Wolfgram, who has been involved in Maine high school sports since 1971 and coached 10 teams to state football championships.

“And it surprises me. In the past, they would be few and far-between.”

George Mendros, a track coach at Saco’s Thornton Academy who has been involved in Maine high school sports since 1980, agreed: “In the past, you’d see maybe one kid from a school going D-I every eight years or so. Now you see constant examples of kids going on to play Division I or Division II. And it’s not just from the big schools.”

The 97 student-athletes come from 39 different high schools, ranging from York to Old Town. Topping the list of Mainers who’ll compete at Division I or II schools are 26 track and field athletes, at least 16 baseball players and 10 field hockey players, according to Telegram research.

Thornton Academy athletic director Gary Stevens, who has been involved in high school sports since 1983, said the advent of club-sport travel teams – which bring Maine athletes to big-time tournaments all over the country – has helped open the state’s borders to college recruiting.

“It’s given (the athletes) exposure,” he said. “At one time the high school coach was the key contact, maybe the only contact, to be seen by the university. Now there are multiple contacts, like the club coaches for all the different activities. The more exposure they get, the more contacts they have, the more likely you might be able to have a high-profile coach see you play and take an interest in you.”

And Maine kids are getting that exposure and moving on. Falmouth High alone has seven athletes going on to compete at the Division I and II levels. “I’ve never had that many in a year, and the school I came from (in Beverley, Massachusetts) had 1,300 kids,” said Falmouth athletic director James Coffey. “It’s a unique senior class to have that many go.”


Now, said veteran Falmouth track coach Jorma Kurry, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds.

“This is a very strong group of athletes we have right now,” he said. “Was it a blip on the radar? Or is something being done differently that caused a surge that will continue?”

Only a few of these Mainers will get full athletic scholarships – covering tuition, room, board and course-related books. Most are receiving partial athletic scholarships – which can often turn into full scholarships as their college years progress (just ask former New England Patriots linebacker Trevor Bates, a Westbrook High grad who received a $1,000 scholarship from UMaine his freshman year before getting a full ride in later years). Some are called preferred walk-ons, who receive no scholarship money.

The amount of the scholarship, however, isn’t necessarily important to them. It’s what it represents.

Bradley Beaulieu, a June graduate of Marshwood High, was still in middle school when he started thinking about wrestling in college. Beaulieu will attend Old Dominion University on what he called a “substantial” partial athletic scholarship. Among the 693 high school wrestlers in Maine last winter, he’s the only one from the class of 2017 going on to compete at the Division I level. Only 1 percent of the nation’s 250,000 high school wrestlers get athletic aid.

“To be part of that 1 percent” said Beaulieu, “it’s kind of rewarding to me knowing all the hard work, all the sacrifices my parents made to get me to practices or tournaments in Ohio paid off … I believe I earned it.”


But the financial benefits cannot be overlooked. Just ask Cody Laweryson, a graduate of tiny Valley High in Bingham, and his father, Scott.

Laweryson’s dream was to play Division I baseball. He is a pitcher on a partial scholarship at the University of Maine and was named to the America East all-rookie team last spring. Laweryson grew up in the town of Moscow (population: 512) and was part of a 2016 graduating class of 10 at Valley. “I’m very fortunate,” he said. “Coming from a small town especially, it’s literally hard to be recognized.”

His father holds several jobs, serves as the town’s fire chief and coaches the Valley baseball team. “We live in a small town, I’m not by any means considered rich,” Scott Laweryson said. “The scholarship was a huge help for us.”

The majority of the Mainers who will compete at Division I and II schools will be heading out of state. Maine has no Division II schools and just one at the Division I level: UMaine in Orono, where more than a dozen of the 2017 athletes are headed. Most college athletes play for Division III schools, which do not offer athletic aid. Maine has 11 Division III schools.

Stevens, the Thornton athletic director, sees more students taking the Division II path these days.

“I think they’re realizing that it’s high-quality athletics, strong academics and the schools are more accessible to the kids and their parents,” he said. “And they offer scholarship money.”

UMaine sports programs recruit heavily out of state, but the baseball team has been tapping in-state talent. In 2016, it signed three Maine grads (Laweryson, Bangor’s Trevor Delaite and Brewer’s Matt Pushard) and this year it signed another three (Evan Balzano of Thornton Academy, Peter Kemble of Bangor and Alex McKenney of Hampden Academy).

UMaine also favors in-state field hockey players. The Black Bears split 12 scholarships among the 19 players on their roster. Next fall, six of those players will be former Maine high schoolers. And the Black Bears already have verbal commitments from three others: Hannah Abbott of Cheverus, Sydney Meader of Boothbay Regional and Kelsey Mehuren of Belfast.

“Not all the sports up here have the ability to recruit in-state,” said UMaine field hockey coach Josette Babineau. “But field hockey has some great high school programs and the additions of club teams, where players play year-round, and other players who commit themselves to U.S. Field Hockey programs, have helped.”


Playing on travel teams and competing in regional or national tournaments certainly has helped them get noticed. Laweryson believes he would not have been seen had he not played for the Maine Lightning travel team out of Portland. “Going into my junior year I hadn’t had any looks from anyone,” he said. “Then I played for the Maine Lightning. I’m sure that’s how I got noticed by Maine.”

The 26 track-and field-athletes shouldn’t be too surprising. Maine sent 17 track athletes to Division I or II schools in the 2015-16 school year and has a long history of Division I runners. Recently, it has supplied a steady stream of throwers to the college ranks as well, and two of Maine’s recent graduates, Casco’s Kate Hall and Lewiston’s Isaiah Harris, are among the best in the NCAA at their events right now.

As Thornton Academy athletic director Stevens pointed out, college coaches know exactly what these athletes can do. “In track, the speed is the speed and the throw is the throw, no matter where you’re doing it,” he said.

Some athletes, however, find that a scholarship doesn’t necessarily guarantee college happiness. Kyra Schwartzman of Kennebunk earned one to play lacrosse at Division II Merrimack College. After one year, she transferred to Wheaton College, a Division III school. While the time commitment to play lacrosse was demanding, Schwartzman also wanted more academically from her college.

“I wanted more time to focus on academics and my career,” she said. “It’s not a matter of ‘I can’t (play at the Division II level)’; it’s a matter of ‘I don’t want to do it.’ I want more time to focus on myself and my future.”


Falmouth’s Sydney Bell, a superb field hockey and lacrosse player, made the decision while considering colleges. While she and her parents discussed playing lacrosse at a high level in college, she decided to attend Division III Trinity College. “I thought about it for a long time,” she said. “No scholarship, that’s a bummer. But my parents never put much focus on me worrying about tuition in picking a school.”

“Sydney had considered Division I,” said her mother, Denise Bell. “But Division I is such a full-time job. She wanted to have a balance.”

Nationally, only 2 percent of high school athletes go on to play sports at Division I or II schools, according to a recent report by the NCAA.

The report, released in March, compared high school participation numbers from the National Federation of State High School Associations with its own participation numbers to provide insights into which sports are more likely to provide scholarship opportunities.

Ice hockey tops the list, with 10 percent of U.S. female players and 5.1 percent of male players landing scholarships. Lacrosse (6.4 percent of females, 5.2 percent of males) was next on the list, followed by baseball (4.3 percent) and field hockey (4.2 percent).


Aimely Michaud-Nolan of Wells is the only Mainer this year going on to play Division I women’s ice hockey, at Union College in upstate New York. Michaud-Nolan did not play ice hockey for Wells High. She attended the North America Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vermont, for five months of each school year in each of the last four years. She did play lacrosse in high school when she returned to classes at Wells.

She was in the seventh grade and had just played some tournaments in Europe – playing for a Select team of players from New England and Quebec – when she decided to attend the NAHA “to get a scholarship to play D-I. That was my goal.”

Wolfgram, who came out of retirement this fall to serve as an assistant for the Cheverus football team, said college coaches are now finding out what Maine high school coaches have known for years: “Maine kids are good, dependable athletes. We don’t have the biggest kids or strongest kids or fastest kids, but we have kids who work hard and have good character.”

And more recruiters are coming to Maine. Joe Schwartzman, the athletic director at Kennebunk (and father of Kyra), said he sees more lacrosse college coaches at his team’s games these days. “I think what’s happening is people are realizing Maine has got the athletes, especially lacrosse wise,” he said. “Now we’re on the radar.”

And that could lead to even more athletes reaching the highest levels of collegiate play.

“As more kids advance to the next level,” said Thornton’s Mendros, “it gives more kids the idea that they can advance, too.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Lily Posternak (right) York High School Division I field hockey Duke University, Durham, N.C.Sun, 10 Sep 2017 17:13:51 +0000
Saturday’s Maine college roundup: Husson rolls to win in football Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:47:09 +0000 FRANKLIN, Mass. — John Smith rushed for 159 yards and scored four touchdowns to lift Husson to a 44-12 win over Dean College in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference game Saturday.

Husson has won nine straight conference games dating to Nov. 14, 2015, and is 2-0 for the first time since 2007. Dean College is 0-1.

The Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead when Dequan Brown caught a 28-yard pass from Rafe Moran. Husson answered with Smith’s first touchdown, a 5-yard run. Smith added an 8-yard TD run in the first quarter and a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter.

Robensen Saintard and Chuck Brown also had rushing touchdowns in the second quarter as Husson took a 35-6 lead.

Smith scored his final TD in the fourth quarter.


BATES 2, HAMILTON 1: Nate Merchant broke a 1-1 tie with 2:43 left in the first half and the Bobcats beat the Continentals at Clinton, New York, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Beaufils Kimpolo-Pen scored in the first half to give Bates a 1-0 lead. Jefri Schmidt tied it later in the half for Hamilton.

AMHERST 1, BOWDOIN 0: Fikayo Ajayi scored on a penalty kick in the first half as the Mammoths (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) beat the Polar Bears (0-1, 0-1) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Stevie Van Siclen had seven saves for Bowdoin.

TUFTS 1, COLBY 0: Conor Coleman scored on a penalty kick in overtime as the Jumbos (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) beat the Mules (0-1, 0-1) in Medford, Massachusetts.

Stanley Clarke had two saves for Colby.

KEAN 2, SOUTHERN MAINE 1: Russell Hoffer scored in overtime to lift the Cougars (1-1) to a win over the Huskies (2-1) in Patchogue, New York.

Southern Maine took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Joseph Kalilwa in the first half. Kean tied it when Erick Reyes scored in the second half.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 2, THOMAS 0: Sam Child and Cody Kennedy scored first-half goals as the Nor’easters (1-3) beat the Terriers (2-2) in Waterville.

Nathan Delesdernier had five saves for UNE.

SAINT JOSEPH’S 1, JOHNSON & WALES 0: Noah Robinson scored from Rory Twomey in the first half as the Monks (3-0, 1-0 GNAC) beat the Wildcats (2-1, 0-1 GNAC) in Providence, Rhode Island.


COLBY 0, TUFTS 0: Dani Lonati made 13 saves to help the Mules (0-0-1) earn a tie in their season opener against the Jumbos (0-0-1) in Medford, Massachusetts.

BATES 1, HAMILTON 0: Oliva Amdur scored an unassisted goal in the first half as the Bobcats (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) beat the Continentals (0-2, 0-2) in Clinton, New York.

Sarah McCarthy had 11 saves to earn the shutout.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 3, UM-FARMINGTON 2: Katie Beaudoin scored twice in the first half to lead the Nor’easters (3-1) past the Beavers (1-2) in Farmington.

Ashley Sherman added a goal later in the first to make it 3-0.

Kaiti Kinney and Leah Stevens scored in the second half for UMF.

AMHERST 1, BOWDOIN 0: Hannah Guzzi scored with 11:30 left as the Mammoths (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC) beat the Polar Bears (1-1, 0-1) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Sabrina Albanese had four saves for Bowdoin, while Chelsea Cutler had five saves for Amherst.

SOUTHERN MAINE 4, DEAN 0: Ally Little had a goal and an assist to lift the Huskies (2-1) to a win over the Bulldogs (0-2) in Franklin, Massachusetts.

Emma Cost and Sarah McLaughlin also scored for Southern Maine. Taylor Canastra had two saves for the Huskies.

JOHNSON & WALES 2, SAINT JOSEPH’S 0: Molly McCormack and Deja Hursey scored in the first half as the Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 GNAC) beat the Monks (1-2, 0-1) in Standish.


TUFTS 3, COLBY 0: Mary Travers and Gigi Tutoni scored first-half goals as the Jumbos defeated the Mules in a NESCAC season opener for both teams in Medford, Massachusetts.

Rachel Hamilton added a second-half goal for Tufts. Claire Trilling, Travers and Marguerite Salamone each had an assist.

MIT 3, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 2: Amanda Garofalo in overtime to lift Engineers (4-0) past the Nor’easters (1-1) in Biddeford.

Kersay Boulay scored twice for UNE, while Liz Sargent had three saves.

HAMILTON 3, BATES 2: Sarah Pierpont scored an unassisted goal 10:12 into overtime as the Continentals (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) beat the Bobcats (0-1, 0-1) in Clinton, New York.

Pierpont also scored in the first half to give Hamilton a 1-0 lead.

Bates tied it on a goal by Ally Leahy and took the lead on a goal by Victoria McGee. Sarah Stinebaugh tied it for the Continentals with 1:28 left in regulation.

BRIDGEWATER STATE 4, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Samantha Hayes had two goals and an assist as the Bears (2-0, 2-0 Little East) beat the Huskies (0-3, 0-1) in Gorham.

Juliana Kilduf added a goal and an assist, Tori O’Dea also scored and Emma Daly added an assist.

Anna Huff made five saves for USM.

AMHERST 2, BOWDOIN 1: Elizabeth Turnbull scored twice, including in the second half to break a tie and lift the Mammoths (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) to a win over the Polar Bears (0-1, 0-1) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Johna Cook scored in the second half to tie the game for Bowdoin. Elizabeth Bennewitz had an assist.

Maddie Ferrucci had four saves for Bowdoin. Emilie Flamme had four saves for Amherst, as well.

]]> 0 Sat, 09 Sep 2017 20:50:51 +0000
UMaine football notebook: Mack breaks out with 255 yards, 3 TDs Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:46:44 +0000 ORONO — There’s something about Bryant University that brings out the best in Josh Mack, the University of Maine sophomore running back.

Mack rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead the Black Bears to a 60-12 victory over the Bulldogs at Alfond Stadium. A year ago, in a 35-31 comeback win over Bryant, he rushed for what was a career-high 151 yards and three touchdowns.

Mack and the rest of the starters came out of the game with 4:24 left in the third quarter; otherwise, he might have had a shot at Maine’s single-game rushing record – 302 yards by Lorenzo Bouier on Nov. 1, 1980, in a 35-24 home win over Northeastern.

Mack scored on runs of 66, 13 and 60 yards in the first half.

“I trusted my (offensive line) in front of me,” said Mack. “I was patient and let my blocks develop and the hole open up.”

Mack ran for 103 yards in a season-opening loss to New Hampshire, but he had a couple negative plays when he tried to change directions.

Saturday, he went straight ahead, much to the pleasure of Coach Joe Harasymiak.

“I think he was more aggressive,” said Harasymiak. “We emphasized all week on those outside zone plays (on which he scored), you’ve got to put your foot in the ground and get north. That’s how the best teams in the NFL run it and at our level run it.

“I think Josh took a step forward today.”

AS GOOD as Maine played, Harasymiak said there were two areas where the team needs to improve: penalties and the kicking game.

Maine was called for 11 penalties, after having 10 against New Hampshire.

“We just have to cut those out because they’re going to beat us,” said Harasymiak.

And while freshman Kenny Doak kicked two field goals, he also had two PATs blocked, one of which was returned for two points but Bryant.

Brandon Briggs kicked one PAT, but was wide left on a 39-yard field-goal attempt.

“Extra points in Division I should be automatic,” said Harasymiak. “I shouldn’t have to think about it.

“We’ll probably go into it this week with it open and we’ll see who kicks better, because that’s the only thing we can do now. We’ve got to be fair to both guys.”

MAINE’S 60 points were its most since Oct. 5, 2003, when the Black Bears scored 62 against Delaware (62-28 win). The 43 points in the first half were the most by the Black Bears in a half since they put up 49 in the second half of a 77-24 win over Morgan State on Nov. 8, 2003.

THE 1992-93 UMAINE men’s hockey team was honored on the field during a television timeout in the second quarter. That team went 42-1-2 and won the school’s first NCAA championship. Among the players on the field were Paul Kariya, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, Jim Montgomery, Cal Ingraham and Garth Snow.

Players from Maine’s first football playoff team in 1987 were also honored.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Sat, 09 Sep 2017 22:39:37 +0000
Top 25 football roundup: No. 3 Clemson handles Auburn Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:10:43 +0000 CLEMSON, S.C. — Kelly Bryant ran for two touchdowns after getting knocked hard to the ground, and defensive end Austin Bryant had four of Clemson’s 11 sacks in the No. 3 Tigers’ 14-6 victory over Auburn on Saturday night.

This was billed as an early showcase between elite teams with dreams of the College Football Playoffs. Instead, Clemson’s Bryants never gave Auburn (1-1) much of a chance.

Bryant, making his second career start at quarterback for the defending national champions, appeared to be seriously hurt after he remained on the ground following a hit by Dontavius Russell. But after a few moments in the medical tent, Bryant returned to direct a pair of touchdown drives that gave Clemson (2-0) the lead for good.

(1) ALABAMA 41, FRESNO STATE 10: Jalen Hurts ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns and passed for a third score in host Alabama’s 41-10 victory over Fresno State.

The Crimson Tide (2-0) polished off the 44-point underdog Bulldogs (1-1) with a workmanlike performance on the heels of an opening victory over No. 10 Florida State.

Hurts completed 14 of 18 passes for 128 yards, but his biggest play came in the opening minute. He faked a handoff and sprinted 55 yards for a touchdown on the second offensive play, stepping out of a last-gasp tackle attempt at the 15.

(4) PENN STATE 33, PITTSBURGH 14: Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns, including Saquon Barkley’s 46-yard catch and run, and the Nittany Lions (2-0) rolled past the Panthers (1-1) in State College, Pennsylvania.

McSorley completed 15 of 28 passes for 164 yards, helping the Nittany Lions avenge a loss to their in-state rivals a year ago.

(8) MICHIGAN 36, CINCINNATI 14: Ty Isaac ran for a career-high 133 yards and Wilton Speight threw two TD passes to help the Wolverines (2-0) pull away and beat the Bearcats (1-1) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Wolverines led by just three points early in the second half before scoring 19 straight.

(9) WISCONSIN 31, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 14: Freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 223 yards and three scores, and Alex Hornibrook threw for 201 yards and a score as the host Badgers (2-0) beat the Owls (0-2).

(17) LOUISVILLE 47, NORTH CAROLINA 35: Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson accounted for 525 total yards and six touchdowns and the Cardinals (2-0) pulled away late at North Carolina (0-2).

(18) VIRGINIA TECH 27, DELAWARE 0: Greg Stroman returned a punt for a touchdown and Josh Jackson threw two TD passes to carry the Hokies (2-0) to a win over the Blue Hens (1-1) in Blacksburg, Virginia.

(19) KANSAS STATE 55, CHARLOTTE 7: Kendall Adams scored on interception and fumble returns in the first half as the Wildcats (2-0) won at home.

(23) TCU 28, ARKANSAS 7: Darius Anderson ran for a career-high 106 yards and a touchdown and the Horned Frogs (2-0) dominated on defense in a win over the Razorbacks (1-1) in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

(25) TENNESSEE 42, INDIANA STATE 7: Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, Carlin Fils-aime had two scoring runs, and the Volunteers (2-0) breezed past the Sycamores (0-2) in Knoxville, Tennessee.

]]> 0 Sat, 09 Sep 2017 23:11:04 +0000
UMaine rolls over Bryant for first football win Sat, 09 Sep 2017 22:43:20 +0000 ORONO — This was a mismatch from the start.

The University of Maine scored 43 points in the first half Saturday afternoon, boosted by the running of Josh Mack, and eased to a 60-12 victory over Bryant University at Alfond Stadium.

Mack rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 66, 13 and 60 yards in the first half, as Maine rolled to its first win of the season and evened its record at 1-1 entering a bye week.

Coming off a disheartening 24-23 loss to rival New Hampshire in the opener, the Black Bears came out fast and furious. Their offense put up 536 yards and the defense forced eight turnovers, five of them interceptions.

“Obviously, we’re very excited to get our first win as a team,” said Coach Joe Harasymiak. “I was pleased with the way these guys executed. We spent all week talking about us, worrying about us. I told them before the game to not worry about anything but us, improving ourselves, (playing) disciplined, fast, violent football. And we did that.”

Jamil Demby, a senior left tackle, credited the coaching staff for getting the team ready for Bryant (1-1), which put up 49 points in a season-opening win over Merrimack.

“I think the coaches did a great job all week,” said Demby. “I’ve never been more prepared in my life.”

Maine got touchdown passes of 11 and 31 yards from Chris Ferguson to Earnest Edwards on its first two possessions, which took a total of 102 seconds, and the Black Bears never looked back.

The second touchdown was set up by the first Bryant turnover, a fumble recovery by Charles Mitchell. It took the Black Bears just two completions to go 62 yards – a 31-yard pass to tight end Julian Dunn and then the touchdown to Edwards, who juggled the ball in the end zone before securing it.

Maine returned two interceptions for touchdowns, a 35-yarder by Darrius Hart in the second quarter (when Dakota Tarbox hit Bryant quarterback Price Wilson as he was throwing) and a 20-yarder by Sinmisola Demuren in the fourth (on a ball that was tipped at the line by Connor Walsh).

“We did everything we did all week in practice,” said Mitchell. “We were more violent than they were. We just straight dominated.”

In addition to the eight turnovers, Maine sacked Wilson four times and held the Bulldogs to an average of 2.1 yards per rush.

“Today was a hard lesson to learn, myself as a head coach, and the entire team,” said Bryant’s James Perry. “Any time that you have excellent offensive players that you’re playing against and you give them the ball back, then you’re exposing yourself. And you’re exposing yourself to serious risks.”

Maine was not going to overlook Bryant. Last year, the Bulldogs came into Alfond Stadium and held a 21-0 lead late in the second quarter before Maine rallied for a 35-31 win.

“When it comes to teams like this, if you want to be good, you win the game by a touchdown or two, but we set out to be great,” said Demby. “We want to take advantage of this opportunity. We wanted to show the (Colonial Athletic Association) and ourselves what we can do. And I think we did that today and set the tone for the rest of the season.”

Maine rushed for 381 yards, with former Cheverus star Joe Fitzpatrick adding a career-high 103 yards on 17 carries. Ferguson completed only 8 of 17 passes, but they went for 150 yards and three touchdowns, the last one a 9-yarder to Drew Belcher, the ex-quarterback now playing tight end.

“We just executed,” said Mack.

Now, said Harasymiak, the Black Bears have to keep moving forward. After their bye week, they play at defending national champion James Madison, then face two more difficult road games at Central Florida (a Football Bowl Subdivision team) and Villanova.

“We’re going to enjoy this,” he said. “Winning is very, very hard, especially in this league.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Mack, right, celebrates with Jared Osumah after one of his three touchdown runs Saturday in a 60-12 rout against Bryant.Sat, 09 Sep 2017 20:52:13 +0000
UMaine’s unsung linemen may be most important players on offense Sat, 09 Sep 2017 00:36:57 +0000 ORONO — Jamil Demby, John Reddington, Christopher Mulvey, Isaiah Brooks, Cody Levy.

Those five might not have the most recognizable names on the University of Maine football team, even to the most ardent fans, but those linemen may be the most important players on the offense.

“They set the tone for everything,” said Coach Joe Harasymiak. “We will live or die by our offensive line this year on offense … and probably as a team.”

They are one of the team’s most experienced groups, with four returning starters surrounding Mulvey, a redshirt freshman center. Demby, a senior left tackle and a preseason first-team pick in the Colonial Athletic Association, and Brooks, a senior right guard, started as freshmen. Reddington, a senior left guard, and Levy, a junior right tackle, have started the last two seasons.

With redshirt freshman Chris Ferguson at quarterback, that experience up front is vital. It allows him confidence that the line is going to protect him – like it did for Dan Collins and Drew Belcher the last two years.

The Black Bears gave up just 14 sacks in 11 games last year and only 18 the year before. In a season-opening 24-23 loss at New Hampshire on Aug. 31, they allowed one sack, on the final frantic drive when they were in a pass-only, two-minute drill.

In its home opener at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Bryant, Maine faces a team that had five sacks last week in a 49-41 win over Division II Merrimack.

“I don’t have to worry too much with them,” Ferguson said of his linemen. “Just dropping back, knowing I can go through my reads and make a completion, it keeps me calm and collected back there. They play so hard, which is the biggest thing, and they all know what they’re doing.”

Harasymiak credits offensive line coach Brian Picucci with having the group ready every week. “I don’t worry about that,” he said. “They’re smart, they’ll pick up stuff, they’ll be prepared.”

And they’re big: Demby is 6-foot-5, 335 pounds; Reddington 6-4, 294; Mulvey 6-3, 291; Brooks 6-5, 295; Levy 6-6, 300.

“I feel like us up front, if we do a good job, we should win,” said Reddington. “We’ve got to clean up from last week a little bit, first-game things. But we feel we’re doing a good job, trying to help Ferg out as much as possible.

“If we can run the ball more, it will take pressure off Ferg and let the receivers thrive. We’ve just got to be a little cleaner, that’s all.”

Ferguson completed 23 of 44 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns against UNH. Maine rushed for 113 yards, but Reddington wants more.

“We just really need to focus and hone in on execution,” said Reddington. “We can be a very good team, we’ve just got to fine-tune things and push forward. We want to see us run the ball more, we want to be more efficient throughout the game. We want to really show the CAA that we’re a real team and to stop doubting us.”

That need-to-improve attitude doesn’t surprise offensive coordinator Liam Coen.

“It all starts up front, it’s always started up front,” he said. “Those guys anchor our whole offense. They’re our leaders. That’s where everything starts. I trust those guys. They are the hardest working, toughest, most disciplined, accountable group that we have in our program.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, 08 Sep 2017 21:07:23 +0000
Bryant-UMaine at a glance Fri, 08 Sep 2017 23:18:40 +0000 WHERE: Alfond Stadium, Orono

KICKOFF: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: WPME; FOX College Sports

ALL-TIME SERIES: Maine leads, 4-1

LAST MEETING: Oct. 1, 2016, Maine won, 35-31

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: The Black Bears want to have balance in their offense to take the pressure off redshirt freshman QB Chris Ferguson. But facing a team that gave up 469 passing yards last week, Maine can be expected to test the Bulldogs’ secondary repeatedly. That makes sense given that Bryant’s best defenders are in their front seven: linemen Kevin Lazo and Dillon Guthro and LBs Richard Ukele and Thomas Costigan. Look for WRs Jaleel Reed, Earnest Edwards and Jared Osumah to have big games. Still, Maine needs sophomore RB Josh Mack to keep the defense honest. He had a career-high 151 yards and three touchdowns against Bryant last year.

WHEN BRYANT HAS THE BALL: The Bulldogs can throw the ball. QB Price Wilson, a junior transfer from Louisiana Tech, threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns in Bryant’s 49-41 win over Division II Merrimack last week. He has a great threat in senior WR Matt Sewall, who had 232 all-purpose yards last week. The Black Bears are going to have to watch him closely. It’s imperative that Maine’s linebackers (Sterling Sheffield, Taji Lowe and Jaron Grayer) don’t get caught out of position.

KEY STAT: Bryant had five sacks last week in its win over Merrimack; Maine gave up just one sack in its loss to New Hampshire.

OUTLOOK: This could be a shootout. Bryant’s first-year head coach, James Perry, was an offensive coordinator at Princeton, where he annually had the Ivy League’s most explosive offense. He’ll use multiple formations and trick plays to break down a defense. Maine’s secondary will be tested, but the Black Bears are experienced back there, so they should be able to handle it. This game may come down to which team can establish a consistent running game. The Black Bears could have an edge with an experienced offensive line and Mack behind them.

OF NOTE: Maine safety DeAndre Scott is out because of a concussion suffered last week in the 24-23 loss at New Hampshire. He’ll likely be replaced by Jason Matovu. But Maine gets back LB Spencer Carey and RB Darian Davis-Ray, who missed the opener because of suspensions. The Black Bears also got senior C Daniel Burrows back at practice this week. He missed the entire preseason while recovering from ankle surgery. Wide receiver Micah Wright and defensive lineman Uchena Egwuonwu remain suspended from the team.

— Mike Lowe

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Sports Digest: Bowdoin opens with win over UNE in men’s soccer Fri, 08 Sep 2017 03:31:18 +0000 COLLEGES

Bowdoin opens with win over UNE in men’s soccer

Levi Morant and Will Herman scored in the first half, and Bowdoin College held on for a season-opening 2-0 victory over the University of New England in a nonconference men’s soccer match at Biddeford on Thursday night.

Morant scored on a feed from Jason Oliver and Wilson MacMillan just 5:02 in, and Herman extended the lead on a setup from Matty McColl at 31 minutes.

Colin Madigan turned aside seven shots for the Nor’easters (0-3), while Stevie Van Siclen had two saves for Bowdoin.

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Marissa Grasso scored with 13 minutes remaining to lift Bryant (4-1-1) over Maine (1-4-1) in Orono.

Nicole Bailey scored in the seventh minute to put Maine up 1-0, before Bryant tied it in the 29th minute on a goal by Remi Manna.

Annalena Kriebisch recorded three saves for Maine.


NFL: Cleveland Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett will be sidelined for several weeks because of a sprained right ankle. The top pick in this year’s draft was injured Wednesday during Cleveland’s first full practice before Sunday’s opener against the Steelers.

The Browns also released safety Calvin Pryor shortly after he was involved in a fight with wide receiver Ricardo Louis. Coach Hue Jackson did not provide any details of the skirmish, which took place before practice.

The Cincinnati Bengals signed linebacker Vontaze Burfict to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season.

The Chiefs released running back C.J. Spiller and offensive lineman Jordan Devey in a move that allows the team to sign them following their season opener without guaranteeing their contracts.

Falcons All-Pro receiver Julio Jones, who had right foot surgery in March, says he’s 100 percent healthy and ready for the opener.


NBA: Isaiah Thomas won’t start the season playing for the Cavaliers, and the All-Star point guard’s return to the floor remains mysterious.

Acquired last week in a blockbuster trade with Boston, Thomas did not address any specific questions about a serious hip injury that prematurely ended his playoff run last season.

“We’re not going to rush it at all,” said General Manager Koby Altman.

“The goal is to bring him back at some point this year and be healthy and compete and get back to IT status. … We’re not going to comment on a timetable.”


NHL: The league has tabbed former enforcer George Parros to run its department of player safety.

Parros replaces Stephane Quintal, who is stepping down to pursue other opportunities within hockey but is staying on this season to help with the transition.

Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis will need a full six months to recover from offseason knee surgery and might not be back until 2018


LPGA: Lexi Thompson shot a 9-under 63 to take a one-shot lead over Sandra Gal and Kris Tamulis in the first round of the inaugural Indy Women in Tech Championship at Indianapolis.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 6-under round of 64 to share the lead with Tyrrell Hatton of England and Scott Hend of Australia after one round of the European Masters in Switzerland.

]]> 0 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 23:34:02 +0000
College notebook: Florida State drops to 10th in football poll Wed, 06 Sep 2017 02:22:26 +0000 Florida State slipped all the way to the No. 10 in The Associated Press college football poll after losing to Alabama and losing quarterback Deondre Francois to a season-ending injury.

The Crimson Tide are No. 1 again, securing 60 of 61 first-place votes in the first Top 25 of the regular season. Ohio State remained No. 2 in the media poll and received the other first-place vote. Defending champion Clemson moved up to No. 3 on Tuesday. Penn State is No. 4 and Oklahoma moved up to No. 5, meaning for the second straight week there will be a top-five matchup. The Sooners play at Ohio State on Saturday.

Florida State was No. 3 in the preseason poll and lost an opening-week showdown with Alabama, 24-7. Francois went down with a knee injury late in the game.

The Seminoles will turn to freshman quarterback James Blackman to start. Florida State hosts Louisiana-Monroe this week, but the stiffer tests are coming soon. No. 16 Miami visits Tallahassee on Sept. 16.

Many AP voters said that Florida State they would not have dropped as far on their ballots had Francois not been injured. ESPN’s Rece Davis said he would have had the Seminoles no lower than No. 3 without the injury to Francois.

NOTRE DAME: Navy transfer Alohi Gilman is not eligible to play this season. Coach Brian Kelly said the NCAA denied the school’s final appeal for immediate eligibility instead of Gilman sitting out the usual one year required of transfers.

UCF: UCF has moved its home football game against Memphis up a day, 6:30 p.m. Friday, as a precaution to avoid any potential disruption by Hurricane Irma.


XAVIER: Xavier added a year to Coach Chris Mack’s deal, keeping him under contract through the 2022-23 season.

GONZAGA: Brandon Clarke, who led San Jose State in scoring last season, is transferring to Gonzaga.

UCONN: St. John’s recruit Sidney Wilson has transferred to UConn and the Huskies are seeking a waiver that would allow him to play this season.


NOTRE DAME: Star center Brianna Turner, who suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during the NCAA tournament in late March, will miss the upcoming season to continue rehabilitation.

]]> 0 Derwin James of Florida State, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, will have a chance against Alabama to prove what national media has said, that he's one of the nation's top defenders.Tue, 05 Sep 2017 22:45:08 +0000
Sports Digest: Late goal gives U.S. a 1-1 soccer tie with Honduras Wed, 06 Sep 2017 00:59:15 +0000 SOCCER

Late goal gives U.S. a 1-1 tie with Honduras

Bobby Wood scored off a scramble in the 85th minute, and the United States escaped from Honduras with a 1-1 tie Tuesday after nearly falling into a deep hole in World Cup qualifying.

Romell Quioto scored in the 27th minute after defender Omar Gonzalez failed to clear the ball with a slide tackle. Quioto was left with an open 11-yard shot that beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan to the far post, causing exuberant fans to stomp and shake Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

Christian Pulisic was fouled about 30 yards from the goal and Kellyn Acosta took the free kick. Goalkeeper Luis Lopez batted the ball with his left hand, and Matt Besler hooked it to Jordan Morris. He sent a backward header to Wood, a 73rd-minute substitute.

Wood chested the ball and scored his ninth international goal, avoiding a huge U.S. embarrassment.


FOOTBALL: Florida State slipped all the way to the No. 10 in The Associated Press college football poll after losing to Alabama and losing quarterback Deondre Francois to a season-ending injury.

The Crimson Tide are No. 1 again, securing 60 of 61 first-place votes in the first Top 25 of the regular season. Ohio State remained No. 2 in the media poll and received the other first-place vote. Defending champion Clemson moved up to No. 3. Penn State is No. 4 and Oklahoma moved up No. 5.

Maryland QB Tyrrell Pigrome is out for the season with a torn right ACL, an injury that takes some of the joy out of the Terrapins’ season-opening 51-41 upset of Texas last Saturday. Pigrome will undergo surgery this week, Coach DJ Durkin said.

 Navy transfer Alohi Gilman is not eligible to play this season for Notre Dame. Coach Brian Kelly said the NCAA denied the school’s final appeal for immediate eligibility instead of Gilman sitting out the usual one year required of transfers.

 UCF has moved its home football game against Memphis up a day, 6:30 p.m. Friday, as a precaution to avoid any potential disruption by Hurricane Irma.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Xavier added a year to Coach Chris Mack’s deal, keeping him under contract through the 2022-23 season.

 Brandon Clarke, who led San Jose State in scoring last season, is transferring to Gonzaga.

 St. John’s recruit Sidney Wilson has transferred to UConn and the Huskies are seeking a waiver that would allow him to play this season.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Star Notre Dame center Brianna Turner, who suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during the NCAA Tournament in late March, will miss the upcoming season to continue rehabilitation.


NBA: Tilman Fertitta, a billionaire restaurant and casino owner from Houston, agreed to buy the Houston Rockets from Leslie Alexander.

Terms were not released and must be approved by the NBA Board of Governors.

WNBA: The Atlanta Dream fired Coach Michael Cooper after plummeting to their worst season since 2008, 12-22.


NHL:The New York Rangers have hired former players Brian Leetch and Brad Richards as advisers.

Leetch and Richards will work on prospect development and assist with on-ice development for the Rangers and their top affiliate, the American Hockey League’s Hartford Wolf Pack.

– News service report

]]> 0 Wood of the United States, right, controls the ball against Cristian Gamboa of Costa Rica during their Copa America game Tuesday night in Chicago. Wood scored in the first half, part of a key 4-0 victory.Tue, 05 Sep 2017 23:51:55 +0000
No longer a QB, Belcher embraces new role for UMaine football team Tue, 05 Sep 2017 23:46:28 +0000 ORONO — The first pass was the scariest. With the University of Maine starting a drive at its 47, tight end Drew Belcher lined up on the right and ran into the flat, where quarterback Chris Ferguson threw him the ball.

“Just catch it and run,” said Belcher, when asked what he was thinking as the ball approached. “The first one, you wouldn’t want to drop it.”

He didn’t and the play went for 16 yards, a precursor to the rest of the night. Belcher, a redshirt junior, caught four passes for 67 yards in Maine’s 24-23 loss to New Hampshire, each catch resulting in a first down.

What makes those stats even more impressive is that, until Aug. 19, Belcher was a QB for the Black Bears.

That was the day Ferguson was named the starting quarterback by Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak, beating out Belcher and grad transfer Max Staver. Harasymiak and Liam Coen, Maine’s offensive coordinator, quickly asked Belcher to move to tight end.

“I’ve known that Drew Belcher was going to be a dynamic tight end since the day I walked into this building,” said Coen, in his second year with the Black Bears. “It was just a matter of him trusting us to do it. And he has 100 percent trusted us, put his faith in us and it’s paying off.”

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Belcher had been a quarterback since the eighth grade, starting for three years at Reading (Massachusetts) High, where he graduated as the school’s all-time winningest quarterback (29-6). He came to Maine and battled Dan Collins for the starting job for three years, starting nine games.

But when Ferguson was named the starter, he was open to a move. “I just wanted to play as much as I can,” he said.

And the willingness to change his position said much about Belcher, whom Harasymiak called “the ultimate teammate, one of the best kids we have in the program.”

With Belcher, said Harasymiak, “It’s not about him. That’s the biggest problem I see in today’s game with kids coming out of high school. It’s all about them. Belch is the complete opposite. He’ll do anything for his teammates.”

In his first practice as a tight end, Belcher caught a touchdown pass, a glimpse at the play-making ability the Black Bears believe he brings to the offense.

“I knew it was coming,” said Ferguson, a redshirt freshman who threw for three touchdowns and two interceptions in his debut. “He is so smart, he just wants to win and wants to do anything to help this team. He’s worked so hard. I saw from competing with him how hard he works. I knew to stay with him.

“He was so supportive of me (when Ferguson was named the starter) and I saw that and said, ‘Wow, that’s so cool.’ And in practice the first day I threw a touchdown pass to him and said this is what it’s going to be like all season.”

The coaches certainly think he’ll be a factor, starting 3:30 p.m. Saturday when Maine plays its home opener against Bryant. Coen called him a “match-up problem” for a lot of teams.

“I truly believe he can be one of the best tight ends in the league,” said Harasymiak. “He’s dynamic and we can do a lot of stuff with him that will be challenging for opposing teams.”

The fact that he sees the game from a quarterback’s perspective is huge. He not only knows what he’s supposed to do on a play, but he sees the defense as Ferguson would.

“I know what he’s thinking,” said Belcher. “That definitely helps with coverages. I know what the defense is playing, I’ve seen all that stuff: two safeties high, one safety high. I see the soft spots in the defense.”

Of course, there are more things to consider. Fatigue for one thing. “There’s a lot more running than at quarterback,” said Belcher.

And blocking. That’s the biggest thing Belcher has to work on, since many times he’s blocking a larger defender.

“It’s something I’m getting used to, blocking guys in space,” said Belcher. “Most of it is just technique and stuff like that. After watching the game film, I can see where I can improve my technique and footwork. That’s where practice is especially important to me, getting all those reps.”

Belcher gets a lot of help from his roommate, offensive right tackle Cody Levy, and left tackle Jamil Demby, who show him blocking techniques.

“We’ve got to be smart, we can’t have him blocking at the point of attack,” said Coen. “But he’s getting better every day. There’s no doubt he’ll get there, it’s just a matter of time.”

]]> 0 Drew Belcher, who has started nine games for the University of Maine, said after the Jeff Cole memorial scrimmage Saturday that he feels he needs more consistency to win the starting job in the fall.Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:57:28 +0000
College football notebook: Florida State quarterback out for season Mon, 04 Sep 2017 01:58:02 +0000 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will miss the rest of the season after tearing the patellar tendon in his left knee in the fourth quarter Saturday night in a 24-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta.

People familiar with the situation confirmed the injury to The Associated Press on Sunday night. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the school’s medical information policy.

The Tallahassee Democrat first reported the injury.

Coach Jimbo Fisher is expected to have a further update, including when Francois will have surgery, during his weekly press conference Monday. Fisher said after Saturday’s game that if Francois was out, James Blackman would likely be the starter.

If Blackman starts for third-ranked Florida State on Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe, it would be only the second time in school history a quarterback has started as a true freshman.

Francois was hurt when he was sacked from behind by Ronnie Harrison. Francois was helped off the field and could not put any weight on his left knee before being carted off.

HOWARD PULLED off one of the biggest upsets in college football history Saturday, as freshman quarterback Caylin Newton – the young brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, led the Bison to a 43-40 win over UNLV.

A Football Championship Subdivision team that went 3-19 the previous two seasons, Howard was a 45-point underdog. Newton ran for 190 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 140 yards with a TD.

]]> 0 Sun, 03 Sep 2017 22:00:17 +0000
Sunday’s Maine college roundup: Maine field hockey wins fourth straight Mon, 04 Sep 2017 01:55:36 +0000 RICHMOND, Va. — Emily Hindle deflected in a penalty corner with 23 minutes left in the second half and the University of Maine field hockey team surged to a 4-1 win over Richmond to push its winning streak to four on Sunday.

Hindle broke a 1-1 tie for Maine (4-1). Brianna Ricker and Libby Riedl also scored in the second half as the Black Bears stretched their lead to 4-1.

Madison Cummings scored in the first half as Maine took a 1-0 lead. Olivia Hubert scored less than three minutes later to tie it for Richmond (0-4).

HUSSON 3, SOUTHERN MAINE 2: Lauren Russell scored two goals, including the game winner in the 68th minute as the Eagles (1-0) edged the Huskies (0-2) in a non-conference game in Gorham.

Alli Bourget gave Husson a 1-0 lead in the second half and Russell pushed the lead to 2-0 seven minutes later. USM cut the lead to one on Tayla Smedberg’s goal, but Russell added an insurance goal later in the half. Kaitlin Hilton pulled the Huskies within one again at 69:59, but USM couldn’t finish the comeback.


ELMS 2, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Angelina Estrada and Mackenzie LaRochelle both scored first half goals as the Blazers (1-1) beat the Huskies (1-1) in a non-conference game in Gorham.

CURRY 1, THOMAS 0: Cassandra Grasso scored on a penalty kick early in the game as the Colonels (2-0) beat the Terriers (0-2) in Milton, Massachusetts.

ST. JOSEPH’S 1, HUSSON 0: Haley DaGraca scored the only goal of the game as the Monks (1-0) went on to beat the Eagles (0-1) in Portland.

WHEATON 4, UNE 1: The Lyons (1-0-1) took a 3-0 lead in the first half and beat the Nor’easters (1-1) in Norton, Massachusetts. Jessie Maywalt scored the lone goal for UNE.

UMass 2, Maine 1: Salma Anastasio scored in overtime as the Minutemen (1-3-0) beat the Black Bears (1-3-1) at Thornton Academy in Saco.

Erin Doster scored the second half to tie it for UMass. Olivia Bamford gave Maine a 1-0 lead in the first half.


ST. JOSEPH’S 5, UNE 0: Brett Mattos scored two first half goals and the Monks (2-0) cruised to a win over the Nor’easters (0-2) in Biddeford.

Mitchell Duncan, Noah Robinson and Noah Elmore also scored for St. Joseph’s.

THOMAS 7, FISHER 0: Seven different players scored as the Terriers (2-0) beat the Falcons (0-2) in Waterville.

]]> 0 Sun, 03 Sep 2017 21:59:38 +0000
On Football: Loss had familiar feel for UMaine Sun, 03 Sep 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Joe Harasymiak could barely hide his disappointment Thursday night after his University of Maine football team lost – again – to New Hampshire, a 24-23 knee-buckler in the season opener.

His mood wasn’t a whole lot better the next day.

“Just extremely disappointing,” he said, when asked for his reflections.

He spoke in measured tones, pointing out that there were a lot of positives to take from the one-point road loss to the 13th-ranked Football Championship Subdivision team in the nation. But he couldn’t hide his distaste for the result, nor the continued lapses in discipline (10 penalties) and the kicking game (two missed field goals and a missed PAT that would have tied the game in the fourth quarter).

Harasymiak surely pointed out all the positive moments and plays when the team met for its film review. But he no doubt also pointed out the mistakes, both mental and physical, that cost the Black Bears another game.

“I guess as a staff and myself, we’re sick and tired of have the same conversation about being close to beating teams,” he said.

And they should be. In Harasymiak’s first year as head coach, the Black Bears lost to Connecticut and New Hampshire on last-second field goals and led eventual national champion James Madison going into the fourth quarter before losing. They finished 6-5, with a last-second 24-21 loss to New Hampshire eliminating them from playoff consideration.

Thursday’s game would have been a huge victory for Maine. New Hampshire has beaten Maine eight consecutive times and 15 of 16. More than that, the Wildcats are one of the premier teams in the Colonial Athletic Association, having been to the playoffs 13 consecutive years.

If Maine is to make its mark in the CAA, it needs to win games like Thursday night. But the Black Bears must stop making the same mistakes they’ve made the last few seasons.

Yes, some of their best players are first- or second-year players, but they have a core of older, more experienced players as well. Those players have to take charge.

As Harasymiak said, “Our older kids have to knock off playing like younger kids.”

He spoke about Najee Goode, the outstanding senior cornerback who had two holding penalties called against him. The first one negated an interception, and UNH immediately scored on a 60-yard pass play. The second one came one play after New Hampshire quarterback Trevor Knight was called for intentional grounding, and kept alive a UNH drive that resulted in its final touchdown.

Goode wasn’t alone – Maine was called for nine holding penalties – but Harasymiak said he needs to be better because he’s one of the team’s leaders.

“Whether they were penalties or not, it doesn’t matter, they were called,” said Harasymiak.

Now, however disappointed the Black Bears are, they’ve got to move forward fast.

They play Bryant University at Alfond Stadium on Saturday. Its a nonconference game, but it looms as a must-win because of a daunting schedule.

“We’ve got to move on, that’s life,” said Harasymiak. “We’ve got 10 games left, but for now we’re just focusing on the next one. That’s the message to the kids: it’s all about Bryant, who came up here last year and nearly beat you. It’s all about how can we get better as a team and get to 1-1.

“We can be 1-1 heading into our bye week, and then … ”

When Maine returns from its bye week on Sept. 23, it will be on the road at James Madison, the preseason No. 1 team in FCS. After that, it’s back on the road for a Sept. 30 game at Central Florida, one of two Football Bowl Subdivision teams Maine plays this year. Then the Black Bears will travel to Villanova to take on another CAA team ranked in the top 10.

Maine just played a nationally ranked team evenly for the most part, pushing the Wildcats until redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Ferguson threw an interception on fourth-and-14 from midfield with 25 seconds remaining.

“Because we lost, we’re going to use that as motivation,” said Ferguson, who completed 23 of 44 passes for 239 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in his college debut. “And it’s going to be something we look to the whole year and it’s going to keep us going. We’re going to get better every day, every game.

“For the next game, we’re going to be better than we were today. We can improve a lot. The offense did some good things, but we’re a much better offense than that.”

But if they’re going to beat the CAA’s top programs, they have to clean things up.

And Maine needs to get its kicking game figured out. After making just one of seven field goals all last season, the Black Bears brought in freshman Kenny Doak on scholarship. Doak hit his first attempt Tuesday, then missed two (one was low and blocked, the other was wide right). Then, after Ferguson hit Jason Simonovich for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 9:07 left to pull Maine within 24-23, Doak hooked his PAT kick far to the left.

“We’re not going to make any rash decisions,” said Harasymiak. “We’ve got to take our time and look at it. His (misses) get magnified because of the situation. We lost by a point.”

With a roster of rising stars, this is a team that has a lot to build on. But they have to take that next step and win the big games.

“Losing is wrong, losing sucks, it’s awful,” said Harasymiak. “At same time, we’ve got to wake up tomorrow and try to get better. That’s all we can do.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 football head coach Joe Harasymiak directs his team during practice with the UMaine Black Bears football team on Wednesday at Morse Field on the Orono campus. Photo by Kevin BennettSat, 02 Sep 2017 18:41:44 +0000
Saturday’s Maine colleges: UNE plays first football game Sun, 03 Sep 2017 00:33:14 +0000 MILTON, Mass. — This wasn’t a day for winning or losing. The success was simply appearing, and for the University of New England, that was more than enough Saturday.

After years of planning, the Nor’easters took the field for their first football game, suffering a 36-30 loss to the Curry College junior varsity.

UNE, which is playing a junior varsity schedule while building the program into a Commonwealth Coast Conference varsity entrant, led 16-15 at halftime before Curry took control.

The Nor’easters, playing their entire first-year schedule on the road, will be in Bangor to take on the Husson junior varsity at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

HUSSON 20, UNION 7: John Smith had two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Eagles won an opener at Bangor.

Smith scored from 1 yard with 7:59 left to give Husson a 14-7 lead. He clinched it with another 1-yard scoring run with 11 seconds remaining.

SUNY-MARITIME 59, MAINE MARITIME 13: Thomas Wright threw for three touchdowns, and the Privateers took a 40-0 halftime lead in an opener at Throggs Neck, New York.

Jordan Susi of the Mariners connected with Corey Creeger for a 26-yard touchdown pass to make it 52-6. Susi hit Mason Kaserman for a 62-yard score with 2:06 left in the game.


SOUTHERN MAINE 1, WESTFIELD STATE 0: Sergio Martin Acuna scored the only goal, giving the Huskies (2-0) a win against Westfield State (1-1) in the Husky Challenge tournament at Gorham.

Richard Glemawu, the tournament MVP, had eight saves for USM, seven in the second half, to thwart a 19-4 advantage in shots by the Owls, as well as a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.

ALBANY COLLEGE 6, SOUTHERN MAINE CC 0: Mina Girgis scored three of his four goals in the opening 10:47 and the Panthers went on to win an opener at Albany, New York.


ALBANY COLLEGE 4, SOUTHERN MAINE CC 0: Erin Tersegno scored twice and assisted on one of Katie Benson’s two goals for the Panthers at Albany, New York.


UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 5, KEENE STATE 3: Hannah Buckley and Alex Staples scored in the first three minutes of the second half as the Nor’easters (1-0) opened a 4-1 lead against Keene State (1-1) at Biddeford.

Buckley scored from Vonde Saunders and Staples put back a rebound. Becky Zakorchemny converted an assist from Brenna Sicard to make it 5-1.

]]> 0 Sat, 02 Sep 2017 21:24:24 +0000
Top 25 football: Michigan kicks off by beating Florida Sun, 03 Sep 2017 00:14:29 +0000 ARLINGTON, Texas — Quinn Nordin became the first Michigan kicker to make two 50-yard field goals in the same game, one of them in a go-ahead spurt after halftime, and the No. 11 Wolverines beat No. 17 Florida 33-17 on Saturday to hand the Gators their first season-opening loss in nearly three decades.

The Gators had won 27 consecutive openers, the nation’s longest such streak, since a home loss to Mississippi in 1989.

Michigan trailed 17-13 at halftime before scoring three times in the first 6 minutes of the second.

After Karan Higdon’s 3-yard TD run capped a half-opening 75-yard, 10-yard drive, Ambry Thomas forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. That set up a 30-yard field goal by Quinn, who then made a 50-yarder after Michigan recovered another fumble.

(4) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 49, WESTERN MICHIGAN 31: Ronald Jones II ran 37 yards for the tiebreaking touchdown with 6:57 to play, and Southern California (1-0) rallied from a second-half deficit to beat Western Michigan (0-1) at Los Angeles.

Jones rushed for 159 yards and three scores, while freshman Stephen Carr added 69 yards rushing and two TDs in an auspicious debut for the Trojans, who scored 28 points in the fourth quarter.

(5) CLEMSON 53, KENT STATE 6: Kelly Bryant passed for 236 yards and a touchdown and ran for 77 more yards in his first game as Clemson’s starting quarterback and the Tigers (1-0) beat the Golden Flashes (0-1) in Clemson, South Carolina.

Bryant has the hefty responsibility of replacing Deshaun Watson behind center for the defending national champions.

(6) PENN STATE 52, AKRON 0: Saquon Barkley racked up 226 total yards and two touchdowns to lead the Nittany Lions (1-0) over the Zips (0-1) in State College, Pennsylvania.

(7) OKLAHOMA 56, UTEP 7: Baker Mayfield passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns in one half of action to help the Sooners (1-0) rout the Miners (0-1) in Norman, Oklahoma.

(15) GEORGIA 31, APPALACHIAN STATE 10: Freshman Jake Fromm led three first-half touchdown drives after starting quarterback Jacob Eason hurt his left knee, helping Georgia (1-0) beat Appalachian State (0-1) at Athens, Georgia.

(18) MIAMI 41, BETHUNE-COOKMAN 13: Malik Rosier passed for 217 yards and three touchdowns in his debut as Miami’s full-time starting quarterback and the 18th-ranked Hurricanes (1-0) beat the Wildcats (0-1) in Miami Gardens, Florida.

(19) SOUTH FLORIDA 31, STONY BROOK 17: Quinton Flowers threw for 186 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns to help the Bulls (1-0) shrug off a slow start in a victory over the Seawolves (0-1) in Tampa, Florida.

MARYLAND 51, (23) TEXAS 41: Tyrrell Pigrome passed for two touchdowns and ran for another before leaving with an injury and the Terrapins stunned the Longhorns in Austin, Texas, spoiling new Texas Coach Tom Herman’s debut.

(20) KANSAS STATE 55, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 19: Jesse Ertz threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns in only three quarters, sending Kansas State (1-0) to a rout of Central Arkansas (0-1) at Manhattan, Kansas.

]]> 0 defensive lineman Jordan Sherit, left, attempts to stop Michigan running back Chris Evans with help from teammates during their season opener Saturday in Arlington, Texas. No. 11 Michigan beat No. 17 Florida, 33-17.Sat, 02 Sep 2017 23:05:39 +0000
College football notebook: Ohio State reveals a new threat at running back Sat, 02 Sep 2017 00:34:19 +0000 BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Urban Meyer kept trying to lower the expectations surrounding freshman running back J.K. Dobbins before No. 2 Ohio State’s season opener.

He has no chance of keeping his newest offensive weapon a secret anymore.

After rushing for 181 yards and breaking Maurice Clarett’s 15-year-old school record for a freshman debut, the Buckeyes will try to figure out how best to deploy their newest star and last season’s top runner, Mike Weber, together.

“J.K. Weber,” Meyer cracked when asked who would start next weekend against No. 7 Oklahoma .

Funny, yes. But it’s no joke.

While Ohio State players and coaches were thrilled Dobbins got the Buckeyes’ offense in sync and on track, Weber, the Big Ten’s 2016 freshman of the year, sat out with a hamstring injury. The result: He’s fighting to keep the starting job and at the very least appears headed to a timeshare.

Weber could have played in Thursday night’s 49-21 victory at Indiana. Meyer said the sophomore was 80 percent and “on call.”

But rather than risk injury, Meyer opted to give Weber a few more days off so he could be closer to 100 percent for next weekend’s even more daunting challenge against the Sooners.

Weber rushed for 1,093 yards last season as the Buckeyes reached the College Football Playoff.

And now, with quarterback J.T. Barrett still behind center, Meyer could have a knockout combination in his backfield.

“We get Mike back next week and that is going to be a nice one-two punch,” Meyer said after the game. “J.K. has even more in the tank. I don’t think he had a big hit tonight. His long was only 35 yards, and he has breakaway speed. He was close a few times.”

That’s scary stuff for the rest of the Big Ten.

OFFICIALLY, THE College Football Playoff is still four months away.No matter. This feels like a postseason game.

No. 1 vs. No. 3. At a neutral site. In a brand new stadium, no less.

Top-ranked Alabama, getting started on its annual quest for a national title after having the last one snatched away with 1 second to go, faces Florida State on Saturday night in a season-opening throwdown. It’s the first matchup ever between two top-three teams in the Associated Press preseason rankings – that could have an impact all the way through to the day they hand out those coveted playoff invitations.

Alabama’s Nick Saban did his best to pooh-pooh the significance of the game.

“Look, it’s a long season,” Saban said. “We’re going to have 12, 13, 14 games, maybe 15, I don’t know. What happens in the first game is certainly important, but we’re going to have lots of press conferences in this room and you’re going to ask me the same question when we play the next big game. The only difference is that the next game that we play is going to be the biggest game for me.”

As if a matchup between national championship contenders wasn’t enough to turn the hype to full blast, this will be the first game that actually counts in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the $1.5 billion marvel in Atlanta.

TENNESSEE LINEBACKER Darrin Kirkland Jr.’s knee injury will prevent him from playing this season, leaving the No. 25 Volunteers without one of their projected top defenders.

Vols Coach Butch Jones announced the severity of Kirkland’s injury Friday. Jones said Wednesday that Kirkland had undergone meniscus surgery earlier that day but said at the time there wasn’t yet a timetable for the junior’s potential return.

]]> 0 State's J.K. Dobbins carries against Indiana during the Buckeyes' 49-21 season-opening road victory Thursday night. The freshman ran for 181 yards and could challenge last year's top runner, Mike Weber, for playing time.Fri, 01 Sep 2017 20:37:40 +0000
Friday’s Maine college roundup: USM wins women’s soccer opener Sat, 02 Sep 2017 00:24:55 +0000 GORHAM — Hana McNally and Maddison Egan scored second-half goals to lead the University of Southern Maine to a 2-1 win over Thomas in a women’s soccer season opener Friday afternoon.

Amelia Kelby gave Thomas a 1-0 lead 16:13 into the second half when she collected a loose ball after a corner kick and put it past USM keeper Taylor Canastra.

The Huskies pulled even just 1:06 later on an unassisted goal by McNally from 25 yards out.

Egan scored the winner with 7:03 remaining, as she took a through ball from Abigail Mazza and banged it inside the far post.

Kayla Gordon stopped six shots for Thomas, while Canastra needed to make only one save.

UNE 4, ST. JOSEPH’S 1: The Nor’easters (1-0) scored three second-half goals to pull away from the Monks (0-1) in Biddeford.

Katie Beaudoin scored off a Vanessa Hodge feed in the 38th minute to stake UNE to a 1-0 halftime lead.

Lauren Stiles grabbed a loose ball in the box and put in the equalizer for St. Joseph’s 2:42 into the second half, but Beaudoin restored UNE’s lead just 24 seconds later as she took a pass from Ashley Sherman and put a shot into the upper corner from 20 yards.

Brianna Cote converted a free kick in the 51st minute, and Becca Murphy rounded out the scoring with an assist from Jessie Maywalt.


SOUTHERN MAINE 2, CASTLETON 1: Joseph Kalilwa sent Sam Anderson on breakaway with a through ball and Anderson put it home with 44 seconds left in overtime as the Huskies topped the Spartans in the opening game of the Husky Challenge in Gorham.

Anderson opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the sixth minute.

Derek Blouin scored the equalizer for Castleton in the 65th minute as he put in a header off a cross from Jack Kingdon.

Richard Glemawu stopped seven shots for USM, while Aaron Parker made two saves for the Spartans.

MAINE MARITIME 2, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 0: Ike Doiron and Tom Samson scored to lead the Mariners (1-0) over the Nor’easters (0-1) in Castine.

Doiron broke a scoreless deadlock in the 67th minute, and Samson followed with his goal in the 72nd minute.

Joshua Reeks stopped five shots for the Mariners. Nathan Delesdernier recorded eight saves for UNE.

ST. JOSEPH’S 1, HUSSON 0: Brett Mattos scored on a set up from Cody Elliott in the 11th minute, and the Monks edged the Eagles in Bangor.

Blake Mullen recorded two saves for St. Joseph’s. Cody Gross had three saves for Husson.


MAINE 3, RICHMOND 1: Hana Davis scored twice, including the go-ahead goal three minutes into the second half, as the Black Bears (3-1) beat the Spiders (0-3) in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond took the lead 1:47 into the game, but Brianna Ricker scored off a feed from Casey Crowley nearly nine minutes later to tie the game.

Davis broke the tie with an unassisted goal in the 38th minute and added another unassisted goal in the 66th minute.

THOMAS 1, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Abigail Dunn scored 16:55 into the first half and the Terriers (1-0) shut out the Huskies (0-1) in Waterville.

Mackenzie Oberholzer recorded six saves for Thomas. Anna Huff stopped two shots for Southern Maine.

WELLESLEY 2, ST. JOSEPH’S 1: Haley Chrobock scored with 24:38 remaining to lift the Blue (1-0) over the Monks (0-1) in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Libby Pomerleau put St. Joseph’s ahead with 14:51 left in the first half. Arielle Mitropolous tied it about nine minutes later.

Megan Baker recorded five saves for the Monks. Maggie Connelly stopped three shots for the Blue.

]]> 0 Fri, 01 Sep 2017 22:55:40 +0000
Maine misses extra point in 24-23 season-opening loss Fri, 01 Sep 2017 02:51:35 +0000 DURHAM, N.H. — So close again. So very close.

But the University of Maine lost another football game to New Hampshire on Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium, this one a gut-punch 24-23 decision in a season opener before a record crowd of 15,854.

Again, kicking woes plagued the Black Bears, who had just one field goal last season. Against UNH, they had one field blocked, another one wide right and a point-after kick wide left in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game.

The loss was Maine’s eighth straight to the Wildcats and 15th in 16 games, meaning the Brice-Cowell musket – presented annually to the winner of this game – will stay in New Hampshire’s locker room for another year.

The disappointment was tangible in Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak’s voice.

“It was an unbelievable game,” he said. “Obviously the bottom line is we just didn’t make enough plays. We’ve got to keep making plays and battle back.”

It came down to one final drive by the Black Bears.

Trailing by one point, they got the ball at their 21 with 2:45 remaining. A 14-yard completion from redshirt freshman Chris Ferguson – making his first start – to Jared Osumah gave Maine a first down at the New Hampshire 46. But a false start penalty – Maine’s 10th penalty of the game – pushed the Black Bears back 5 yards.

On third-and-9 from the 45, Ferguson was sacked by Rick Holt at midfield – New Hampshire’s first sack of the game. Quinlen Dean intercepted Ferguson on the next play to end Maine’s hopes.

“That rush, I thought there was a little extra from the guys,” said New Hampshire Coach Sean McDonnell. “We needed it at that time.”

New Hampshire jumped in front early in the fourth, getting an 11-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight to a wide-open Rory Donovan crossing the back of the end zone. Morgan Ellman’s PAT made it 24-17 with 13:41 left.

Maine came right back, as Ferguson found Jason Simonovich for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 9:07 left. But Kenny Doak’s PAT was wide left.

Ferguson had a strong showing, completing 23 of 44 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns, two to Jaleel Reed. But New Hampshire intercepted him twice in the fourth quarter.

Josh Mack rushed for 103 yards for the Black Bears and Osumah caught six passes for 72 yards.

“Mental mistakes by me,” said Ferguson of the interceptions.

Mack was quick to add, “It wasn’t just his mental mistakes. The team made mental mistakes.”

None more glaring than the 10 penalties for 90 yards. One stood out.

With the score 7-7, Jason Matovu appeared to intercept Knight at midfield, but Najee Goode of Maine was called for a 10-yard holding penalty, negating the interception and giving UNH a first down at its 40.

On the next play, Knight lateraled to wide receiver Neil O’Connor on the left. He pulled up and threw a high looping pass that somehow landed in the hands of teammate Malik Love with a Maine defender on him. Love pulled away to complete a 60-yard scoring play that gave UNH a 14-7 lead with 33 seconds left in the first quarter.

Harasymiak preached discipline all preseason and especially in the days leading up to the game.

“We’ve just got to keep preaching it,” he said. “At some point they’ve got to get it.”

Maine’s young players played exceptionally. In addition to Ferguson and Mack, a sophomore, was redshirt freshman linebacker Jaron Grayer with 10 tackles and a sack.

The kicking game didn’t help. Maine was 1 of 7 in field goals last year so Harasymiak brought in Doak on scholarship, but he was 1 for 3 on field-goal attempts and missed the final PAT.

“You can’t measure when you get under the lights,” he said. “There’s a difference kicking in a Thursday night Division I game and a Thursday night at practice.”

Maine made big plays. New Hampshire made more.

As Knight stressed, the Wildcats didn’t want to lose the musket.

“It’s really important to keep it in our locker room,” he said. “We don’t want to be the guys who lose it. I thought we rose up when we needed to.”

Each time Maine came close, New Hampshire responded, as it did last year in a 24-21 win that knocked Maine out of the playoffs in the last game of the season.

“The last two years have been two of the toughest losses I’ve been around,” said Harasymiak. “It stinks. Losing is awful. Now we’ve got to bounce back.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Sheffield of the University of Maine comes from the blind side Thursday night to put pressure on New Hampshire quarterback Trevor Knight during UNH's 24-23 victory in a rivalry game to open the season at Durham, New Hampshire.Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:41:08 +0000
UMaine notebook: Former Cheverus running backs are now on opposite sidelines Fri, 01 Sep 2017 02:36:57 +0000 DURHAM, N.H. — There was one very interested observer at Wildcat Stadium when the University of Maine opened its football season Thursday night at rival New Hampshire.

John Wolfgram, the legendary high school coach who retired in 2016 with over 300 wins and 10 state championships, was there to watch two of his former stars: fifth-year senior running back Donald Goodrich of New Hampshire and redshirt sophomore running back Joe Fitzpatrick of Maine.

Goodrich, from York, won the Fitzpatrick Trophy in 2012 after leading the Stags to the Western Maine final. Fitzpatrick, from North Yarmouth, was a Fitzy finalist and the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014 after leading the Stags to another Western Maine final.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Wolfgram. “They are both two of Maine’s better running backs over the last six years. They are athletic, hard-working, good teammates. They were unique kids.

“There aren’t many Maine kids who are playing running back on a high-level college team. It’s nice to see kids who have taken their football to the next level and that football means so much to them.”

Wolfgram said he came to the game here two years ago when the two played against each other for the first time. “Donnie tackled Joe on a kickoff in that one,” he said.

Goodrich (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) is expected to be one of the Wildcats’ top running backs as they seek to replace star Darren Crossan. Coach Sean McDonnell doesn’t expect one player to do it, but Goodrich should be among the leaders.

“He’s versatile and there’s some trust there with him,” said McDonnell. “He understands what we want to do.”

Goodrich is also one of the Wildcats’ captains. “That shows the quality of his character,” said Wolfgram.

Wolfgram said it’s nice to see him step up in his senior year. “He’s never been the man,” said Wolfgram, “but he’s a complete back.”

Fitzpatrick (5-10, 215) was redshirted last year with a back injury and has come back stronger and healthier.

During the preseason, he emerged as Maine’s power runner, taking the ball between tackles.

“I would call him Maine’s vertical back,” said Wolfgram. “He’s a hard-working, high- character kid.”

MAINE’S HIGH school football royalty was further represented on the New Hampshire sidelines. In addition to Goodrich and Fitzpatrick, Pete McCarty of Bangor, the 1973 Fitzy winner, is the defensive line coach for the Wildcats.

AS THE Black Bears came onto the field, Coach Joe Harasymiak stopped to share a personal moment. His wife Brittany was waiting by the entrance to the field with their infant daughter Sophie, and Harasymiak stopped to plant a kiss on Sophie’s head.

UMAINE’S CAPTAINS were senior cornerback Najee Goode, senior safety DeAndre Scott and senior left tackle Jamil Demby.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Thu, 31 Aug 2017 22:56:13 +0000
Massimino, who led Villanova on surprising title run, dies at 82 Thu, 31 Aug 2017 02:13:48 +0000 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova’s storied run to the 1985 NCAA championship and won more than 800 games in his coaching career, died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.

Massimino’s death was announced by Keiser University, where he was still the men’s basketball coach. He spent the final days of his life in hospice care.

Best known for that national title at Villanova, Massimino also coached at Stony Brook, UNLV and Cleveland State. He spent the last 11 years of his life at Keiser, where he started the program and turned it into an NAIA power.

“We are so truly honored to have shared this time with him and take some degree of comfort in knowing the positive impact he has had on college students for the last four decades remains immeasurable,” Keiser Chancellor Arthur Keiser said.

Massimino faced numerous health issues in recent years yet never stopped coaching. And even though he left Villanova 25 years ago, he was still considered family by the Wildcats and Coach Jay Wright.

“If not for Rollie Massimino, I’m not even a part of this,” Wright once said. “If not for the Big East, Rollie Massimino is not Rollie Massimino. I know it. He knows it. And if not for the Big East, no one knows about Villanova.”

Wright was given a championship ring from 1985, and Massimino was given a championship ring from 2016. Wright wasn’t working at Villanova during the first title season; Massimino wasn’t officially there for the second one. But Wright worked Massimino’s camps in the mid-1980s before coming to Villanova, so that made him part of the family.

Massimino went out of his way to take care of those he considered family. So Wright got that 1985 ring. And the only moment when Wright teared up at Villanova’s 2016 ring ceremony was when he handed Massimino his piece of championship jewelry.

“When you’re a young coach and you grow up in Philly, Rollie Massimino is a legend to you,” Wright said.

Roland Vincent Massimino was born Nov. 13, 1934, in New Jersey, played his college basketball at Vermont and got his master’s degree from Rutgers. His first head coaching job was at his alma mater, Hillside High School, in 1962. His college coaching career started at Stony Brook in 1969, and after two seasons he became an assistant at Penn – under Chuck Daly.

After one season at Penn, Massimino took over at Villanova. He spent 19 seasons there, best remembered by the 1985 NCAA title run that was anything but easy – for many reasons.

Villanova needed a last-second stop just to escape over Dayton in the first round, went scoreless for the first eight minutes of the second half and somehow still beat top-seeded Michigan in the second round, and toppled Maryland in the regional semifinals. And to get to the Final Four, Villanova erased a halftime deficit against North Carolina.

The Wildcats downed Memphis State in the national semifinals. That left a Villanova vs. Georgetown showdown, an all-Big East final. The Hoyas won both regular-season matchups, but Villanova shot 79 percent in the title game and pulled off a 66-64 upset.

]]> 0 Massimino coached at Villanova for 19 seasons and is remembered for leading the Wildcats to the 1985 NCAA title, when they shocked Big East rival Georgetown, 66-64.Wed, 30 Aug 2017 22:21:25 +0000
Preview: UMaine-UNH Thu, 31 Aug 2017 01:28:25 +0000 WHERE: Wildcat Stadium, Durham, N.H.

KICKOFF: 7 p.m.

ALL-TIME SERIES: New Hampshire leads, 54-43-8

LAST MEETING: Nov. 19, 2016, won by New Hampshire, 24-21

STREAMING: College Sports Live (; no TV.

WHEN MAINE HAS THE BALL: With redshirt freshman Chris Ferguson making his first college start, look for the Black Bears to try to establish the run first against UNH. That means a heavy dose of Josh Mack (744 rushing years in 2016), Joe Fitzpatrick and Nigel Beckford behind an offensive line that returns four of its five starters, led by left tackle Jamil Demby, an all-CAA preseason pick. They’ll go against an interior UNH defense led by big tackles Rick Holt (6-foot-4, 294 pounds) and Ryan Sosnak (6-2, 288). Ferguson has talented receivers in Jaleel Reed, Earnest Edwards, Jared Osumah and Jaquan Blair. The Black Bears will take some deep shots against New Hampshire’s talented secondary.

WHEN NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS THE BALL: The Wildcats have a dangerous quarterback in Trevor Knight, a junior who is a dual threat. He rushed for 396 yards last year and four touchdowns and threw for 1,714 and 14 TDs. Maine has to be able to contain him and keep him from getting outside the pocket. He has exceptional receivers in Malik Love (59 catches, 520 yards), Neil O’Connor (58 for 834 and six touchdowns) and Rory Donovan (27 for 348). They will test Maine’s talented and experienced secondary, led by cornerbacks Najee Goode and Manny Paterson. Donald Goodrich, a York native who played at Cheverus, will be a key factor in UNH’s running attack.

KEY STAT: New Hampshire has won seven consecutive games against Maine and 14 of the last 15. Maine has not won a game in Durham since 2001. However, Maine defeated UNH the last time the teams met in a season opener (27-24 in 1992).

OUTLOOK: Expect the Wildcats to put early pressure on Ferguson to try to rattle him. The key for Maine will be its offensive line, which allowed only 14 sacks last season. If Maine has any success running the ball, Ferguson will have a much better chance of getting the ball downfield to his playmakers. Defensively, Maine has to take away UNH run game. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on young defensive linemen Charles Mitchell, Kayon Whitaker and Alejandro Oregon. Maine’s linebackers, other than all-CAA preseason pick Sterling Sheffield, are also young, with sophomore Taji Lowe and redshirt freshman Jaron Grayer. Look for the Wildcats to go after them. Maine wants to force UNH to throw against its secondary, which is returning everyone and should be the strength of the defense. Given that it’s the season opener, the opponents are a bit of a mystery to each other. As UNH Coach Sean McDonnell said, “You’ve got to rely on what you’ve seen and what they’ve done before.” And then make in-game adjustments. Whoever does that best will come out on top.

OF NOTE: Maine will be missing five players serving suspensions. Wide receiver Micah Wright and defensive lineman Uchenna Egwuonwu are unable to play while being investigated by the Student Conduct Office in the Division of Student Life. In addition, linebacker Spencer Carey, running back Darian Davis-Ray and linebacker Zack Hume have been suspended for the game for a violation of the Student-Athletes Code of Conduct.

– Mike Lowe

]]> 0 Wed, 30 Aug 2017 21:31:49 +0000
New UMaine quarterback on season opener: ‘I’ll be ready’ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 01:28:22 +0000 ORONO — Chris Ferguson takes the snap and surveys the field, first looking right to draw the safety that way. As he slides up into the pocket to avoid a pass rusher from the left, he turns slightly and throws a dart to his left, to a receiver running into the space left empty by the safety.

It’s only one play of many in this practice, but it displayed some of the talents – strong arm, patience, pocket sense, agility – that prompted the University of Maine’s coaching staff to give the reins of their offense to a 19-year-old redshirt freshman. Maine opens its season at 7 p.m. Thursday against rival New Hampshire at Wildcat Stadium in Durham, New Hampshire.

“He’s accurate, composed, brings a lot of energy, his leadership has been outstanding,” said Liam Coen, the Black Bears offensive coordinator. “We really like the way he’s responded to being named the starter. Now we just want him to be himself and not try to do too much.”

And who is Chris Ferguson?

He was raised in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, the second youngest of 11 children of Pat and Mary Ferguson. He’s a jokester according to some teammates, always ready with a prank or a joke. To others, he’s deathly serious, especially when it comes to football – showing up an hour early to practice and never missing a day in the weight room. He works diligently on his craft, focused on doing the little things to make himself better.

He’s a Philadelphia Eagles fan, naturally, but loves Tom Brady, “even though he beat my (Eagles) in the Super Bowl (in 2005).”

“He understands that here’s a guy (Brady) who put the work in to be successful,” said Pat Ferguson. “He puts the effort in and it’s obvious that Tom Brady is successful because of the amount of work he puts into it. Who wouldn’t want to be that guy?”

More than anything, his teammates – current and former – see someone who is mature beyond his age.

“Ever since Ferg got here,” said Jamil Demby, the senior left tackle, “even though he was a young kid, when he’s on the field he acts and carries himself as if he’s a senior quarterback. He has a lot of maturity. He controls the huddle, he manages the offense.”

Ferguson’s maturity apparently extends beyond the playing field. “He wears dad clothes,” said Maine junior linebacker Sterling Sheffield.

Asked what he meant, Sheffield said, “Well, you know, he came in here wearing those preppy clothes. Now he’s wearing something that … my dad would wear. I don’t know how else to explain it.”

Apparently he’s always been that way, even back at LaSalle College High School, just outside Philadelphia.

“He was known as ‘Dad Guy,'” said Nick Rinella, a teammate of Ferguson at LaSalle and now a starting safety at Saint Francis University. “He loved to wear dad shoes and dad clothes. He shopped at Whole Foods. He just acted like an older guy.”

That maturity translated well onto the football field.

“He wants to be a leader,” said Najee Goode, Maine’s senior cornerback.

Chris Ferguson got his introduction to football by attending Eagles’ games with his dad. “That was our thing,” said Chris Ferguson. “It gave me some motivation, too.”

He would take in the spectacle of the NFL and decided he wanted to be part of it. When he started playing football, he quickly learned, after playing tight end and punter, he wanted to be the quarterback.

“When you’re in a game and throwing it to everyone, you get to be the guy that everyone looks to,” he said. “That’s where I flourish, being a leader.”

But Ferguson, who also played basketball and lacrosse in high school, had to wait until his senior year to become LaSalle’s starting quarterback.

“It wasn’t for a lack of talent,” said John Steinmetz, Ferguson’s coach at LaSalle. No, there was a kid named Kyle Shurmur in front of him. Shurmur, son of Pat Shurmur (former head coach of the Cleveland Browns and now the offensive coordinator for Minnesota) has started at Vanderbilt for two years.

But Ferguson never stopped working while he was the backup. “Chris practiced every day his sophomore and junior year like he was the starter,” said Steinmetz. “He practiced like he was ready, so when he started he was not only physically ready, but mentally ready to take the job.”

And once Ferguson was the starter, Steinmetz said, “He was a really good leader. He knew what he was doing and that was another component that set him apart as a leader. The kids had confidence in him because he knew what he was doing.”

Steinmetz credited Ferguson’s family with much of his success. “He’s just got some really good family roots,” he said. “Chris had a great sense of family and a great support system.”

A lot came from his father.

“I’m old school,” said Pat Ferguson. “All I can say is that he listened to me.”

LaSalle would win the Philadelphia Catholic League 4A championship when Ferguson threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rinella with less than a minute play to beat rival St. Joseph’s Prep, 29-28.

“That play alone made everything worth it,” said Ferguson.

“There were times when Chris got down, especially when he was a backup,” said Rinella. “He wanted to play so much. But I’m not surprised by anything he’s done.

“Chris has got physical gifts. And no one out-works him.”

Because he had only one year of tape, Ferguson didn’t get many scholarship offers. One came from Maine, another from Bryant.

When Ferguson and his father visited Orono, they knew this was where he wanted – where he needed – to be. “When I came here and met the coaches, just seeing them was enough,” said Chris Ferguson. “But seeing the school was awesome. It’s a Division I program. They play great football. It’s a beautiful campus. The weather is perfect. It was perfect.”

During his official visit to UMaine two winters ago, Ferguson and his father met with Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s second-year head coach, who told them to take a couple of days to think about the offer.

They went back to the car and talked for a few minutes. Ferguson then put on a Maine baseball cap and went inside to tell Harasymiak he was coming to Orono. He knocked on the door once, twice, three times. “I’m thinking, who would knock on my door?” said Harasymiak, who was with another recruit. “I was getting upset. Finally I opened the door and it was Chris, wearing his Maine hat, and his dad.”

“I’m coming here,” said Ferguson. And they all celebrated.

Ferguson, who has yet to declare an academic major, made an immediate impact as a freshman on the scout team. “He gave us a great look,” said Sheffield. “He gave our secondary as much trouble as anyone.”

This year, Ferguson set out to win the job from Drew Belcher, a redshirt junior with nine starts in his career, and Max Staver, a grad student transfer who played briefly at Florida. After weeks of steadily improving, Harasymiak and Coen made the announcement that Ferguson had the job.

“There’s just something about him,” said Harasymiak. “He’s got the makeup of a quarterback that you want leading your program.”

And Ferguson can’t wait for the opener against UNH.

“I think about it every night, every day in practice it’s on my mind,” he said. “When the time comes, I’ll be ready.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 quarterback Chris Ferguson, left, talks with freshman Devin Young during the preseason. Ferguson has already proven to be a leader.Wed, 30 Aug 2017 21:31:53 +0000
Former Michigan State basketball coach Jud Heathcote is mourned Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:29:23 +0000 Jud Heathcote, who led Michigan State and Magic Johnson to the 1979 NCAA championship, died Monday in Spokane, Washington, the school announced. He was 90.

Spartans Coach Tom Izzo was hired by Heathcote as a part-time assistant in 1983. With Heathcote’s support, Izzo was promoted to replace him when he retired in 1995.

“The basketball world is a sadder place today with the passing of Jud Heathcote,” Izzo said. “No one cared more about the welfare of the game than Jud. He was a coach’s coach and a mentor to many.

“Our hearts are filled with sadness and deepest sympathy for his wife Beverly and the Heathcote family. Michigan State has lost one of its icons today. And yet nothing can erase his impact on the program, the players he coached and the coaches he mentored. Spartan basketball is what it is today because of Jud Heathcote.”

Heathcote won 340 games, three Big Ten titles and appeared in nine NCAA tournaments during his 19-year career at Michigan State.

He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 with Johnson and Larry Bird, whose Indiana State team lost to the Heathcote-led Spartans in the 1979 final.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches gave Heathcote the Golden Anniversary Award for 50 years of service in 2001, when he was also inducted into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Heathcote got his start in 1971 as a college head coach at Montana, where he had an 80-53 record and won two Big Sky championships.

Izzo, a Basketball Hall of Famer, helped the Spartans win their second NCAA men’s basketball title in 2000. He often leaned on Heathcote for advice, counsel and humor.

“Without a doubt, he was one of the most influential people in my life, giving me a chance when no one else would,” Izzo said. “Any coaching success I’ve ever had is because of him. Long after he left Michigan State he was still one of the first people I would call when I had a tough decision in coaching or life.”

Izzo wasn’t alone.

Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis, who was a student manager for Heathcote, said he was one of his best teachers.

“Reflecting on my career and life, Jud was among the most influential people in regards to my preparation for both,” Hollis said. “He will be missed, yet his memory will be seen through the many different people he impacted.”

One of those is South Florida Coach Brian Gregory, who started his career as a graduate assistant for Heathcote, and was promoted within the program before moving on to lead Dayton and Georgia Tech.

“For the first time since I was 25, I won’t get a birthday card from him and won’t get a call from him after a game and that really bums me out,” the 50-year-old Gregory said.

“I’ll miss a lot of things, including his humor. It was almost a badge of honor if he ripped you because he was testing you. He was old school and that’s how he showed he cared, ripping you in some way that he thought could drive home a point to make you look at some part of your life.”

Heathcote had legendary gatherings with coaches on Friday afternoon – and sometimes evening – during Final Four weekend, for two-plus decades before health problems prevented him from traveling to the tournament.

“It was known as ‘Jud’s party,’ and it became Final Four folklore,” Gregory said. “He’d get up in front of everyone and tell a bunch of jokes, holding court for high school, junior college and big-time coaches. They all came to see him.

“The younger coaches would just be in awe of how he could command a room with that many coaches in it.”

]]> 0 years after defeating the Larry Bird-led Indiana State team for the 1979 NCAA basketball championship, Magic Johnson, second left, and his teammates reunited with Coach Jud Heathcote at Michigan State. Heathcote died Monday at age 90.Tue, 29 Aug 2017 21:32:22 +0000
College football notebook: Florida State safety set for an impressive return Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:19:41 +0000 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Many things have changed for third-ranked Florida State since Derwin James last played in a game. What hasn’t changed is the sophomore safety’s ability.

James missed most of last season with a knee injury and now has a chip on his shoulder. He’s still considered not only the team’s best defender but one of the best in the nation. He’ll get a chance to prove it Saturday when the No. 3 Seminoles take on top-ranked Alabama in Atlanta.

James took part in spring practices after tearing the meniscus in his left knee last September during the second half against Charleston Southern. He said he hasn’t had any problems with the knee.

The only problem James has had is keeping his emotions in check.

“I’m anxious to get out there for the first game. I still feel like I have something to prove,” he said.

James played in only two games last season but had an impact in both. He had eight tackles and an interception in the win over Ole Miss. After he was sidelined, the Seminoles dropped two of their next three games and were ranked last among Power Five conference teams in pass defense.

The defense improved during the second half of last season and comes into this year with plenty of experience. Florida State was the only school to have two players on The Associated Press Preseason All-America first-team defense: James and cornerback Tarvarus McFadden.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said James is every bit as good as anyone he’s faced in his 11 years at the school.

“This guy’s just a very aggressive player. He’s got good ball skills. He’s a good tackler. Good blitzer. Just all around a really, really good football player,” Saban said.

“I think when you have good safeties, they can minimize the big plays that you ever give up because a lot of times they’re ready to stop the ball when it breaks the line of scrimmage. He’s certainly good at doing that.”

James said his biggest takeaway from spending last year on the sidelines was getting a better understanding of the game. Now he believes he can watch film from a coaches’ standpoint and has a better grasp on his – and other players’ – responsibilities.

“When the coach is getting on you it’s because of a reason. It’s because of something that they see,” he said. “I didn’t get that at first coming in, but now I understand why the coaches are on me so hard.”

Despite limited action last year, James comes into the season hailed as the best defensive player in college football by a couple of national publications. In 2015 he started eight games as a freshman and was second on the team in tackles.

FOX SPORTS added former LSU coach Les Miles, former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich and former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell to its lineup of game analysts for college football.

BAYLOR: Coach Matt Rhule suspended two expected starting players for incidents over the summer: Senior safety Taion Sells will miss the first three games and senior left tackle Mo Porter will sit out the first half of Saturday’s opener at home against Liberty. The reasons for the suspensions weren’t revealed.

SYRACUSE: The Orangemen will honor their late coach, Old Town native Dick MacPherson, by wearing a blue patch with “Mac” inscribed in orange on the team jerseys. Also, the logo will be painted on the Carrier Dome field.

GEORGIA TECH: With less than a week to go before the opener against No. 25 Tennessee, Georgia Tech won’t reveal who will start at quarterback, with Coach Paul Johnson saying he may wait until the first offensive series Monday night.

]]> 0 Derwin James of Florida State, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, will have a chance against Alabama to prove what national media has said, that he's one of the nation's top defenders.Tue, 29 Aug 2017 21:16:17 +0000
On Football: It’s more than just a season opener for UMaine Mon, 28 Aug 2017 23:51:06 +0000 ORONO — It would not be an understatement to say that the University of Maine’s biggest football game of the season will come Thursday, in the Black Bears’ season opener.

Opening games can set the tone for the rest of the season.

But Thursday? It has added meaning for Maine. The Black Bears are playing their rivals, the University of New Hampshire at Wildcat Stadium at 7 p.m.

New Hampshire is one of the model programs in the Colonial Athletic Association and has made the NCAA playoffs an amazing 13 consecutive years. The Wildcats have beaten Maine in their last seven meetings – and 14 of the last 15. The most-recent game was on Nov. 19, a 24-21 last-second decision in Orono, a loss that eliminated UMaine from a playoff berth.

It still lingers.

“I just think there’s a bad taste in our mouths from last season,” said Jamil Demby, a senior left tackle. “We were close to winning that game. They took it from us. Our main focus is to win it back.”

That’s something that Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s second-year head coach, has tried to tap into this preseason. When trying to figure out how to approach this game without making it bigger than it already is, he tapped into the players’ emotions.

“To me, it’s about going against a team that took everything away from you and it just so happens to be your rival,” he said. “There were playoff implications (last year), lost in last seconds. That’s more the motivation. Yes it’s your rival. Yes, it’s the first game. But this team took away your playoff opportunity. That’s more the focus for us.”

Beating New Hampshire is the unquestioned No. 1 goal of the program, to bring the Brice-Cowell Musket – presented annually to the winner of the rivalry – back to Orono for the first time since 2010.

“This game is the Super Bowl for us,” said Josh Mack, a sophomore running back. “It has a Super Bowl atmosphere.”

Harasymiak wouldn’t go that far, but he acknowledged, “We have to start to beat them if we want to be relevant in this league.”

It won’t be easy. Maine hasn’t won in Durham since 2001. The Wildcats have some of their top players returning this season, led by quarterback Trevor Knight, wide receivers Malik Love and Neil O’Connor and cornerback Prince Smith.

And Maine will be short-handed. Not only are the Black Bears missing two of their best players – wide receiver Micah Wright and defensive tackle Uchenne Egwuonwu, who continue to serve a suspension while being investigated by the school’s Student Conduct Office in the Division of Student Life for a student complaint – but Harasymiak said Monday that three other players are suspended for the opener.

Linebacker Spencer Carey, running back Darian Davis-Ray and linebacker Zach Hume have been suspended for a violation of the Student-Athletes Code of Conduct for an incident from last spring. Carey and Davis-Ray received a one-game suspension, Hume a two-game suspension.

Harasymiak and his players point to one simple aspect as the key to beating the Wildcats.

“It’s as simple as being disciplined,” said Najee Goode, a senior cornerback. “We have everything it takes to beat those guys. We just seem to fall apart at key times in the game and they pull away. They always seem like a veteran group. They always play like that, like they’re prepared for those moments and they stay disciplined and do their job.”

Harasymiak has stressed discipline throughout the preseason, not only to beat just New Hampshire, but in every game.

“My message is clear: we have to play a disciplined football game to have a chance to win,” he said. “That, to me, is the reason they have beaten us seven straight years since I’ve been here. They’ve been more disciplined than us and, obviously, what comes with that is they’ve made plays at crucial times. We haven’t played terrible. It’s been competitive games but they have executed better than us in crucial moments.”

Thursday’s game – win or lose – will have season-long implications. The first five games will be tough, including road games at defending FCS champ James Madison, FBS member Central Florida and perennial CAA power Villanova.

“If we win, if we beat UNH, it will also show us where we are as a team,” said Chris Ferguson, the redshirt freshman who will make his first start as Maine’s quarterback. “Beat them, get that first win, it will give us a lot of confidence.”

And the musket.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Coach Joe Harasymiak has reminded his team that it had its playoff hopes dashed last season by the team it will face in its season opener this year: UNH.Mon, 28 Aug 2017 21:50:21 +0000
Sports Digest: UMaine defeats Quinnipiac for first field hockey win Mon, 28 Aug 2017 02:08:04 +0000 COLLEGES

UMaine beats Quinnipiac for first field hockey win

Samantha Wagg and Libby Riedl each had a goal and an assist, and the University of Maine blew past Quinnipiac for a 3-1 field hockey victory Sunday in Orono.

Wagg scored off Emily Hindle’s corner 15 minutes in.

Ella Mosky, with assists from Wagg and Riedl, doubled the lead for the Black Bears (1-1) 10 minutes into the second half before Valerie Perkins broke through for the Bobcats (0-2). Riedl scored Maine’s final goal off a pass from Brianna Ricker.

Livy Golini of York kept the game close for Quinnipiac, making 13 saves to partially offset Maine’s 30-3 shot advantage. Emma Cochrane had two saves for Maine.

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Carly Wilhelm scored a pair of first-half goals to lead Northeastern (3-1) to a 3-0 win over Maine (0-2-1) at Orono.

Kayla Cappuzzo added a second-half goal when her centering pass was deflected in by a Maine defender.

Nathalie Nietch made three saves for Northeastern (3-1). Annalena Kriebisch stopped six shots for the Black Bears (0-2-1).


MAJOR LEAGUES: The Detroit Tigers placed designated hitter Victor Martinez on the 10-day disabled list because of an irregular heartbeat, his second trip to the DL this season for the condition.

Manager Brad Ausmus said Martinez experienced a racing heart after his last at-bat Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. Ausmus said Martinez spent the night in a hospital and his heartbeat was regulated. Martinez was expected to be released and travel by car to Detroit.


XFINITY SERIES: Jeremy Clements battled Matt Tifft down the stretch at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, before pulling away to the finish line after the two leaders spun out near the end of the second-to-last lap, earning his first career victory.

Clements caught up with Tifft on the 44th lap, with their cars spinning into the dirt on last turn of the 14-turn road course. Clements recovered first and sped away to win for the first time in 256 Xfinity races.

Michael Annett passed Tifft to take second, 5.8 seconds behind Clements. Tifft settled for third. Series leader Elliott Sadler finished 14th.

FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton celebrated his record-equaling 68th pole position with a victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, trimming championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s lead to seven points.

Hamilton won his fifth race of the season and 58th overall after equaling Michael Schumacher’s pole record.

Vettel finished second, about 2 seconds behind.


NHL: The New Jersey Devils landed college hockey’s top player, agreeing to a two-year, $1.85 million deal with defenseman Will Butcher.

The University of Denver star became a free agent by turning down his chance to sign with Colorado before a deadline passed on Aug. 15. The Avalanche selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.


WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: Teen phenom Christian Pulisic is coming back from the Bundesliga to lead the U.S. in the next round of qualifying matches. The U.S. plays Costa Rica on Friday in New Jersey.


NBA: New Orleans Pelicans forward Solomon Hill had surgery to repair a left hamstring tear and could need six to eight months to heal.

– Staff and news service report

]]> 0 Sun, 27 Aug 2017 22:12:12 +0000
Sports Digest: UMaine drops field hockey opener Sat, 26 Aug 2017 02:06:04 +0000 COLLEGES

UMaine drops field hockey opener against Providence

Allyson Parker scored with just under nine minutes to play to send Providence College to a 1-0 victory over the University of Maine in a field hockey opener at Providence, Rhode Island.

Black Bears goalie Emma Cochran stopped Parker’s initial shot, but Parker put back the rebound at 26:27 of the second half for the winner.

Cochran finished with eight saves.

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Zeinab Kante reached a loose ball in the penalty area and slotted it past Maine goalie Annalena Kriebisch 7:17 into overtime, giving Brown (1-0) a 2-1 victory over Maine (0-1-1) at Providence, Rhode Island.

Maine scored midway through the second half when Mikayla Morin headed home Kayla Brace’s corner kick. Star White tied the game with eight minutes to play.


CONNECTICUT OPEN: Australia’s Daria Gavrilova upset defending champion and top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final at New Haven.

The 23-year-old will face second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who beat qualifier Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-1, 6-3.


NHL: The New Jersey Devils signed veteran winger Drew Stafford to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

Stafford, 31, had eight goals and 13 assists last season with Winnipeg and Boston. He was dealt to the Bruins at the trade deadline and had two goals in six playoff games.


NBA: Phoenix Suns second-round pick Davon Reed underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus and will be out four to six months.


INDYCAR: Will Power took the 50th pole of his career, leading Team Penske to a four-team, two-row sweep in qualifying for Saturday’s race at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

The 36-year-old Australian set a track record with a two-lap run of 47.4579 seconds at 189.642 mph on the newly paved 1.25-mile oval.

Points leader Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagneaud rounded out the all-Penske front four.


MLS: Sporting Kansas City agreed to a contract with 15-year-old Gianluca Busio on a homegrown contract, making him the youngest player signed by an MLS club since Freddy Adu joined D.C. United in 2004.

– Staff and news service report

]]> 0 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 22:17:46 +0000
Once UMaine’s starting QB, Belcher moves to tight end Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:50:24 +0000 It took Drew Belcher about five minutes to get over the disappointment of losing the competition to become the University of Maine’s starting quarterback. That’s when the coaching staff asked him if he would consider moving to tight end.

Belcher, a redshirt junior from Reading, Massachusetts, always had played as a quarterback at Maine, starting nine games over his first two seasons. But after the coaches told him on Saturday that Chris Ferguson would be the starting quarterback, Belcher didn’t sulk.

“Obviously when they told me I was disappointed,” he said of his initial reaction. “I put a lot of time and energy into the quarterback.

“But they immediately came in and said we think you can help us (at tight end). It’s a new journey for me, but I’m enjoying it so far.”

Belcher has the size (6-foot-3, 240 pounds) and athletic talent to be an effective tight end. As a quarterback, he rushed for 626 yards in two years.

“Drew has been a great football player for us,” said Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s second-year head coach. “He’ll give us a chance to do some great things at the tight end position.”

Belcher said the biggest adjustment he has to make is on the mental side. As a quarterback, he had to know what every player was doing on every play. So he’s already familiar with the pass routes and the blocking schemes.

“It’s my fourth year here, I’ve watched a ton of film and when we’ve been in quarterback meetings, we’ve talked about every position,” he said. “(Now) it’s a matter of learning the proper technique and getting reps from here on.”

One big difference is that he’s no longer wearing a red no-contact jersey in practice, as he did as a quarterback. That’s led to some interesting conversations with some of the defensive players who could never take a shot at Belcher in live practices.

“Yeah, I’ve got to keep my head on a swivel now,” he said.

Belcher said he was willing to move to another position because he’s seen other players at Maine shifted from one position to another with great results. Last year, for example, Max Andrews moved from tight end to center and was one of the team’s top offensive linemen.

“As they told me, ‘We’re not just moving you to move you, we’re moving you because we think you can make a difference,'” Belcher said of the coaching staff. “The way they do stuff here, the way they structure practices and meetings, the culture they’ve created, I enjoy being part of that and it makes me trust them.

“I think we definitely have something special going on here and I want to be a part of it.”

FORMER CHEVERUS HIGH standout Joe Fitzpatrick is healthy again and has had a strong training camp. The running back played in only one game last year because of a back injury – and was redshirted, meaning he has three years of eligibility remaining. As a true freshman in 2015, he played in six games and rushed 10 times for 63 yards. Fitzpatrick has put on 10 pounds, and now weighs 225. He said he feels stronger and it shows.

In both scrimmages, Fitzpatrick showed the ability to run inside or outside, and broke several tackles.

“Last year’s redshirt gave me time to get back to my old self,” said Fitzpatrick, who is from North Yarmouth. “This whole camp I’ve felt good physically.”

Sophomore Josh Mack figures to be the starting running back, but Fitzpatrick, senior Nigel Beckford and freshman Ramon Jefferson should get plenty of playing time.

THE MEN’S BASKETBALL team announced its 2017-18 schedule, with games against some high-powered regional and national programs.

The Black Bears will open the season in the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament on Nov. 10 with a game at Boston College. Four days later, Maine plays at Texas Tech. The eight teams involved in the tournament will then go to Monhegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, where Maine will play South Alabama on Nov. 18 then either Sacred Heart or St. Peter’s the next day.

Maine’s nonleague schedule also includes road games at Georgetown University on Nov. 28 and Fordham on Dec. 2.

Maine opens America East play with back-to-back road games at Stony Brook on Jan. 3 and at Binghamton on Jan. 6.

]]> 0 Belcher has the size and athletic talent to switch to tight end for the Black Bears. In two years as a quarterback, he rushed for 626 yards.Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:41:24 +0000
College football notebook: Alabama starts season atop AP poll Tue, 22 Aug 2017 01:09:38 +0000 No need to overthink it: Alabama is No. 1 in the AP preseason Top 25.

The Crimson Tide became the first program in 12 years to take the top spot in The Associated Press preseason media poll two straight years, and will start the season ranked in the top five for the ninth consecutive time.

Coach Nick Saban’s program has become the surest thing in sports these days. The Tide does not always win the national championship – just half the time over the last eight years – but is always in contention. Since 2008, only once has Alabama lost more than one game before bowl season.

The Crimson Tide received 52 of 61 first-place votes from media members in the poll released Monday. Ohio State was No. 2, edging No. 3 Florida State and preventing the first 1 vs. 2 opening game since the preseason poll began in 1950. Alabama opens the season against the Seminoles in Atlanta on Sept. 2, just the fourth opener involving top-five teams and the first pitting teams ranked in the preseason top three.

Southern California, which finished last season on a nine-game winning streak and No. 3 in the country, starts at No. 4. Defending national champion Clemson begins the post-Deshaun Watson era at No. 5. Florida State received four first-place votes, Ohio State got three and USC two.

The one bit of bad news for Alabama? The Tide has failed to win the national championship the three previous times it was preseason No. 1 under Saban. The last team to start and finish No. 1 was USC in 2004, and the Trojans were ranked No. 1 the following season – the last team to do it before this year.

Ohio State is No. 2 in the preseason poll for the eighth time, one behind Oklahoma for most times starting the season second. The Buckeyes also extended the longest current streak of years appearing in the preseason Top 25 to 29. Penn State has the record at 34 from 1968-2002.

KENTUCKY: Coach Mark Stoops says wide receiver Dorian Baker could miss the 2017 season after fracturing his left ankle during Saturday’s scrimmage.

The school issued a release saying the 6-foot-3, 211-pound senior will miss “significant time” following surgery on Tuesday to repair a fracture and dislocation of the ankle. Stoops announced Baker’s injury on Saturday and said he was disappointed for him because he had had a good offseason and was helping other Wildcat receivers during camp.

Stoops hopes Baker has a full recovery and looks forward to his return.

Baker could redshirt and return next season if he cannot play. He caught 14 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns last season despite missing three early games because of a hamstring injury.

UTAH: Sophomore Tyler Huntley will be Utah’s starting quarterback after beating out returning starter Troy Williams.

The decision to start Huntley was a bit of a surprise since Williams, a senior, started all 13 games last season and was voted an offensive captain last week. Williams threw for 2,757 yards and 15 touchdowns with eight interceptions last season.

Huntley is a sophomore from Dania, Florida. Coaches praised him throughout camp for his playmaking ability. He played in four games last year, passing for 60 yards and running for 15 yards with a touchdown.

“He’s electric,” Coach Kyle Whittingham said earlier in camp. “He’s able to make a play when everything breaks down, he can escape and extend the play and make something happen.”

Tennessee: Wide receiver Josh Smith is expected to miss the start of the season after injuring his collarbone.

Volunteers Coach Butch Jones said there’s no timetable on Smith’s potential return but added that he anticipates the fifth-year senior will miss at least Tennessee’s first game.

The Vols open the season Sept. 4 against Georgia Tech.

Smith has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He played just three games in 2014 before an ankle injury forced him to redshirt. He missed one game last year with an ankle injury and had groin surgery during the offseason.

]]> 0 Mon, 21 Aug 2017 22:01:47 +0000
In a surprise, Chris Ferguson named starting quarterback for UMaine Sat, 19 Aug 2017 15:16:13 +0000 Chris Ferguson began the University of Maine’s preseason training camp as a dark horse in the four-man competition for starting quarterback.

When the Black Bears resume practice Sunday afternoon, he’ll be with the first unit.

Ferguson, a redshirt freshman from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, was named Maine’s starting quarterback Saturday by Coach Joe Harasymiak. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Ferguson beat out redshirt junior Drew Belcher, senior transfer Max Staver and freshman Isaiah Robinson with a consistent performance throughout training camp and two scrimmages.

“It’s just the body of work,” said Harasymiak. “Chris has done a really nice job throughout the spring and obviously this camp. He’s done what is expected of a redshirt freshman, to take the next step.”

And now Ferguson will be behind center when Maine opens the season Aug. 31 at New Hampshire.

“This means everything to me,” said Ferguson. “I’m just excited to really get to lead the team and take this team to places it’s been before. I want to get back to those places, compete for a national championship, beat UNH, be in the playoffs. This is everything I’ve dreamed about.”

In camp, Ferguson not only displayed the physical ability to lead the Black Bears – he was by far the most impressive quarterback in the two scrimmages – but the confidence and leadership needed at the position.

“The biggest thing about Ferg is that he’s always been a leader, he always has the attention of the team,” said Liam Coen, Maine’s offensive coordinator. “I’m excited about things moving forward.”

When Harasymiak and Coen told Ferguson the job was his, he reacted exactly as they hoped.

“He looked us dead in our eyes and said, ‘I got this,'” said Harasymiak. “He didn’t react like this was a gift. Chris has a great deal of confidence, which is what you need in a quarterback. He’s got to go out there knowing he can get it done. He has something about him, some people might call it moxie. To me he’s a winner. We believe in him, which is why we recruited him. I think he’s got something in him that gives us the best chance to win.”

Ferguson, 19, led LaSalle Academy to the Philadelphia Catholic League 4A championship as a high school senior. He never thought of himself as being low on the depth chart at Maine. Still, entering training camp he knew what was being written – that the competition was likely between Belcher, who has started nine games for the Black Bears, and the strong-armed Staver.

“I knew what guys were saying and that keeps you going,” said Ferguson. “I appreciated all the doubt.”

He said sitting out last year as a redshirt certainly helped his development. He learned not only the Maine offense, but what was expected of him as a college athlete and student. In June, he spent a week in California working out with Tom House, the quarterback guru whose clients include Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Those four days, in which the staff broke down his mechanics and worked on developing a consistent delivery, were invaluable.

“It was a great experience and I learned a lot,” said Ferguson. “They give you a lot of information, and it definitely was one of the key factors going to camp that I needed.”

Coen said Ferguson really picked up his performance the last two weeks to earn the starting bid.

“All the guys competed their tails off and did a great job,” said Coen. “At end of the day, he did too much the last couple of weeks to not make this decision.”

Ferguson looks at this team, coming off a 6-5 season that fell short of the playoffs after a last-game home loss to New Hampshire, and sees a lot of potential.

“I’m in a prime position,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good wideouts, a great offensive line, great running backs and a great defense. There’s a lot of guys around me, supporting me, helping with our success.”

After he got the news, Ferguson contacted his family. His father, Pat, “was a mess, but a good mess.” And his mother, Mary, was elated. Then he sent text messages to his siblings. Ferguson is the second youngest in the family, which includes one brother and nine sisters.

“We’re going to have big crowds at the games,” said Ferguson. “I can’t wait.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, Maine—08-18-2017— UMaine's Chris Ferguson looks to pass during a scrimmage on Friday at Morse Field on the UMaine campus in Orono. Kevin Bennett PhotoSat, 19 Aug 2017 21:19:53 +0000
Duke basketball recruit could play this year Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:17:00 +0000 Marvin Bagley III, widely considered the top recruit in the class of 2018, reclassified this week and could be eligible to play for Duke in the upcoming season.

His decision immediately thrusts the Blue Devils to the front of the national-title conversation for the 2017-18 season.

But what exactly does it mean to reclassify and how does the process work?

According to the NCAA, all incoming student-athletes must complete 16 core courses from a list that includes English, math, natural or physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy. Classes such as physical education, health and music do not count as core courses, nor do remedial classes or classes completed through credit-by-exam.

The student-athlete must also show proof of graduation from high school and have an ACT/SAT test score that corresponds to his or her core course GPA on a sliding scale; the higher the GPA, the lower the standardized test score needs to be.

The NCAA eligibility center’s amateurism team then determines whether to certify a student-athlete. The process and requirements are the same for every sport.

Bagley is scheduled to graduate from Southern California’s Sierra Canyon High School later this month, completing his course work a year ahead of schedule. His transcripts may be a little more complicated because he attended three high schools and the NCAA will review his final transcript following his graduation to determine if he is eligible to play Division I basketball.

Bagley’s move is not unprecedented.

Through the years, five-star prospects who want to get a jump on their college careers – and potentially professional careers – have gone through the same process, though usually not right before the fall semester begins as Bagley did.

Mike Gminski is considered the leave-high-school-early originator, graduating a year early so he could play at Duke in 1976. He went on to become an All-American and played 17 NBA seasons.

In recent years, Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr., Duke’s Derryck Thornton and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns were among the student-athletes who graduated early to play college basketball sooner. Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo graduated a semester early and joined the Wildcats in January last season, but did not play. He declared for the NBA draft before deciding to return to Lexington.

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