Thursday, December 12, 2013
By KEVIN TRESOLINI Special to the Telegram
NEWARK, Del. - Despite recent results to the contrary, Coach Jack Cosgrove had an inkling.
Maine defensive backs, from left, Khari Al-Mateen, Kendall James and Jamal Clay upend Delaware quarterback Trent Hurley, forcing a fumble in the fourth quarter at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del., on Saturday.
The Associated Press
He felt his Maine football team had ability that hadn't quite surfaced, and he'd seen the signs in practice and in games.
On Saturday, he saw it on the scoreboard at Delaware Stadium, and it was a pretty sight.
Maine sacked Delaware quarterback Trent Hurley nine times and handed the 16th-ranked Blue Hens a humbling 26-3 defeat before a stunned Parents Day crowd of 21,506.
Damarr Aultmann caught the first of his two touchdown passes from Marcus Wasilewski on Maine's first possession, and the Black Bears were on their way to their fourth win over Delaware in the schools' last six meetings.
"I'm not a real animated guy pregame," Cosgrove said, "but I was in the locker room today and I was going to make sure if we had it in us, we were going to get it out of us today, and we did.
"Now it's easier for it to become part of our equation. ... They've got it in them, I know they do."
Wasilewski completed 12 of 18 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns as Maine (2-3, 1-1 Colonial Athletic Association) outgained Delaware 331-224.
"It was just a matter of time before we pulled everything together," said Wasilewski, a junior.
The nine sacks tied the most allowed by Delaware (4-2, 1-2). Defensive end Michael Cole had five of them. Cole was unavailable for postgame comment because he was getting medical treatment.
"We thought this was a more inexperienced line than we've seen the last two weeks," Cosgrove said of a Delaware offensive front with one returning starter and no seniors. "The line we saw at Albany and the line we saw at Villanova are darn good, and big. This was an inexperienced group, you could tell, and we saw some things New Hampshire did last week (in a 34-14 win).
"We hoped we would get that kind of pressure. We never envisioned nine sacks."
The Black Bears led 16-3 at halftime and quickly padded their lead on their first possession of the second half. Maurice McDonald's 16-yard TD reception capped an 89-yard drive that lasted just five plays and was aided by a personal foul. It began with Rickey Stevens' 20-yard run and David Hood's 30-yard run on the first two plays.
Two fumbles deep in Maine territory killed Delaware's comeback hopes.
"I really feel like we played to our full potential," linebacker Donte Dennis said. "We had to learn from (our mistakes). Villanova exposed us on the edge and it was something we worked on all week in practice. We knew Delaware would try to run it down our throats. We played real good stopping the run, and that was our main goal, so we knew we had a chance to win."