ORONO – In a fitting end to a season of missed opportunities, the University of Maine football team came up short in its final game on Saturday.

The Black Bears had a crack at a dramatic win with 12.4 seconds to play, lining up at the James Madison 3-yard line on 2nd-and-goal.

But Warren Smith completed a screen pass to tight end Jeff Falvey for no gain and because Maine had no timeouts left, time ran out.

Final: James Madison 14, Maine 10.

The Black Bears ended the season 4-7 overall, 3-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association. James Madison finished 6-5, 3-5.

“I’m hurting on that one,” said Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove. “We could’ve had another play or two. I take full responsibility.”

Smith, who returned after sitting last week in favor of Chris Treister, completed 23 of 38 passes for 108 yards and one interception.

He said he expected single coverage on the final play, but Falvey was tackled by two defenders.

One play earlier, Smith tried to run the ball into the end zone but was tackled for no gain.

“We had to go down and score,” said Smith. “I thought we did a good job getting down there. We just didn’t get it done at the end.

“We have two plays at the 3. The blitz came backside and tackled me (on the first). And that last play we expected man-to-man (coverage) and tried to get a screen on our tight end one on one. It was a tough look.

“If we had an extra timeout I would’ve banged one in. That’s the story this year. We’re not finishing.”

Maine fell behind 14-7 when Dukes quarterback Dae’Quan Scott broke four tackles on his way to a 43-yard touchdown run to open the second half.

The Black Bears responded with a fourth-quarter field goal by Brian Harvey after an interception by Jerron McMillian to make it 14-10.

In its final series, Maine drove from its 32 and with the help of five first downs and a pass interference call inside the James Madison 5.

“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind we were going to get in,” said tailback Pushaun Brown, who rushed for 107 yards.

It was the last game for 12 seniors, many of them watching injured on the sideline.

“For them, it’s a tough way to go,” said Cosgrove. “You feel somewhat apologetic. When you are a team that’s a close football team, which Maine has to be to be successful, it’s a tough break and tough way to end.”

Brown, a junior, said he tried to reach out to his older teammates to share a moment after the game.

“I just went around and told everyone I love them, it was fun playing with them. I’m sorry it has to end like this,” he said.

Maine had a promising start, going 73 yards on its opening drive for a touchdown, using a fake punt to convert on fourth down from its 34.

Smith finished the drive with a 4-yard run at 8:55 of the period.

Smith threw an interception on Maine’s next series, but the defense forced the Dukes to punt after three plays.

Two possessions later, Maine was marching again, using another pass on a fake punt to convert a first down. But the Black Bears were forced to try a field goal and the Dukes blocked it.

James Madison tied the game with 55 seconds to play in the half when Jamal Sullivan finished a 46-yard drive with a 3-yard run.

After Scott’s touchdown to open the second half, Maine nearly countered with a series that included a 25-yard run by Brown before Harvey’s 41-yard field-goal try hooked left in windy conditions.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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