KINGSTON, R.I. — Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove was kicking himself for what he did to his kicker Saturday.

The Black Bears were trailing 14-12 with 9:24 left at Meade Stadium when quarterback Drew Belcher ran for 4 yards to the Rhode Island 1, or thereabouts.

That’s when the confusion started. Cosgrove was told the ball was inside the 1, so he called timeout to try for a go-ahead touchdown on fourth down. But the football was actually closer to the 2-yard line. Cosgrove decided to send on Sean Decloux for his third field-goal attempt of the day instead.

Lining up on the right hashmark from 18 yards away, the closest possible distance for a kick, Decloux pushed the ball wide left for his first miss of the season.

“I was concerned about the angle of the field goal itself because we’re so far down in close. By doing what I did, calling the timeout, I probably messed up our kicker. He’s a guy we have tremendous faith in,” Cosgrove said.

When Decloux came off the field after his shank, Cosgrove looked him in the eye and shook his hand, not saying a word.


“We’re going to need him again,” Cosgrove said. “It was clean, he just missed it.”

Maine didn’t need Decloux, a junior who was an all-conference selection last year, winning the game 20-14 on a Jerickson Fedrick touchdown run.

INJURIES LEFT Maine with only five offensive linemen Saturday, three of them freshmen. On the opening kickoff, starting tailback Isaiah Jones took a hard hit and didn’t return with an “upper body injury.”

And yet it was the team’s finest rushing performance of the season, thanks to another trio of freshmen. Nigel Beckford was the workhorse, with 107 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.

Quarterback Drew Belcher ran 21 times and gained 84 yards. Fedrick had 23 yards on his six carries, including the game-winning score.

Beckford surpassed his career-high of 75 yards, set last week in a loss to Albany.

“We know we need to balance the offense in some way,” he said of the commitment to the run.

IN ADDITION to Jones’ injury, Maine safety Davonte Burke appeared to wrench his right knee on a Rhode Island fake field goal attempt in the second quarter. He was taken off the field on a cart and did not return. …

Maine wide receiver Damarr Aultman caught seven passes for 87 yards to move into 10th place on the program’s receiving yards list (1,965) and ninth in receptions (148).

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