DURHAM, N.H. — By the final quarter of Maine’s worst football season in 20 years, even Jack Cosgrove didn’t want to watch his offense anymore.

The Black Bears’ coach essentially waved the white towel with 7:13 left in a 22-6 loss at rival New Hampshire on Saturday before an announced crowd of 7,594 at Cowell Stadium. Facing a fourth-and-2 at the Wildcats’ 48, Cosgrove sent punter James DeMartini onto the field for the seventh time.

“Hopefully to pin them down, stop them and still have all our timeouts, and get the ball back right away,” Cosgrove explained afterward. “We haven’t been converting on fourth-and-2. A coach is not confident in some of the calls, or what we’re doing on fourth-and-2.”

New Hampshire (7-4, 5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) got the ball at its 17 and drained 6:14 off the clock before punting. Cosgrove opted not to use any of his timeouts during the drive that sealed the Wildcats’ sixth consecutive victory in this 112-year-old series.

“We didn’t have to,” Cosgrove said. “It either went out of bounds or … the only time the play was in-bounds, we stopped it.”

There were actually six opportunities to stop the clock for Maine, but it probably was a moot point. Maine takes a four-game losing streak, and two timeouts, into its offseason after totaling 38 points in its final four contests.

The Black Bears finished the season 3-8 (3-5 in league play) for the first time since 1995.

Cosgrove started sophomore Drew Belcher at quarterback and alternated series with junior Dan Collins. Neither was able to guide the Black Bears into the red zone through three quarters, but Cosgrove eventually stayed with Collins because he’s the better passer of the two.

“Danny will throw the ball. Drew will hang onto it and hang onto it and not pull the trigger,” Cosgrove said. “That’s the part we had to have happen. We had to have decisions made, so we stuck with Danny.”

New Hampshire turned a Belcher fumble into a 2-yard touchdown pass from Sean Goldrich to Dalton Crossan in the first quarter. The Wildcats scored in the second quarter when Crossan weaved 43 yards to the end zone.

Trailing 13-0, Maine took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 52 yards to the New Hampshire 22, the big play a 48-yard connection from Collins to Jordan Dunn.

But on third-and-9, Collins threw a short pass over the middle that Micah Wright appeared to catch, only to have Wildcats defensive back Patrick Mensah wrestle it away. It was ruled an interception.

“We had two underneath routes. I threw it to Micah,” Collins said. “That guy got his hands on it late. I guess Micah kind of let go of the ball because he didn’t really think the guy was going to get to it. He got to it; the refs made the call.”

New Hampshire, beating Maine for the 13th time in the past 14 meetings to retain the Brice-Cowell Musket, then got an 11-yard touchdown run from Goldrich to take a 19-0 lead.

Maine got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Collins zipped a 6-yard pass to wide receiver John Hardy in the back of the end zone. The extra-point attempt by Sam Lenson was blocked. It was that kind of year for the Black Bears, who failed to convert four PATs.

New Hampshire responded with a 13-play drive that ended in Morgan Ellman’s 25-yard field goal to produce the final margin of victory, its fourth consecutive to put the team in position for a playoff berth.

That’s when Maine chose to end a 49-yard drive into New Hampshire territory with a punt. And to take two timeouts back to Orono. Maine scored 10 points or fewer in six of its eight losses.

“When one thing’s going right, something bad happens. We just can’t execute; we can’t put a full drive together. It seemed to show up every game,” said Hardy, a senior from Portland.

“We were fired up. Everyone was doubting us, that we had already folded a couple of games ago. We came out and just didn’t execute.”

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