University of New England’s and Biddeford native Austin Dutremble carries the ball on Saturday. COURTESY PHOTO/ University of New England

University of New England’s and Biddeford native Austin Dutremble carries the ball on Saturday. COURTESY PHOTO/ University of New England

MILTON, Mass. — Curry College grinded out a tough 36-30 win over visiting University of New England on Saturday afternoon. This was UNE’s first-ever football game.

“There’s some really positive things — we saw some guys that could do some really good things and some guys with some work to do. It’s important to develop these players, that is what we set as our No. 1 goal this season, we’ll keep working towards that. It was great to get out there and compete,” said UNE head coach Mike Lichten after the loss.

After a tightly-contested three quarter of action, the game came down to the final eight minutes of play.

Trailing 29-23 midway through the fourth quarter, the Nor’easters would be set up at Curry’s 23-yard line on an interception by D’Andre James. UNE would capitalize on the field position and get an 18-yard touchdown reception from Haelin Roberts, his second of the game, with 7:01 left.

The Colonels responded minutes later, and regained the lead with 5:30 remaining on a 33-yard screen pass to Miles Cogdell. UNE would get one last shot, however the Colonels would make the big stop on their own 5-yard line to get possession and run out the clock.

Although it was not the result that UNE hoped for, many of the Nor’easters came up with timely plays. UNE stopped all of Curry’s fourth down conversion attempts, and erased two deficits in the second half to push Curry until the final minutes. 

“Being a big play team is fantastic but you also have to be able to take away the big play,” said Lichten. “It goes both ways but we have some talented players on this team, that’s pretty obvious.”

A handful of York County locals also had solid outings, including Biddeford’s Austin Dutremble, who caught UNE’s first-ever reception in the first quarter.

“It felt awesome — it’s something I’ll remember forever,” said Dutremble. “I’ve got to thank my teammates for it though, the line held up, the quarterback got it to me. It’s a team effort — we all come together and we’re going to do great things. All of us have been working so hard these past couple of weeks. We became brothers, it was finally nice to take the field together, just to compete and play our hearts out,” said Dutremble.

Dutremble finished the day with four receptions for 59 yards, while Pat Pearl hauled in two receptions, including a pivotal grab in UNE’s drive to regain the lead in the fourth quarter. Joey Curit racked up five tackles and two pass defenses on the defensive side of the ball.

UNE also showed an element of surprise during the game. The Nor’easters attempted a double pass in the second quarter, and also attempted an onside kick to begin the second half, despite leading Curry. UNE also played every healthy player on the roster.

“That’s more about what our philosophy is going to be — our philosophy is going to be to push the envelope and to create pressure for our opponents … not be afraid to take chances,” said Lichten.

The Nor’easters certainly didn’t disappoint in their first action, as hundreds of fans made the near two-hour car ride to root on the team.

“The support has been tremendous, internally and externally. Families, friends, boosters … this is a great place to start a program,” said Lichten. “We have to continue to work hard to get them excited with what we’re doing.”

UNE will move on to face Husson this Sunday. The Nor’easters were happy with the first step, but are also aiming to make improvements.

“Mental errors — there’s nothing that plagues a football program more than mental errors. Developing our rhythm in terms of preparation and these kids are learning how to do that,” said Lichten. “There are a lot of opportunities but we’ve got stay focused on taking it one day, one step, one play at a time.”

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: