MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The University of Maine football team lost its quarterback in the first quarter and was unable to mount much of an offensive threat Saturday, losing to Central Michigan, 17-5.

Quarterback Chris Ferguson left the field with about five minutes left in the first quarter after a 27-yard run by Ramon Jefferson. Ferguson was on the sideline with his right arm in a sling and, according to reports, suffered a separation of his right shoulder.

“We just didn’t play well,” Black Bears coach Joe Harasymiak said. “(We had) too many penalties (11 for 113 yards). A great effort is only going to take us so far.”

Central Michigan (1-4), an FBS team, opened a 10-0 lead soon after Ferguson’s injury and held off the Black Bears (2-1).

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Robinson took over at quarterback and helped Maine threaten on its next series, driving to get a first and goal at the 8. Robinson was unable to connect with Micah Wright before Jefferson ran for 4 yards. On third down, Robinson took a high snap and ran right but was stopped short of the goal line.

Maine quickly tried to run a play on fourth down before Central Michigan called a timeout. But running back Joe Fitzpatrick was stuffed on a rush up the middle and Maine turned the ball over on downs.


Robinson was 16-of-32 passing for 162 yards and two interceptions.

“(Robinson) is the type of kid that we have confidence in,” Harasymiak said. “We were calling a lot of the same stuff for the most part. He didn’t change (the game plan) too much.”

Two Maine penalties helped a Chippewas drive that started on the Maine 46 with 8:13 left in the second quarter.

After personal foul and pass interference penalties on Maine sandwiched around a 9-yard completion, quarterback Tommy Lazaro ran for 7 yards, then scored from 5 yards.

Maine was pinned in its own end near the end of the first half, and a punt and 15-yard return gave Central Michigan the ball at Maine’s 23 with nine seconds left.

After an incomplete pass, Ryan Tice kicked a 41-yard field goal for a 10-0 halftime lead.


Maine started the second half quickly, moving across midfield with two Central Michigan penalties and a 20-yard pass from Robinson to Juquan Blair.

The two connected again for a 14-yard gain and a first down at the 12. Fitzpatrick lost 4 yards on a run, then Robinson tried a rollout, fumbled and recovered.

On third down, Robinson looked for Earnest Edwards in the end zone but couldn’t connect, which set up a 43-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked.

Central Michigan recovered at the Maine 43.

Maine did finally score when Kenny Doak connected on a 38-yarder with 2:24 left in the third quarter, then added a safety with 6:23 left in the fourth when Richard Carr blocked a punt that went out the back of the end zone.

“We just need to come out next week, and be able to execute and not have too many penalties,” Maine linebacker Sterling Sheffield said. “That’s what really killed us. To be honest, their scores – that was all just penalties and mental mistakes.


“If it wasn’t for that, I’m pretty sure we would have been able to shut them out.”

Maine was facing its second consecutive FBS opponent after winning two weeks ago at Western Kentucky.

The Black Bears, who are 3-19 all time against FBS schools, will receive $400,000 for playing at Central Michigan.


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