ORONO — University of Maine Coach Nick Charlton doesn’t worry when wide receiver Earnest Edwards has the ball. “I know something good will happen,” he said.

And not just when he catches the ball. Edwards threw a 19-yard touchdown pass Saturday to Jaquan Blair during the 34-25 victory against William & Mary at Alfond Stadium.

It was Edwards’ third touchdown pass of the season and fourth of his career. He also caught a 67-yard touchdown pass – his seventh of the season – from Joe Fagnano.

Edwards, who has completed 4 of 5 passes for 59 yards this year, said he gets more excited after throwing a touchdown pass than catching one. “Because I miss being a quarterback,” he said, noting he was a quarterback until his freshman year of high school in Rochester, New York.

He likes that challenge. “When (Charlton) calls my name I know I’ve got to go out and make a play,” said Edwards.

On the play, Edwards took a lateral from Fagnano and rolled to his right. He said he saw Blair covered, looked to his left and “saw nobody was open there,” so he threw to Blair in the back of the end zone. Blair leaped over defensive back Latrelle Smith to make the catch.

“Honestly, it was a way better catch than it was thrown,” said Edwards.

Blair said he has confidence in Edwards’ ability to get him the ball. “You have to trust your brother to put you in a spot to succeed,” he said. “Once I saw the ball in the air I knew I had to make a play.”

RUNNING BACK Joe Fitzpatrick of North Yarmouth and Cheverus High is known as a straight-ahead runner. Saturday, he made one cutback that resulted in a huge penalty against the Tribe.

On Maine’s final drive, Fitzgerald lost 7 yards on a third-down play from the Tribe 19. But defensive tackle Bill Murray was flagged for a facemask, giving Maine a first down at the 10.

“I don’t cut it back ever really and I cut back because I’m not going to go out of bounds,” said Fitzpatrick. “We were trying to take time off the clock. So I guess that was a lucky break.”

BACKUP QUARTERBACK Grant Hartley, the former Edward Little High standout from Auburn, was suspended for the game for a violation of team rules, leaving Jacob Hennie, a sophomore wide receiver who played quarterback in high school, and freshman Zoltan Panyi, the former Scarborough High star from Old Orchard Beach, as Fagnano’s backups.

LEFT TACKLE Tyler Royal was out with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Mike Gerace, normally the starting right guard. Redshirt freshman Vincent Schell moved into Gerace’s spot at right guard.

Gerace was shaken up early in the fourth quarter and had to be replaced for a few plays by Gunnar Ducos, the former Oxford Hills High standout.

RUNNING BACK Jordan Rowell, who transferred from Northern Illinois, was in on Maine’s kickoff team. He suffered a knee injury in Maine’s first preseason scrimmage and has yet to run the ball.




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