ORONO — Nick Charlton didn’t sugarcoat anything after his University of Maine football team lost to Stony Brook 22-17 Saturday afternoon.

He knows what the defeat, which came before a crowd of 4,137 at Alfond Stadium, meant.

“Now we have two games left,” he said. “That’s the reality. … We have two more opportunities to play. And there’s a lot to play for, like a winning season.”

Maine’s three-game winning streak, which had fostered FCS playoff hopes, ended in a thud against the Seawolves, who took a 16-0 lead in the second quarter and then held on at the end, intercepting two Derek Robertson passes in the second half.

The loss dropped Maine to 4-5 overall, 3-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association, with games against FBS foe Massachusetts and rival New Hampshire remaining. Stony Brook, meanwhile, won its third consecutive game to improve to 4-5 overall, 3-3 in the CAA.

Ty Son Lawton rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 9-yard pass from Tyquell Fields for the Seawolves.

“Any football win is a tough win,” said Stony Brook Coach Chuck Priore. “We had a great first half and I applaud Maine for how they came back and stuck with it.”

But the problems that plagued Maine early in the season – and were largely missing during the Black Bears winning streak – returned. Maine had 12 penalties for 104 yards. The Black Bears ran only 56 plays and had the ball for only 25:10, failing to convert a third down play in the first half and finishing only 3 of 11. The Black Bears had trouble running the ball. Although they finished with 114 rushing yards, 69 came on one run by Freddie Brock, who finished with 82 on 10 carries.

Defensively, Maine allowed Stony Brook to convert 6 of 11 third downs in the first half, when it built a 16-7 lead. The Seawolves gained 250 of their 299 yards of total offense in the first half as well.

“We left too many plays out there,” said Charlton. “We got to coach better, we got to play better. … Stony Brook’s a good team but we did not play up to our full potential and that starts with me.”

Maine’s defense forced Stony Brook to kick three field goals (of 38, 37 and 30 yards by Angelo Guglielmello) in the first half to keep the game within reach. Then in the second half, it was even better. forcing five punts.

“We played with confidence,” said linebacker Ray Miller, who led Maine with 12 tackles. “During the first half we kind of assumed that we were going to play well because it had been happening instead of having the attitude of actually going out there and making it happen.”

Maine pulled within 16-10 on a 36-yard field goal by Jonny Messina with 7:33 left in the third and appeared to be driving in for another score. But Robertson (17 of 32 for 160 yards) was intercepted in the end zone by Stony Brook’s Randy Pringle.

Maine faced a fourth-and-inches at its 34 early in the fourth. Charlton sent out the punt team, then called a timeout, and sent out the offense. Robertson was stuffed for no gain and the Seawolves took over. Three plays later, Lawton caught his touchdown pass and it was 22-10 with 10:47 left.

“I looked at the distance and it was less than a foot,” said Charlton. “We had done a decent job in the interior moving them so I made the decision to go … Now obviously I wish we hadn’t done that and punted the football.”

Maine, which played without standout wide receiver Andre Miller (hamstring), came back and got a 10-yard touchdown pass from Robertson to Jacob Hennie with 3:49 left. Maine’s defense forced a punt and the Black Bears got the ball, following a 13-yard punt return by Hennie, at their 44 with 2:30 left. But on first down, Robertson was chased from the pocket and forced a throw into the middle which was intercepted by linebacker Tyler King.

“I can’t make those plays in those situations,” said Robertson of the interceptions. “We’ve got to live to fight another down, throw the ball away because neither one of those plays was there. That’s on me.”


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