BANGOR, Maine - The Eagles (2-4, 2-1 CCC Football) couldn't overcome the chill that was the University of New England Nor'Easters (3-3, 1-2 CCC Football), as the former fell to the latter, 31-21, during Homecoming festivities Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After a long opening possession by the Nor'Easters that resulted in a missed Kevin Heintz field goal attempt, the Eagles found paydirt near the end of the first quarter. A 14-play, 80-yard drive was capped off with David Morrison throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Keyshaun Robinson; Devin Pickett's extra point gave Husson a 7-0 lead, which they took into the second quarter.
Back-to-back punts led to a 13-play, 81-yard drive by the Nor'Easters, culminating in a 2-yard touchdown run by Devon Charles. Heintz struck true on the extra point to tie the game at 7-7. On the Eagles' next possession, Robinson found the end zone again, this time on a 1-yard pass from Morrison to re-take the lead at 14-7. Husson then attempted an onside kick, which was recovered by UNE at their own 47-yard line with just 34 seconds left in the half. Nor'Easter quarterback Brian Peters directed his team 29 yards downfield, allowing Heintz to knock in a 38-yard field goal at the end of the half, trimming the Husson lead to 14-10.
The second half opened up with three straight drives ending in punts, however UNE was quick to strike on their next possession. Peters connected with Cobey Johnson for a 66-yard catch and run that put the Nor'Easters on top 17-14 with just under five minutes left in the third quarter.
A Husson turnover followed by back-to-back punts led to another Nor'Easter possession as time winded down in the third. Peters led the offense 75 yards downfield in nine plays, completing all four of his passes for 48 yards and capping off the drive with a 3-yard keeper for a touchdown. This extended UNE's lead to 24-14 with 12:16 left in the fourth quarter. The ensuing kickoff by Ryan Sargent went out of bounds, giving Husson the ball at their own 35-yard line. The Eagles took advantage of the shorter field, driving 65 yards in 11 plays, with Morrison finding Aidan Hogan for a 4-yard touchdown pass to close the gap at 24-21 in favor of the Nor'Easters.
UNE managed the clock wisely on their following drive, moving 63 yards in 10 plays and eating up over five minutes of game clock. Johnson tallied up 42 receiving yards on three catches on the drive, but Peters punched in his second touchdown run of the game on a quarterback sneak, making the lead 31-21 with just 1:58 left on the clock. Husson fought hard on their next drive, pushing UNE back to their 27-yard line, however Morrison was sacked on 4th and 10 by Will Peters to clinch the game for the Nor'Easters.
The loss was the first Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC Football) loss for the Eagles in program history. It was also their first conference loss since 2015 (Norwich, 11/07/15) as well as their first conference loss at home since 2013 (Mount Ida, 11/06/13).
For the Eagles, Morrison completed 25 out of 39 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Shawn Noel Jr. rushed for 134 yards on 32 carries (4.2 YPC), reaching the 100-yard rushing plateau for the second-straight game. Robinson caught seven passes for 59 yards and two scores, while Hogan added 56 yards on six catches and a score of his own. Tyler Halls was the leading Eagle receiver, tallying nine catches for 78 yards.
On the defensive side, Frank Curran accrued 12 total tackles while David Redmond added 10 total tackles and a sack. Defensive backs Brandon Williams and Marcell Mitchel had nine and seven total tackles, respectively.
For the Nor'Easters, Peters connected on 17 of his 27 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown while adding 56 yards and two scores on the ground. Devon Charles rushed for 59 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Jack Mahoney added 46 yards on seven carries. Johnson dominated in the passing game, catching eight passes for 151 yards and a score. Defensively, Nick Scarfo and Keegan Stanton-Meas each notched seven total tackles, with the former adding a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Defensive end Will Peters (three total tackles) notched the lone Nor'Easter sack, a crucial takedown of Morrison on fourth down to seal the game for UNE.
The Eagles host their third straight home conference game as the Gulls of Endicott College come to town next Saturday, October 26th. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 P.M.