Rams Fight Back, but Fall at Maine, 27-17

Rams Fight Back, but Fall at Maine, 27-17

How it Happened
Rhode Island (0-4, 0-2 CAA Football) held its first lead of the season, but it was short-lived as Maine scored 24 unanswered points en route to a 27-17 victory Saturday.

On its third drive of the game, Rhode Island drove from its own 20 to the Maine 3-yard line after a 33-yard pass to Khayri Denny. However, instead of first and goal, the Rams faced first and 10 at the 18-yard line due to a taunting penalty on Denny. Rhode Island wound up settling for a 30-yard field goal from Justin Rohrwasser that put the Rams up 3-0.

Maine (1-2, 1-0 CAA Football) responded with a three-play, 83-yard drive that took just 48 seconds, as Drew Belcher connected with Micah Wright for a 51-yard touchdown pass to give the Black Bears the lead. An interception by Rhode Island on its next snap set the Black Bears up for a 21-yard touchdown run for Nigel Beckford. With two touchdowns in 47 seconds, Maine found itself up 14-3. 

A second quarter field goal and Beckford's second rushing touchdown of the game helped Maine extend the lead to 24-3. Rhode Island cut into the deficit with a 1-yard touchdown run by T.J. Anderson in the third quarter.

Quarterback Paul Mroz ran in from 3 yards out to give Rhode Island its second touchdown of the game with 9:54 to go. However, that was as close as Rhody could make it.

Inside the Box Score

  • Junior linebacker Adam Parker matched his career high with 16 tackles, including eight solo stops. It was the second time he has had 16 tackles against Maine.
  • Parker also had two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He now has seven tackles for loss on the season.
  • Senior safety Tim Wienclaw also matched his career high by making 13 tackles. He added two pass break ups and one tackle for loss.
  • Junior defensive back Naiquan Thomas had eight tackles, cornerback Travis Crawley had six and defensive tackle Jose Duncan had five stops.
  • The defense had a season-best six tackles for loss. Including the first career sack for redshirt sophomore Derrick Holmes.
  • Junior quarterback Paul Mroz threw for a career-best 234 yards on 17-of-39 passing. Mroz also scored his first career touchdown.
  • Redshirt freshman Marven Beauvais had five catches for 93 yards, both team highs. Fellow wideouts Phadrae White and Khayri Denny each had four receptions. White averaged a team-high 19.3 yards and finished with 77 receiving yards.
  • Sophomore running back T.J. Anderson made his first career start for Rhode Island. He had the team's first rushing touchdown of the season in the third quarter. 
  • Freshman cornerback Ahkema Evans had a 52-yard kick return to open the second half, but Rhode Island was unable to capitalize on the strong field position. He finished the day with 127 return yards on five attempts, an average of 25.4 yards per return.
  • Evans also had a pass break up in the end zone in the first quarter to prevent a Maine touchdown. The play kept the Black Bears off the scoreboard as Maine subsequently missed a field goal.
  • Senior Robby Delgado contributed a 30-yard kick return, as the Rams gave themselves solid field position through the return game.
  • Redshirt sophomore James Caparell made his first appearance of the season, coming on in the second quarter for one series. He was 1-for-2 for 6 yards.
  • Freshman kicker Justin Rohrwasser continues to be a bright spot for the Rams, as he kicked a 30-yard field goal and made two extra points. He has made all of his kicks thus far this season.
  • Maine's Micah Wright was the first opposing receiver to top 100 yards against Rhode Island this year. He finished with 139 yards and one touchdown on seven catches.
  • Senior Kolt Peavey served as the game captain for the Rams, while senior Myles Holmes was the anchor bearer.
  • Attendance for the game was 7,535.

Stat of the Game
3-for-3 – Rhode Island was perfect on three trips to the red zone, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal. The Rams are now 5-for-6 in the red zone this season, scoring three touchdowns and two field goals.

What's Next
Rhode Island plays at in-state rival Brown Saturday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. in the annual Governor's Cup game. It will be the 100th meeting all-time between the schools.