Late Rhody Rally Falls Short vs. Maine on Homecoming Weekend

Late Rhody Rally Falls Short vs. Maine on Homecoming Weekend

How it Happened
Maine broke the scoring open after a 65-yard run by Josh Mack early in the first quarter, but Rhody responded to open the second quarter, as Jordan Vazzano found Marven Beauvais on a 25-yard strike to tie it at 7-7.  The redshirt freshman quarterback engineered a four-play, 57-yard strike for the equalizer.

The Black Bears regained the lead on a 9-yard touchdown reception with 9:07 left in the half.  Maine took a 14-7 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, Vazzano scored the first touchdown of his collegiate career on a 5-yard keeper with 4:29 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 14-14.  Rhody made a costly mistake near the end of the third, as Maine returned a Vazzano interception 48 yards for the score to take a 21-14 lead into the final quarter of play.

Vazzano found Aaron Parker for a 65-yard TD reception down the home sideline - Rhode Isand's longest play from scrimmage on the season - to tie the game at 21-21 with 10:32 to go.  Maine took a 28-21 lead thanks to a 43-yard touchdown from Dan Collins to Micah Wright with 6:35 left. 

But the Rams would not go quietly.  With 2:02 left, Rhody drove the length of the field with Vazzano completing 20+ yard passes to Beauvais and Harold Buckner III en route to a first-and-10 at the Maine 18 yard line with 18 seconds to go.  After a spike to stop the clock, Vazzano's second down pass bounced off the finger tips of a diving Beauvais as Maine made a miraculous game-ending interception.

Inside the Box Score

  • Harold Buckner III led the Rams with nine catches for a career-best 141 yards.  His previous high was 108 yards, set earlier this season against New Hampshire. It was the highest receiving yardage total of the season and the most since Anthony Baskerville had 147 yards at Delaware on Oct. 22, 2011.
  • Wide receiver Marven Beauvais registered his first career touchdown reception in the second quarter.  
  • Aaron Parker's 65-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter was both the longest play from scrimmage and longest scoring play of the season.  Parker ended the game with two catches for 71 yards.
  • Jordan Vazzano finished the game 20-for-47 for 347 yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions.  
  • Defensively, Rhode Island was led by D.J. Stewart's 10 tackles.  It is the sophomore's third game with 10 or more tackles on the season.  
  • Oliver Graybar punted seven times for a total of 283 yards (40.3 yards per punt), including a long boot of 53 yards.
  • Harold Cooper rushed 12 times for 25 yards and returned four kicks for 88 yards - including a 50-yard return. He caught three passes for 19 yards and finished the game with 132 all-purpose yards.
  • Three Rams made their first starts of the season today. Defensive end Danny Harry, Jr., right tackle Kevin Lawrence, and right guard Marcus Pantoja.
  • Sophomore Perry Schrader made his collegiate debut against the Black Bears, appearing on special teams for URI this afternoon.
  • Redshirt junior Dave Steinmetz was the team's anchor bearer.
  • Attendance for the game was 4,007.

Stat of the Game:
100% – Rhody was a perfect 4-for-4 on 4th down conversions on the afternoon.  

What's Next:
Rhode Island travels to Harrisonburg, Va. to take on James Madison next week - Oct. 29 - for a 3:30 p.m. start.