Rams Can't Keep Up With Black Bears, Fall at Maine

Rams Can't Keep Up With Black Bears, Fall at Maine

How It Happened
Rhode Island scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions and led by 11 points in the second quarter, but a run of 41 unanswered points by Maine doomed the Rams in a 51-27 loss Saturday night.

Rhode Island (1-5, 0-3 CAA Football) opened the game with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a T.J. Anderson 16-yard touchdown run. It was the first time this season Rhody has scored on its opening possession.

The defense made a stop on third down on Maine's first possession. However, a roughing the punter penalty gave the Black Bears an automatic first down. One play later, Chris Ferguson hit Jaleel Reed for a 54-yard touchdown pass that helped Maine tie the score, 7-7.

The Rams came right back and scored on their second possession. A 10-play, 78-yard drive featured several big plays. Aaron Parker's 38-yard catch on third down extended the drive. JaJuan Lawson rushed for a key first down to set up a Harris 14-yard touchdown pass to Marven Beauvais, putting Rhody back in front, 14-7.

Maine (2-3, 1-3 CAA Football) put together its own drive, moving the ball 58 yards on 14 plays to set up a 21-yard field goal by Brandon Briggs. The drive trimmed the Rhode Island lead to 14-10 with 7:59 left in the first half.

Lawson led the next Rhode Island drive, moving the ball 75 yards in just five plays. On second-and-10, Lawson hit Tyler Burke over the middle for 25 yards, putting the ball at midfield. Three plays later, Lawson connected with Aaron Parker for a 44-yard touchdown pass that increased the Rhody lead to 21-10.

From there, Maine scored 41 unanswered points. A 77-yard punt return by Micah Wright just before halftime helped the Black Bears go into the break up 30-21. From there, the combination of Ferguson (18-of-28, 214 yards, 5 touchdown passes) and Josh Mack (248 rushing yards, 1 touchdown) could not be stopped as the Black Bears scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions to roll to the win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Aaron Parker continued his remarkable season, catching four passes for 95 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown reception.
  • Parker set a Rhode Island record by catching a touchdown pass in his eighth consecutive game. During the eight-game stretch, he has caught 45 passes for 994 yards and eight scores. Overall, he has caught a touchdown in nine of his last 10 games.
  • Redshirt junior Marven Beauvais had the first two-touchdown game of his career, grabbing scores of 14 yards and 6 yards. He finished the night with four catches for 41 yards.
  • Redshirt junior JaJuan Lawson was 9-of-18 for 139 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 10 times for a team-best 67 yards.
  • Senior T.J. Anderson scored his first touchdown of the season, breaking off a 16-yard run on the opening drive of the game. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry, finishing with 30 yards.
  • Senior Jose Duncan moved into 10th place in program history in sacks with his first-quarter sack of Chris Ferguson. It was career sack number 12 for Duncan, who moved past Dana Hart (2005-07) on Rhody's all-time list.
  • Sophomore L.B. Mack III recorded a sack for the second straight game.
  • Redshirt freshman Kwadir Brown recorded his team-best fifth pass of the year.
  • Junior D.J. Stewart recorded a team-high 10 tackles, while classmate Justin Hogan added nine stops. Stewart also broke up one pass.
  • Sophomore defensive tackle Brandon Ginnetti appeared on offense as a fullback. His lead block paved the way for JaJuan Lawson to pick up a first down that set up Rhode Island's second touchdown of the day.
  • Micah Wright's punt return for a touchdown was the first by an opponent since Harvard's Kolbi Brown had one on Sept. 19, 2015.
  • The anchor bearer for Rhode Island was junior tight end Tyler Burke. Senior linebacker Khilyni Kennedy was the game captain.
  • Rhode Island's RECON-RAM Players of the Week were redshirt freshman running back Prince Asiedu-Johnson and freshman linebacker Jake Fire.

What's Next
Rhode Island returns to Meade Stadium for the first time in more than a month when it hosts Elon in its Homecoming/Family Day game. Kickoff is set for noon. Rhody was last at Meade Stadium on Sept. 16 when it defeated Harvard, 17-10.