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.
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.