Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove says last weekend’s victory at William & Mary is “a big step forward” for a team that’s still young and inexperienced.

The Black Bears jumped to a 20-3 lead and held on for a 20-17 win Saturday in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both teams.

Maine quarterback Ron Whitcomb rushed for two touchdowns and connected on a 29-yard pass to Landis Williams for a third.

William & Mary (0-2, 0-1) had the ball on its own 20-yard line with 1:44 remaining. After three incomplete passes, quarterback Jake Phillips connected with Matt Trinkle for five yards, but the Tribe lost it with 1:17 remaining and Maine ran out the clock.

“We’ve never won down here, never even come close to winning down here,” Cosgrove said after the victory at Williamsburg, Va.

“So this is a big step forward for what is, at this point, a young, inexperienced football team. I like the way we went at it and kept fighting. This time we got our reward,” he said.

Maine is now 1-1 on the season going into its home opener Saturday against Shaw.

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