ORONO — Saturday’s finale against arORONO, Maine — Saturday’s finale against archrival New Hampshire was a microcosm of the season for the University of Maine football team.

The Black Bears forced six turnovers and limited the top-ranked Wildcats to their lowest offensive output of the year on Saturday afternoon, but the offense struggled.

Ultimately, New Hampshire did just enough, putting together a crucial third-quarter scoring drive that helped the Wildcats earn a 20-12 Colonial Athletic Association victory at chilly Alfond Stadium.

New Hampshire (10-1, 8-0 CAA) extended its record-setting in-season win streak to 10 games while likely securing the No. 1 overall seed for the upcoming Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Coach Sean McDonnell’s Wildcats are likely to earn a first-round bye in the postseason and host a December 6 game in Durham, New Hampshire. They also retained the Brice-Cowell Musket, the spoils of the rivalry.

“We just found a way to win and it’s a great thing for these kids. I’m so proud of them,” said McDonnell, who admitted he never coached a team that committed six turnovers and won before Saturday.

“They did it for 10 weeks in a row and now they’ve got an opportunity to play at home (in the playoffs),” he added.

Coach Jack Cosgrove’s UMaine squad ended the season at 5-6 (4-4 CAA).

“It’s a very disappointing loss for us,” he said. “The guys played hard, we played aggressively, we played physically and I think we created some opportunities for ourselves we didn’t take advantage of.”

The defense shouldered much of the load, limiting New Hampshire to season lows of 20 points and 287 yards with six takeaways, including four interceptions.

Junior quarterback Sean Goldrich completed 14 of 31 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions and was sacked three times. R.J. Harris made five catches for 62 yards, but had some momentum-building grabs on the Wildcats’ second-half scoring drives.


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