ORONO — Adrian Otero did not expect a pass play. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t ready for it.

Otero, a senior linebacker, intercepted a Darius Wilson pass in the end zone with 2:30 remaining to secure Maine’s 27-16 victory over William & Mary on Saturday before a crowd of 6,356 at Alfond Stadium.

“I expected the run,” said Otero, from Hazelton, Pennsylvania. “They just had two good runs before that. I just did my job and the ball was right there.”

Trailing by 11, William & Mary drove from its 14 to the Maine 2, with 67 of those yards on running plays. For the game, the Tribe rushed for 258 yards, averaging 6.8 yards a carry.

After a pass interference penalty against Maine in the end zone gave William & Mary first-and-goal at the 2, everyone expected a run.

Instead, Wilson dropped back and threw to the middle of the field, toward a receiver cutting across the back of the end zone. Otero simply reached out to the right and picked off the pass, stumbling to the ground as he held on.

That play allowed Maine to run out the clock.

“I don’t know the specifics of it, but obviously we didn’t throw it to the right guy,” said Tribe Coach Mike London when asked if Wilson simply didn’t see Otero.

“I was in pretty much a zone,” said Otero, who was also in on seven tackles. “I was supposed to cover the second back out, but there was no back. So I just stayed in my zone, basically.

“Once I saw it coming, I said, ‘There it is.'”

Maine had three takeaways – one fumble recovery and two interceptions.

“We just wanted it more today,” said Otero. “Black Hole. We were just the Black Hole today, all around.”

MAINE RUSHED for 194 yards on 43 carries, led by Freddie Brock with 86 yards. Zavier Scott had 51 yards and Tavion Banks gained 33.

“When we get a running game like that, it takes a lot off the whole offense’s shoulders,” said quarterback Derek Robertson, who also rushed for 25 yards and picked up three first downs.

MAINE WAS still missing quarterback Joe Fagnano, who suffered a high ankle sprain to his right leg in the season’s second game and is, according to Charlton, out “indefinitely.” Also remaining out because of ankle injuries were defensive end Jamehl Wiley and running back Elijah Barnwell.

The Black Bears then lost starting left guard Matthias Staalsoe to what appeared to be an ankle injury with 7:28 left in the first quarter. He was replaced by Gunnar Ducos, a senior from Harrison and Oxford Hills High.

REDSHIRT FRESHMAN defensive lineman Darian Royal of Quebec City had a strong couple of series in the second quarter and was in on a fourth-down stop of Martin Lucas at the Maine 14. Junior defensive end Justin Sambu, from Rocky View, Alberta, also aided on that critical play, which came with Maine leading 10-0.

The Black Bears then drove 87 yards to extend their lead to 17-0.

 

 

 


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