BIDDEFORD, Maine – A late 38-yard field goal from Robert Inniss, Jr. (Windham, Maine) with five seconds remaining in regulation was the difference as visiting Curry College fell to the University of New England, 44-42, on Saturday afternoon at Blue Storm Stadium in CCC Football play.
The Colonels wasted no time opening the scoring, as sophomore Zach Levy (Bellingham, Mass.) finished off a 12-play, 78-yard drive on their first possession as he scampered in from eight yards out to put Curry up, 6-0. Freshman Nick Oliveira (East Providence, R.I.) converted the point-after try and the score was pushed to 7-0.
Following a possession each for both sides, UNE got on the board with a 5-yard drive themselves which ended with Devon Charles (Vernon, Conn.) running it in from three yards out to pull within one, 7-6. A successful point-after attempt from Inniss, Jr. tied the game at seven.
Curry answered back with an eight-play, 64-yard drive in 2:43 which was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Nick Juvelier (Centereach, N.Y.) to Nick Villanueva (Hanson, Mass.). Another Oliveira kick split the uprights to give the Colonels a 14-7 advantage.
The Nor'easters scored on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to grab a seven-point lead. Quarterback Brian Peters (Darien, Conn.) connected with Ryan Gaboury (Cumberland, R.I.) for a 41-yard touchdown strike to finish off a two play in just 44 seconds. On their next drive, Peters found Gaboury again from 22 yards out, which capped off a nine-play, 88-yard drive in 3:17. Inniss, Jr. converted both point-after tries to put UNE out in front, 21-14.
Curry had the response on the following drive as Juvelier engineered a series of 91 yards in 11 plays. Juvelier found the end zone from three yards. With a good point-after from Oliveira, the contest would be tied for a third time, 21-21.
With less than two minutes to go in the first half, the University of New England put together a four-play, 58-yard drive in just 41 seconds to grab the lead heading into the break. Peters hooked up with Gaboury for a 20-yard pass to put the Nor'easters ahead by a 27-21 score. Inniss, Jr. converted the PAT to increase the lead to 28-21 heading into halftime.
UNE drove 75 yards on only six plays to find the end zone on the first possession of the second half with Jack Mahoney (Hudson, N.H.) breaking out for a 39-yard rush which found the end zone to give the Nor'easters the 34-21 lead. The score remained the same after a failed point-after from Inniss, Jr.
The Colonels put together a six-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 31-yard strike from Juvelier to Villanueva to pull within six after another point-after from Oliveira, 34-28.
The Nor'easters had the answer on the following possession as Charles found the end zone from three yards out to finish off a nine-play drive covering 3:57. Following a successful PAT from Inniss, Jr. the score was 41-28.
The comeback trail for Curry began on the next drive. The Colonels engineered an eight-play, 70-yard drive finished off by a 12-yard pass from Juvelier to Dylan Vieira-Owens (Everett, Mass.) in 3:01. Oliveira split the uprights to pull the Colonels to within six, 41-35.
Following a three-and-out, the Colonels would regain possession with 14:52 to go in regulation. Curry put together a 14-play, 80-yard drive finished off by a 25-yard hookup from Juvelier to Levy that found the end zone. Oliveira's successful point after gave the Colonels their first lead since the first quarter, 42-41.
After an empty possession from each side, Curry punted it to the Nor'easters with 2:29 left in regulation. UNE put together a 12-play drive in 2:24 to set up Inniss, Jr. with a 38-yard field goal attempt with less than 20 seconds remaining. Inniss, Jr. knocked in the kick with just five seconds remaining to give the Nor'easters a 44-42 lead.
Following a kickoff from the University of New England and the last chance from the Colonels that included multiple laterals, the play was ended at the Curry 15 yard line to give the Nor'easters the narrow victory, 44-42.
The Colonels were led offensively by Juvelier who threw 35 completions on 49 attempts for 369 yards four scores and an interception. He also amassed 51 yards on the ground on 10 carries and another score. Levy led the ground game with 104 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown.
Villanueva led the receiving corps with 136 yards and two scores while catching seven passes. Mike DelGais (East Rockaway, N.H.) added 11 receptions for 65 yards while Levy and Vieira-Owens pitched in touchdown receptions on the afternoon.
Defensively, senior Jeremy Eliades (Berlin, Conn.) finished with a game-high 15 solo tackles and added one assisted tackle. Aidan Cawley (Abington, Mass.) followed with seven total tackles. Gregory Silvia (Coventry, R.I.) finished with six tackles (all solo), including one for a loss of four yards.
The Nor'easters were led by Peters who threw for 302 yards on 25-of-33 and three touchdowns. Mahoney led the ground game with 76 yards on 12 carries and one score. Gaboury led the UNE receiving corps with 192 yards on 10 catches and three touchdowns.
Defensively, Keegan Stanton-Meas (Portland, Maine) recorded 13 total tackles with a sack, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble and a pass breakup. DJ James (Turner, Maine) and Kuomar Fitzgerald (West Orange, N.J.) followed with 11 tackles apiece, while Joe Curit (Biddeford, Maine), Owen Berry (Wells, Maine) and Sean Emmert (Rochester, N.Y.) finished with six tackles each.
Curry (2-4 overall, 0-2 CCC Football) heads to Western New England for its next contest on Saturday, October 13 at 1:00 p.m. The University of New England (1-3 overall, 1-1 CCC Football) returns to action as they host Endicott on Saturday, October 13 at 2:00 p.m.