New Hampshire football falls to Maine, 57-24

DURHAM, N.H. - Jake Eaton completed 22 of 30 passes for 343 yards, threw two touchdown passes and also had two rushing touchdowns to lead the University of Maine football team to Saturday afternoon’s 57-24 Atlantic 10 victory against the University of New Hampshire at Cowell Stadium.

Royston English spearheaded the Maine ground attack, which amassed 237 yards on 49 carries, with 158 yards on 23 rushes. His fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns of 53 and 28 extended the visitors lead from 38-17 to 51-17 with 12:59 to play.

Maine (8-2 overall, 7-2 conference) never trailed after Eaton’s four-yard touchdown run gave the Black Bears a 7-0 lead at 8:22 of the first quarter. UNH’s R.J. Harvey (Albany, N.Y.) returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to tie the game, 7-7.

Eaton's second rushing touchdown, this time from the 6-yard line, put Maine ahead to stay, 14-7, at 8:51 of the second quarter. Eaton connected with Stefan Gomes for a 26-yard scoring play to push the lead to 21-7 at 2:27. Bob MacDonald (North Hampton, N.H.) made a 29-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining in the first half to trim UNHís deficit to 21-10.

Stefan Gomes (eight catches, 109 yards) fielded the opening kickoff of the second half at the Maine 19 and lateralled the ball across the field to Lennard Byrd, who ran the ball 81 yards for a touchdown.

New Hampshire (4-7, 2-7) quarterback Ryan Day (Manchester, N.H.) broke the school record for career touchdown passes with a 35-yard strike to Brian Mallette (Walpole, Mass.; 10 catches, 114 yards) at 9:07 of the third quarter. His 52nd career TD pass pulled the Wildcats within 28-17 but the ‘Cats would get no closer. Day, who finished 29 of 51 for 338 yards, increased his TD total to 53 with a 13-yard scoring play to Michael Taylor (Allentown, Pa.; eight catches, 119 yards) with 3:09 remaining in the game.

An Eaton-to-Chad Hayes 18-yard pass play gave Maine a 35-17 advantage and Chris DeVinney made a 37-yard field goal to make the score 38-17 through three quarters.

Following English’s pair of rushing touchdowns, Henry James gave the Black Bears a 57-17 advantage at 4:43.

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