Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Pendagast starts at QB in 32-21 loss to Maine

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian
Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Raymond Pendagast’s first collegiate start at quarterback didn’t turn out the way he hoped as the Massachusetts football team committed three late turnovers to give No. 13 Maine a 32-21 victory at Morse Field on Saturday.

Pendagast, a redshirt freshman who found himself behind Kellen Pagel and Brandon Hill on the depth chart until Saturday’s game, threw for 237 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss.

The game started slowly as neither team could muster much offense in the first quarter. The Black Bears scored the only points of the quarter with seven minutes, nine seconds remaining with a 22-yard field goal from Brian Harvey.

Pendagast gave the Minutemen a 7-3 lead with 9:21 left in the second when he found senior receiver Jesse Julmiste for a 17-yard strike. The touchdown was the first of Pendagast’s collegiate career and Julmiste’s fourth of the season.

Maine answered back on its ensuing possession thanks to three long rushes from Pushaun Brown and a 35-yard pass from Warren Smith, which set up a 12-yard touchdown from Brown to put the Black Bears up, 10-7. Brown finished with a game-high 149 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.

The Minutemen took a 14-10 lead late in the first half when senior tailback Jonathan Hernandez punched in a 2-yard touchdown run. Hernandez, who has been UMass’ most consistent offensive player, finished with 91 yards and a touchdown on a game-high 31 rushing attempts.

UMass started the second half in dramatic fashion when redshirt senior safety Shane Viveiros intercepted Smith and returned it 26 yards for the touchdown to give the Minutemen a 21-10 lead.

It was all downhill from there for UMass, as Maine scored 22-unanswered points to seal the victory.

After a field goal pulled them to within eight points, the Black Bears sacked and forced a fumble from Pendagast on their own 40-yard line. Maine’s Troy Russell recovered the fumble and returned it 60 yards for the score to make it 21-19 in favor of the Minutemen.

UMass held its two-point lead for the majority of the fourth quarter until Pendagast threw his lone interception of the game, which allowed the Black Bears offense to take over on the Minutemen’s 14-yard line. Maine picked up eight yards before Smith took it himself for a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Black Bears up, 25-21 with 3:26 remaining the game.

UMass and Maine both could not score on their following possessions, but the Black Bears’ Jordan Waxman kicked a 49-yard punt to the Minutemen’s 1-yard line. On UMass’ following drive, Pendagast was sacked and he fumbled the ball in the endzone, which was recovered by Maine for the defensive touchdown, finalizing the score at 32-21.

The two lone bright spots in the loss were Hernandez’s 91 rushing yards, which put him over 1,000 for the season and senior receiver Julian Talley’s game-high 107 yards, which gives him over 2,000 for his career.

With the win, the Black Bears (8-2 overall, 6-1 CAA) held on to a first-place tie in the CAA along with Towson. With the loss, the Minutemen fell to 5-5.

UMass will return home on Saturday for its season finale against James Madison. Kickoff is schedule for 1 p.m.

Steve Levine can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at MDC_Levine.


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