BIDDEFORD, Maine – In the first home game at newly-renovated UNE Blue Storm Stadium, the University of New England was defeated by Husson 47-7 in Biddeford, Maine on Saturday afternoon.
The running game and turnovers proved to be the difference as the Eagles outrushed the Nor’easters 383 yards to -21 yards. Husson was led by Solomon Hassen with 245 yards on the ground on 28 attempts and two scores. The Eagles grabbed five interceptions on the day, while UNE had its fair share of takeaways with three picks.
Cory Brandon found Kyle Gaudet from 19 yards out on Husson’s opening drive to put the visitors ahead 7-0. After a punt to start the game, the next two UNE drives ended with interceptions. Following the second pick, Hassen burst out to a 41-yard score and after a muffed extra point the score was 13-0.
The second quarter was much of the same as Husson used its running game to score three more touchdowns and pull in front 33-0 at halftime.
The Nor’easters grabbed some momentum back to start the second half as Pat Saunders (Kennebunkport, Maine) intercepted a Brandon pass and returned it 39 yards to the Eagles’ 21-yard line. UNE was unable to score, but Joe Curit (Biddeford, Maine) halted the next Husson drive with another pick.
Three-and-outs by both teams gave UNE the ball at their own 41 with 4:35 to play in the third quarter. A six-play, 59-yard drive ended as Brian Peters (Darien, Conn.) found Ryan Gaboury (Cumberland, R.I.) for 37 yards for a touchdown to make the score 33-7. Gaboury led all receivers with six catches for 104 yards on the day.
Riley Ray (Winnetka, Calif.) came up with the sack to end the Eagles’ next drive and set the Nor’easters up near midfield for their next possession late in the third. Another long pass to Gaboury to convert on fourth down, this time for 26 yards, put UNE at the opponent’s eight. An option pass by running back Jack Mahoney (Hudson, N.H.) was intercepted in the end zone to end the threat.
Husson tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Peters finished with 268 yards through the air, but four interceptions. Haelin Roberts (Edmonds, Wash.) added five catches for 61 yards.
Defensively, reigning Commonwealth Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Week Keegan Stanton-Meas (Portland, Maine) had another huge game with 14 tackles (11 solo) and an interception. GianCarlo Diaz (Angleton, Texas) had 10 tackles, including one of three UNE sacks.
The Nor’easters are on the road next Saturday, Sept. 15 against Hampden-Sydney. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.