ELLSWORTH — The University of Maine football team will play in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals after defeating Weber State 23-18 in Friday’s quarterfinal showdown in Ogden, Utah.
After going most of the first half without scoring a touchdown, Maine took a 7-3 lead over No. 2 Weber State (10-3) with 2 minutes, 5 seconds left in the first half when Jaquan Blair caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Chris Ferguson. The Black Bears then went ahead 14-3 with 13:32 left in the third quarter when Ferguson connected with Earnest Edwards for a 67-yard strike.
Weber State cut the seventh-ranked Black Bears’ lead to 14-12 with 1:55 left in the third quarter, but four second-half interceptions would become the home team’s undoing. Maine (10-3) added a 45-yard touchdown run from Ramon Jefferson and long field goal from Kenny Doak to take a 23-12 lead, and a Weber State touchdown pass as time expired was little more than consolation prize.
With the win, Maine advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history. The Black Bears will face No. 6 Eastern Washington (11-2) on the road at 2 p.m. Eastern Time next Saturday, Dec. 15, in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2.