TOWSON, Md. -- Trailing by four with 2:39 left in the game, Dan Collins (Williamstown, N.J.) and the Maine offense went to work. The Black Bears cashed in on three fourth down conversions on their final drive, including a 37-yard touchdown to Jordan Dunn (Hamilton, N.J.) with 52-seconds remaining. The score would prove to be the game-winner as Maine (2-2, 1-0 CAA) held on to defeat Towson (2-3, 0-1 CAA), 27-24 on Saturday evening at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
Collins led Maine's attack, going 19-for-29 with a career high 225-yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Nigel Beckford (Bridgeport, Conn.) added two scores on the ground while Dunn hauled in a game-high six passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Maine's defense limited Towson to 126-yards through the air as Khari Al-Mateen (Baltimore, Md.) recorded a game-high 12 tackles while Cabrinni Goncalves (Taunton, Mass.) added 11 stops and an interception. Trevor Bates (Westbrook, Maine) notched six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while Zachary Hume (Lancaster, Mass.) chipped in two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Collins was sharp on Maine's opening drive as he went 5-for-5, leading the Black Bears on a nine play, 75-yard scoring drive. The sophomore signal caller hit Micah Wright (Newark, N.Y.) for a 20-yard strike to put Maine at the Tigers' 40-yard line. Facing a fourth and three. Collins worked out of shotgun, hitting Damarr Aultman (Wheatley Heights, N.Y.) for a 31-yard pickup down to the Towson 2-yard line. Collins completed his fifth straight pass, hitting Dunn on a short route for the score. The Black Bears' failed on their extra point try, taking a 6-0 lead with 10:22 left in the opening quarter.
Towson answered the Maine drive with a 77-yard, 15 play drive ending in a 25-yard field goal from Sam Hurwitz.
Maine took over on its own 37-yard line after a 31-yard return from Isaiah Jones (Orange, Mass.). However, Collins' first interception of the year led to a 15-yard score from Darius Victor as the Tigers took a 10-6 lead with 54-seconds left in the first quarter.
The Black Bears responded, scoring 14 unanswered points in the second quarter while holding the Towson offense to just 22 yards in the stanza.
Following a Towson punt, Beckford moved Maine down to the Tigers' 37-yard line. Collins and the offense kept rolling as a 13-yard strike to Aultman moved Maine down to the Towson goal line before Beckford punched in his first career touchdown, and Maine's first rushing score of the year.
Maine again forced the Tigers to punt after a big sack from Hume on third down, the first of his two opening half sacks. The Black Bears' offense capitalized on the defensive effort as Collins hit Jared Osumah (South Windsor, Conn.) for a 35-yard gain into Towson territory. A 6-yard rush from Collins turned into 12-yards after a Towson personal foul put Maine first and goal at the Tigers' five. The Black Bears went to Beckford again as the freshman sprinted in untouched for a 5-yard score to give Maine a 20-10 edge.
Towson cut the Maine lead to three later in the third quarter. Marquel Dickerson set up the score with a 39-yard rush before Connor Frazier found Zack Vogelei for a 1-yard score.
The Tigers regained the lead with a 10 play, 60 yard drive was capped by a 1-yard plunge by Victor with 11:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Towson put the pressure on Maine late as it recovered an onside kick after the score. The Tigers drove down to the Maine 7-yard line before Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga (Laval, Que.) stripped the Towson quarterback. Trevor Bates (Westbrook, Maine) recovered the fumble and returned it 33-yards out to the Maine 48.
With 2:39 left, the Tigers missed a 45-yard field goal attempt to the right, giving the Black Bears the ball on their own 28. Facing fourth down, Collins hit Osumah for a 21-yard gain to the Maine 49-yard line. Again staring fourth down in the face, Collins hit Salmon for a 10-yard pickup down to the Towson 40. The trend continued as Collins found Dunn down the middle of the field for a 37 yard touchdown as Maine took a 27-24 lead.
The Black Bears' defense held on late, shutting down Towson's one last chance and taking home a 27-24 victory.
After three-straight road games, the Black Bears return home to face Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 4. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 PM live on WVII 7/FOX 22 Bangor, WPME-TV and FOX College Sports.