OGDEN — Turnovers and a lack of offense doomed Weber State, as they dropped its quarterfinals round matchup of the FCS Championship playoffs to the Maine Black Bears, 23-18, on Friday night.
Wildcats quarterback Jake Constantine threw four interceptions in the second half as the Weber State offense sputtered in its attempt to overcome an early 14-3 deficit. Weber State managed only 259 yards of offense against a stingy Maine defense that managed double-digit tackles for loss.
The Wildcats scored first on a 37-yard field goal to open up the second quarter. But the Black Bears responded with a touchdown before the half to take the lead on a 9-yard pass from Chris Ferguson to Jaquan Blair. The Black Bears added two more touchdowns and a field goal in the second half to end Weber State’s season.
Weber State made a strong push in the third quarter to cut Maine’s lead to 2 points following a made 45-yard field goal and a touchdown.
Facing a fourth-and-12 situation late in the third quarter, Constantine brushed off two defenders on an attempted sack and lobbed a pass into the end zone to Devon Cooley for a 33-yard touchdown pass. The play was originally ruled a touchback after a Maine defender stripped the ball out of Cooley’s hands.
After review, refs overruled the play saying Cooley was down before the ball was fumbled.
But Maine would take advantage of Weber State’s turnovers and managed a 45-yard rushing touchdown by Ramon Jefferson with 2:56 left in the game to seal the victory for the Black Bears.
Weber State's Constantine would throw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Darryl Denby with one second left in the game to claim 6 more points, but it would not impact the final result. Constantine finished the game throwing for 272 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-52 passing, but with four interceptions to end the night.
Maine will now play the winner of Eastern Washington and UC Davis, who play Saturday in a 2 p.m. kickoff.
Weber State, again, drops a quarterfinals matchup, keeping the Wildcats out of their first-ever semifinals game. The Wildcats finished the season with a 10-3 record.