Spiders blow big lead to lose fourth straight

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Spiders looked like they were well on their way to ending a three game losing steak on homecoming.  But they coughed up a 16 point halftime lead, by giving up 23 fourth quarter points in a 23-22 defeat to Maine.

Senior WR Tre Gray became Richmond's all-time leading receiver in both yards and catches, surpassing the 26-year old records by Leland Melvin, but Richmond was unable to hold leads of 16-0 in the third quarter and 22-9 with 13 minutes remaining.

Warren Smith's one-yard keeper tied the game with 3:42 left and Brian Harvey's PAT was the difference as the Spiders slipped to 3-4 overall, 0-4 in CAA Football play.  Three of Richmond's four losses have come by a combined six points.

Maine kept pace with the league leaders and improved to 6-1, 4-0 with its sixth-straight victory.

Gray and Corp hooked up early and often to help the Spiders build an early lead.  Corp finished off Richmond's first possession - set up by Tremayne Graham's interception on Maine's opening drive -- with a six-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Barnette -- the extra point attempt was blocked.

Corp finished 32-of-44 passing with 301 yards and a pair of touchdowns while extending his streak to 147-consecutive passes without an interception. Gray finished with 12 receptions for 129 yards -- his fourth 100-yard effort this season and fifth of his career.

Three possessions after the Barnette TD, the Spiders extended the lead to 13-0 when Corp hit sophomore Ben Edwards for a six-yard TD midway through the second quarter.

Junior Wil Kamin booted a 31-yard field with a second left in the half to allow Richmond a 16-0 lead at the break.

Following a scoreless third quarter, Maine dented the scoreboard when Smith hit Justin Perillo for a 16-yard TD pass.  And the Black Bears seemed to have momentum after recovering a fumble on Richmond's ensuing possession.

But Richmond stole it right back as junior Cooper Taylor recorded the second of the Spiders' two interceptions and returned it 44 yards to the two.  Senior RB Garrett Turner finished off the short drive with his seventh career rushing TD.

But that's when the tide turned again.

Kamin's PAT attempt was blocked by Michael Cole and Maine's Jerron McMillan scooped up the loose ball and returned it the length of the field for a two-point conversion for the Black Bears.

Maine scored on a five-yard rush from David Hood on the next drive, cutting the lead to 22-16 and after a three-and-out by Richmond with 7:42 left in the game, the Black Bears went to work on the eventual winning drive.

Smith kept the drive alive with a key 21-yard completion to Maurice McDonald on third-and-13 and the senior QB's one-yard rush with 3:42 left put Maine in position for the win.

Smith finished 31-of-51 with 289 yards, a touchdown and a pair of interceptions.  McDonald had 11 catches for 96 yards, but Richmond limited Pushaun Brown -- the league's second-leading rusher (106.5 yards/game) -- to just seven carries for nine yards.

Senior safety Colin Pehanick led the defensive effort with 11 tackles, 1.5 TFL, and a strip sack of QB Warren Smith.

The Spiders welcomed back a pair of starting defensive linemen who missed the last three games with injuries - and both made impacts.  Sophomore DE Kerry Wynn had seven tackles, 2.0 TFL, a sack and two QB hurries, while senior DT Corey Jackson was in on five stops and 1.5 TFL.

Richmond is back in action next Saturday versus Massachusetts at Robins Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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