ORONO, Maine (AP) — Earnest Edwards returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, Drew Belcher scored on a 1-yard run and Maine cashed in on a turnover to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship outright by beating Elon 27-26 on Saturday.
It's Maine's first outright conference championship since 2013 and 13th overall conference title dating back to 1949.
Elon had a chance to win after forcing a punt with 3:05 left to play, but, after getting intercepted then recovering a fumble on the same play, was stopped on downs at the Maine 42.
Jamehl Wiley's fumble recovery set up Belcher's score before Edwards returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 second-quarter lead. Kenny Doak added a 44-yard field goal, then Edwards returned another kickoff 93 yards for a score and a 24-13 Black Bears lead.
Connor Christiansen grabbed two interceptions and Greg Liggs Jr. snagged another which led to Elon scores. The Phoenix closed to 27-20 on Daniel Thompson's 23-yard TD pass to Cole Taylor. Skyler Davis kicked a career-high four field goals, including two in the fourth quarter to make it a one-point game.
Freshman Ramon Jefferson gained 130 yards on 25 carries for Maine (8-3, 7-1), which had 234 total yards to Elon's 432.
Thompson was 18 of 43 for 250 yards passing and Brelynd Cyphers scored on a 2-yard run for the Phoenix (6-4, 4-3).