(JESUS PICHARDO / THE STATESMAN)
The Seawolves picked up their first CAA win Saturday by defeating Rhode Island. (JESUS PICHARDO / THE STATESMAN)

If Saturday’s performance against Rhode Island was any indication, the Stony Brook football team will not have any trouble adjusting to play in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference this season.

The Seawolves opened their season at Meade Stadium, with a dominant 24-0 victory over the Rams. The game marked the program’s first contest while playing in the CAA.

Stony Brook’s defense led the way, forcing three turnovers on the day, two of which lead to Seawolves touchdowns.

Senior defensive back Reuben Johnson was extremely active on defense, recovering two fumbles and forcing another one. Sophomore defensive back Naim Cheeseboro had a big day as well, recording 9 tackles in the game.

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The offense was also productive, finishing with 339 yards of total offense, 153 of which came on the ground. Senior running back Marcus Coker led all players with 78 rushing yards.

Senior Lyle Negron, who began his first season as the Seawolves full time starting quarterback, also came up with a strong effort. He finished 12 of 19 for 186 yards, and a touchdown.

Negron made an impact in the game early on, but with his legs rather than his arm. On the Seawolves first play from scrimmage, he delivered a 57-yard run, to put his team on Rhode Island’s 10-yard line. The rush set up a field goal by senior Nick Ferrara to give Stony Brook an early 3-0 lead.

Negron’s run was the longest by a Seawolves quarterback since the year 2000, when Dave Rodriguez had a 64-yard run against Central Connecticut.

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In the second quarter Negron found junior tight end Will Tye for a 34-yard connection that put Stony Brook at the Ram’s eight yard line. Coker then finished the drive with a touchdown rush to give his team a 10-0 advantage.

The score would remain the same until the 9:23 mark of the fourth quarter, when sophomore running back Jamie Williams found the back of the end zone on an 8-yard rush, to make it 17-0.

The Seawolves would then get the ball back less than two minutes later on the Rams 49-yard line, after a forced fumble by Johnson. The offense would capitalize on the solid field position, as Negron found junior wide receiver Adrian Coxson for a 30-yard touchdown pass, to put Stony Brook up by 24.

Saturday’s game marked the program’s first shutout since the Seawolves defeated Coastal Carolina, 42-0, back on Oct. 29, 2011.  It was also the school’s third shutout since Chuck Priore took over as head coach eight years ago.

Stony Brook’s offense was 7 of 12 on third down attempts. They also had possession of the ball for 33:36 and did not commit a turnover in the game.

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Senior wide-out Malcolm Eugene had three catches on the day for 56-yards. Senior Devante Wheeler also had a big day, making three catches for 41-yards.

Ferrara, a transfer from Maryland, showed off his powerful legs multiple times during Saturday’s game, averaging 46.2 yards per punt. His longest punt of the day, 68 yards, was the furthest in the school’s Division I history.

The Seawolves next game will be at Buffalo, next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. It is the second leg of the team’s three game road trip to start the season. Stony Brook’s first home contest will be on Sept. 28 against Towson.

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