A dominant first half effort powered the Stony Brook football team to a 27-3 road win over Colgate on Saturday night. The victory gave head coach Chuck Priore his 50th career win with the Seawolves.
Junior running back Jameel Poteat ran for two first half touchdowns to help Stony Brook jump out to the early lead. Sophomore defensive back Naim Cheeseboro also delivered a key scoring play in the half, coming up with a 52-yard interception return.
For the third straight game the Seawolves’ opening drive finished in the opposing team’s end zone. The offense went 70 yards down the field on their first possession, and ended the drive with a seven yard touchdown run by Poteat, to take an early 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, senior defensive back Derrick Morgan stripped the ball out of Raiders’ tight end John Quazza’s hands, allowing senior linebacker Jawara Dudley to recover the ball for Stony Brook on Colgate’s 31-yard line.
The offense was unable to take advantage of the field position given to them, as they went 3-and-out. But junior kicker Graham Ball salvaged the drive with a 40-yard field goal to give the Seawolves a 10-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Poteat would strike again for Stony Brook. This time he would score on a 5-yard touchdown run, to give his team a 17 point lead just 56 seconds into the second quarter.
Then with 2:02 remaining in the half, Cheeseboro picked off Raiders quarterback Jake Melville at about midfield, and ran the ball back for a touchdown. The score gave the Seawolves a commanding 24-0 advantage, and capped off one of the team’s best halves of the season.
In the second half, the Stony Brook defense continued to shutdown Colgate’s offense. The Raiders did not reach Seawolves territory until early in the fourth quarter. The only time they did find themselves in the red zone in the game, they were held to a field goal.
Stony Brook allowed just 219 total yards of offense in the game, and just 106 passing yards. Since 2009, the Seawolves are 17-4 when allowing 300 of total offense or less.
The Raiders’ starting quarterback Gavin McCarney missed the game with a knee injury. This forced backup Jake Melville into action, who threw for just 7-of-19, and was sacked three times.
Cheeseboro’s interception return for a touchdown was the program’s first since Oct. 3, 2009, when Cory Giddings delivered a 63-yard interception return against Presbyterian.
The Seawolves continued to use a rotation of three backs in their rushing attack against Colgate. Poteat ran for 54 yards on 10 attempts, junior James Kenner ran for 70 yards on 12 attempts, and freshman Tyler Fredericks ran for 27 yards on nine attempts.
Senior quarterback Lyle Negron played another efficient game, completing 18-of-30 passes for 196 yards. Junior tight end Will Tye caught eight of his passes for 70 yards.
October has been extremely kind to Stony Brook over the past few seasons. The Seawolves have now won 13 straight games during the month.
Stony Brook improved their overall record to 3-3, as they now head into a bye week. Several of the Seawolves’ key banged up players, such as Lyle Negron and Jaward Dudley, will get a chance to rest up before the team begins another challenging portion of their schedule.
After the bye, SBU will begin a critical stretch of five straight games against Colonial Athletic Association opponents to end the season. Three of the five matchups will take place at LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook is just 1-2 in conference games this season. They defeated Rhode Island in their season opener 24-0, but dropped games to Villanova and Towson.
It takes a minimum of seven wins against Division I schools to qualify for the FCS playoffs, which means the Seawolves must go at least 4-1 in their remaining five games to have a chance of being selected for the 24-team postseason field.
Stony Brook will begin their push for the playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 26, at home against New Hampshire. Kickoff for the game will be at 4 p.m.