Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium will fill up for the last time this football season as Stony Brook closes its campaign against rivals Albany in the Empire Clash on Saturday at 1 p.m.
As this game has no true meaning besides pride and development for next year’s Seawolves, the real story will be the buying out of Athletic Director Jim Fiore’s contract.
Fiore brought Stony Brook full circle, from being an unknown Division 3 program to a prominent Division 1 Athletics Program in the Northeast. Always praising football head coach Chuck Priore, this rivalry matchup should have even more value than the typical Empire Clash already does.
On the football side of things, recent CAA addition Albany has struggled even more than the Seawolves this season, crawling towards the finish line of what has so far been a 1-10 season, with no wins in the CAA.
Junior Quarterback Will Fiacchi has been one of very few bright spots for the Great Danes, having a respectable season by completing over 50 percent of his passes while keeping his touchdown to turnover ratio at a decent number, throwing eight interceptions to his nine touchdowns. With a long pass of 55 yards for the year, the Stony Brook secondary should be able to camp on the little inside routes, be it slants or dump-offs.
Adding to the attack of the Great Danes is running back Omar Osbourne, who has also had a good year for Albany. Rushing for nearly 1200 yards, Osbourne has averaged over 100 yards per game this season.
Where Stony Brook should have the advantage in this matchup is on the offensive side of the football. After a career day for senior quarterback Lyle Negron, his confidence will be sky high as he faces a defense that gives up over 35 points a game. The lowest point total for any Albany opponent this season has been 19, and with James Kenner at the helm of the rushing attack, the Seawolves should have few problems moving the ball up and down the field.
Though there are gaps left open from last year’s loss of Miguel Maysonet and Marcus Coker this season, Kenner has filled in nicely and should have room to work against Albany. This season, the Great Danes have been very susceptible to the run, giving up over 200 yards a contest.
In this final game of the year, the Seawolves look to close out the season with a bang and get ready for what is to come in the Stony Brook football program.