There is nothing like an April day on the gridiron.
In the inaugural Frank Conti ‘11 Memorial Spring Game, the Seawolves’ offense, Team Red, was pitted against the Seawolves’ defense, Team Black, in a public football scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
Black won the game, 22-17, showing the prowess of a defense that was ranked third in yards per game allowed in the FCS last season.
The scrimmage had no kickoffs and all punts were fair-caught. The offense started at the spot of the fair catch after punts and at the 25-yard line after scores.
Offensive points were tallied with conventional scoring, with six points for a touchdown and an additional one-point PAT kick or a two-point conversion opportunity, along with three for a field goal.
On defense, four points were given for forcing a turnover before the offense crossed the 50-yard line, while two points were awarded for forcing a turnover after midfield.
Punts were handled differently, as two points were awarded for forcing a punt before the 50-yard line and one point was granted for forcing a punt after the 50.
With quarterback Conor Bednarski and running back Stacey Bedell not playing for the Seawolves, it was Joe Carbone and Tyler Fredericks getting the quarterbacking and rushing duties, respectively, for Team Red.
Carbone, a redshirt freshman, was 14-for-24 on the day with 116 yards and an interception while Fredericks, a junior, carried the ball nine times for 87 yards.
Fredericks’ highlight was when he scampered into the end zone from three yards out in the third quarter.
Redshirt freshman Pat Irwin and junior Carlos Hernandez both received playing time at quarterback for the Seawolves. Sophomore wide receiver Ray Bolden had a huge day, catching eight passes for 121 yards.
Another wide receiver, sophomore Julius Wingate added six catches for 39 yards.
Sophomore running backs Anthony Anderson and Donald Liotine rushed for 40 and 68 yards, respectively. Anderson scored on a seven-yard touchdown run to cut the Black lead to 20-10 early in the second quarter.
On the defensive side of the ball, star lineman Victor Ochi did not play for Team Black. Kye Morgan, a junior defensive back, recorded an interception and seven tackles. Sophomore defensive back Darin Peart recovered a fumble in the first quarter.
The fumble recovery and interception each counted as four points toward Black’s score.
Sophomore defensive back Reggie Allen added nine tackles on the afternoon, the most of any defensive player.
The Black defense stopped the Red offense eight times for a total of fourteen points. Six of these stops came before the offense crossed the 50-yard line.
Black began the game by scoring the first nineteen points of the game, before junior kicker Przemyslaw Popek made it 19-3 with a 22-yard field goal. Popek was perfect in the game, drilling both extra points he attempted and making his lone field goal attempt.
The Frank Conti ‘11 Memorial Spring Game was created this year to honor the legacy of Conti, a former defensive lineman for the Seawolves.
Conti tragically passed away suddenly in the July of 2011, shortly after his graduation, due to a heart attack.
The spring game, an annual event, now carries Conti’s name “to cherish the memory of an individual who made a tremendous impact on the program,” Stony Brook Athletics said.
Seniors Bednarski, Ochi, offensive lineman Jerry Hubshman and linebacker Jeremy Leggiero were named team captains before the game.
The Stony Brook football team will open its 2015 season on the road against Toledo on September 3 before hosting Central Connecticut in its home opener.