Senior defensive lineman Victor Ochi officially became the Stony Brook football team’s all-time leader in career sacks after recording 1.5 sacks in Saturday’s 19-7 win against the Rhode Island Rams.
Ochi’s record-breaking sack came in the first quarter, overtaking former Seawolves defensive end David Bamiro, who held the record since 2004 with 29 sacks. Rhode Island looked to get the ball moving on offense after turning it over on a fumble during their previous drive. But Ochi, along with sophomore linebacker John Haggart, stuffed Rams’ freshman quarterback Wesley McKoy ten yards behind the line of scrimmage to cause a three-and-out.
Stony Brook’s defense was a well-oiled machine in the first quarter. Sophomore defensive lineman Ousmane Camara rushed in for the seven-yard sack and recorded a safety to end the Rams’ second drive of the game and put the Seawolves up 2-0. Redshirt freshman linebacker Shayne Lawless also came up big for Stony Brook, as he forced a fumble that put them in Rhode Island territory.
Offensively, the Seawolves were efficient. Senior quarterback Conor Bednarski went 6-for-8 and threw a touchdown to redshirt freshman tight end Cal Daniels to extend Stony Brook’s lead to 9-0.
Sophomore wide receiver Ray Bolden caught three passes from Bednarski for a total of 35 yards in the first quarter, including a 16-yard reception that put the Seawolves in scoring position.
While the offense and defense put on a show in the first quarter, the special teams unit put on an even more impressive show in the third quarter. Junior defensive back Kye Morgan blocked a Rams punt and returned it for a touchdown to push the Seawolves lead to 19-7.
Stony Brook’s defense shut down Rhode Island, causing three-and-outs on all three of Rhode Island’s drives in the third quarter.
Although the Seawolves’ defense was a force to be reckoned with for most of the game, the Rams found a chink in the Seawolves’ armor in the second quarter. After watching Stony Brook’s lead increase to 12-0 after junior kicker Przemyslaw Popek’s field goal to start the quarter, Rhode Island rushed its way to the red zone.
All McKoy had to do was throw a short, 3-yard pass to redshirt sophomore tight end Charlie McKeeman to cut the Seawolves’ lead to 12-7.
The following quarter, Seawolves sophomore running back Donald Liotine came alive, rushing for 62 yards on 15 attempts. Although he did not score, Liotine kept the chains moving and recorded two first downs.
The Seawolves’ defense also had a big quarter, as Lawless intercepted McKoy twice. He first picked off McKoy with 8:49 left in the game. Later, Lawless ensured a Stony Brook victory after picking off McKoy on a 4th and 17 pass attempt.
Defense was a huge factor in the Seawolves’ win. After it was all said and done, Stony Brook recorded six sacks, eight tackles for loss, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. The Seawolves’ defense also caused seven three-and-outs on 14 total drives and held the Rams to just 135 total yards.
Junior defensive lineman Aaron Thompson had a big game from behind the line of scrimmage, as he recorded a pair of sacks and led the Seawolves with three tackles for loss. Junior defensive back Jaheem Woods, along with senior defensive back Naim Cheeseboro, led the team in tackles with five and Woods had 1.5 tackles for losses.
Bednarski also had a great game for the Seawolves. He completed 14 of his 22 passing attempts, threw a touchdown and finished with a quarterback rating of 123.3.
This is the third game in a row in which Bednarski has not thrown an interception.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Carbone did not make much noise in his limited time on the field. He finished out his day with two rushing attempts that went for -2 yards.
Stony Brook will conclude its 2015 season at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium against Albany next Saturday. The Seawolves are looking to avenge last year’s season-ending 27-17 loss to the Great Danes and end this year on a three-game winning streak.