In the first two games of the season, Stony Brook Football gained a total of 111 yards rushing. On Saturday afternoon against the No. 2 Richmond Spiders, redshirt junior running back Stacey Bedell was just 11 yards shy of eclipsing that mark by himself. It appears as though Bedell has returned to his 2014-15 form and he brought friends. Stony Brook’s backfield as a whole has come together to become one of the most dynamic rushing cores in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“I felt like everybody prepared well and followed the game plan,” Bedell said. “Offensive line blocked great, fullback, tight end. We just had open holes.”
The Mastic Beach native rumbled and tumbled his way through defenders, exploding through the line of scrimmage for a 49-yard rushing touchdown with 1:07 left in the first quarter. He ran for more yards in the first quarter than the previous two games combined, gaining 69 yards in the quarter to his season total of 65. To top it all off, Bedell had a career-high four touchdowns and proved to be the fuel behind the Seawolves’ offensive machine.
However he was not alone. While Bedell was the downhill rushing threat the Seawolves needed, junior Sherman Alston Jr. was as deadly running to the outside. In the first quarter, Alston Jr., who transferred from Boston College, twisted and turned his way down the field for a 38-yard gain that set up Stony Brook’s first offensive touchdown.
“One of things when Sherman [Alston Jr.] became available and we were interested was his ability to impact the game with big plays,” head coach Chuck Priore said. “It’s what happened the first quarter with the run, the first touchdown drive.”
Alston Jr.’s game was not just limited to rushing. The Boston College transfer returned a kickoff for touchdown in the opening of the second half, staying in his lane and doing what he does best: running with the football. His 96-yard touchdown came after the Spiders cut the Seawolves’ lead to 21-14.
“I didn’t do anything,” Alston Jr. said. “Ten others of our team blocked well and I just did what I was told to do. And that was just run fast.”
“That’s his game,” Priore said when asked about the kick off return for a touchdown. “He’s fast. I’m sure it was blocked well but he made a couple guys stutter and ran right by them on the sidelines.”
Sophomore running back Jordan Gowins showed steady improvement, adding 46 yards to Stony Brook’s total of 221. He had 26 yards in the season opening win against North Dakota and 36 against Temple. These little ten yard improvements are key if Gowins hopes to eventually become the Seawolves’ premier running back.
After their disappearing act in the first two games, Stony Brook Football’s rushers reappeared when the team needed them most, against the second best team in the Football Championship Subdivision. Looks like Priore did not mess up as he feared.