Stony Brook Football (2-1, 1-0 CAA) had its most dominant performance in years on Saturday evening, beating Sacred Heart University (2-1) 45-7 in the Seawolves home opener at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The 38-point spread was Stony Brook’s largest victory since their 45-7 victory over Virginia Military Institute on Nov. 3, 2012.
Moment that mattered: Leading 7-0 at the halfway point in the first quarter, Stony Brook redshirt-freshman linebacker E.J. Fineran found his way into the backfield and blocked a Sacred Heart punt attempt. The ball ricocheted 15 yards into the endzone and Seawolves freshman wide receiver Seba Nekhet recovered the blocked punt for a touchdown, beating out a dozen other scrambling players. The score gave Stony Brook an early 14-0 lead and the momentum they would carry for the rest of the game, dominating Sacred Heart in nearly every aspect of play.
What the victory means: Stony Brook’s record improves to 2-1 as they head into a six-game stretch of conference play. Handily beating Sacred Heart is a feel-good win for the Seawolves, who lost 38-10 to the Pioneers at LaValle Stadium last season. Everything went well for the Seawolves today, which may not always be the case. Stony Brook often struggled to keep momentum going from week-to-week last season. Next week’s matchup with Towson will be telling for a Stony Brook team coming off two solid victories.
Standout Seawolf: Junior quarterback Joe Carbone’s passes were not always perfect, but his receivers helped him out by consistently catching some of his low and short throws. The junior finished with a career-high three touchdowns, a fumble and 99 yards on 9-14 passing. Carbone now has five passing touchdowns through three games, doubling his career total coming into the season.
- The decision to pass more this season appears to be here to stay. The always run-dependent Seawolves offense has passed much more the first three weeks of the 2017 season than it tended to last season. Carbone has proven himself more than capable of leading the offense these last two weeks and has the receiving core to do it. Senior wide receiver Ray Bolden, graduate wide receiver Harrison Jackson and junior tight end Cal Daniels had touchdown receptions.
- The embrace of the pass game does not mean that Stony Brook has abandoned the run game, running for 294 yards. Junior running backs Donald Liotine Jr. and Jordan Gowins and senior running back Stacey Bedell all ran for more than 70 yards.
- The Stony Brook offensive line suffered three major casualties in Saturday’s game. Senior left guard Armani Garrick was helped off the field with a knee injury, returning to the sideline later in the game without pads. Sophomore center Joe Detorie went down with a leg injury shortly after and did not return. Senior left tackle Timon Parris was limping through most of the third quarter, but played through the pain until he was replaced with the Seawolves up 45-7. Parris and Garrick made 35 consecutive starts coming into Saturday.
What’s next: Stony Brook hosts Colonial Athletic Association rival Towson at LaValle Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.