On Saturday evening, Stony Brook Football (3-1, 2-0 CAA) continued its stretch of impressive performances to begin the 2017 season, outplaying Colonial Athletic Association rival Towson University in a 25-17 victory.
Moment that mattered: Up by five with less than five minutes to go, the Towson Tigers ran a sweep to the outside on fourth and inches just past midfield. Towson freshman running back Kobe Young was stopped by the Seawolves defense and fumbled the ball. Stony Brook sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Scarborough scooped the ball and ran all the way to the Towson 20-yard line. While a fifteen-yard block in the back penalty was tagged on the end of the play, the turnover put the Seawolves in position to expand their lead and take time off the clock. After running three minutes off the game clock, junior kicker Alex Lucansky hit his fourth field goal of the game to put Stony Brook up 25-17.
What the victory means: Stony Brook’s conference record improves to 2-0 as they begin a six-game stretch of conference play. If they win next week at the College of William and Mary, the team will begin to look like a serious contender for the FCS playoff conversation. The impressive play by the Seawolves is in stark contrast to the frustrating 2016 season. Much of this can be credited to the improved consistency of junior quarterback Joe Carbone, who has completely transformed as a player compared to his sophomore campaign. He set career highs with 22 completions and 242 passing yards against Towson. The Seawolves continued to prove on Saturday that they are formidable competition for any opponent, thanks to a radically improved offense, reliable defense and exceptional special teams play.
Standout Seawolf: Senior wide receiver Ray Bolden had a spectacular day, hauling in acrobatic catches en route to a career-high 125 yards, exceeding the previous career high he set last week. Carbone and Bolden connected eight times, including a 24 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and a 40 yard bomb in the second quarter.
- Head Coach Chuck Priore has an arsenal of weapons in this offense and he uses them all. Seven receivers were targeted on Saturday and Priore continued to utilize his running back-by-committee strategy. Fifth-year running back Stacey Bedell had 15 carries for 65 yards. Junior running back Donald Liotine Jr. had 13 carries for 67 yards. Liotine also had 97 return yards. Junior running back Jordan Gowins had five carries for 16 yards.
- Special teams continued to give Stony Brook an advantage, as it has all season. While Lucansky did miss an extra point in the first half, he made four field goals and had two touchbacks on seven kickoffs. Two of Lucansky’s field goals came in the fourth quarter, giving Stony Brook added insurance late in the game. He also had a 42 yard field goal in the third quarter that cleared the uprights with ease.
- Graduate wide receiver Harrison Jackson had four catches for 23 yards, including a one yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the first half. Jackson’s father, Gerald, played linebacker for Towson from 1978-1981. The elder Jackson was in attendance at Saturday’s game rooting for the Seawolves.
What’s next: Stony Brook continues CAA play, traveling to Virginia to play William and Mary at Walter J. Zable Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
Correction: Sept. 24, 2017
In a previous version of this story, The Statesman reported that the CAA was the Colonial Conference Association. It is the Colonial Athletic Association. Additionally, The Statesman reported that the College of William and Mary was William and Mary University.