Junior running back Donald Liotine, Jr. carries the ball in the first half against Delaware. Liotine Jr.’s third quarter fumble allowed Delaware’s redshirt junior cornerback Malcolm Brown to make a 45-yard touchdown. SAMANTHA MONTES/THE STATESMAN

On Saturday, in a 24-20 loss against Delaware (3-2, 1-1 CAA) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, No. 23 Stony Brook Football (4-2, 3-1 CAA) allowed its opponent to score 17+ unanswered second-half points for the second week in a row. Unlike the team’s win against William and Mary on Sept. 30, the Seawolves did not come away with the victory.

Moment that mattered: On the first play of a third-quarter drive, junior running back Donald Liotine Jr. received an inside handoff and sped up the middle. His head low and his feet churning, the 5-foot-9-inch halfback absorbed hit after hit, driving through the scrum. The push for the extra yardage, Liotine’s forte, backfired, and Blue Hens redshirt-junior cornerback Malcolm Brown stripped the ball. Brown recovered the fumble before any Seawolves could react and took it 45 yards to score, shrinking the Stony Brook lead to 20-17 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.

What the loss means:  Both major FCS polls ranked the Seawolves last week for the first time this season. After a loss to unranked Delaware, Stony Brook will likely drop out of the Top 25 before their homecoming game against No. 13 New Hampshire next Saturday. Regardless, Stony Brook’s three wins in CAA conference play will remain tied for the most in the conference for another week. New Hampshire and No. 18 Elon are the only other teams in the conference with three wins.

Standout Seawolf: Junior quarterback Joe Carbone had a stellar performance in the loss on Saturday, throwing a career-high 272 passing yards and connecting with senior wide receiver Ray Bolden for two touchdowns. Carbone was 23-36 passing, including 7-11 on the final drive – a 12-play, 71-yard drive with three minutes to go that ended with several near misses in the end zone.

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Three takeaways:

  • The pass attack was there early and late for the Seawolves. Despite long stretches of futility in the second half, Carbone set a career high for the third time in four weeks. After only passing to Bolden and junior wide receiver Donavin Washington in the first half, Carbone spread the ball around in the second half, particularly on the final drive. Bolden had eight catches for 136 yards, his third 100+ yard receiving game of the season. Washington had six catches for 69 yards. Junior tight end Cal Daniels gained 47 yards on five catches, three of which came on the Seawolves’ final drive.
  • The Stony Brook defense struggled to contain the Delaware run game. Three Blue Hens players had 50+ rushing yards, including redshirt-junior quarterback J.P. Caruso. Redshirt-junior running back Kareem Williams had 75 yards on 16 carries and junior running back Kani Kane had 57 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. The pass defense was significantly better for the Seawolves, limiting Delaware quarterbacks to 85 yards in the air. Junior middle linebacker Noah McGinty had six tackles and an interception.
  • Junior kicker Alex Lucansky had a rough day, missing a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter and having a PAT blocked in the second quarter. Lucansky missed a 39-yard attempt last week against William and Mary after connecting on all four attempts against Towson on Sept. 23. Lucansky’s Delaware counterpart, redshirt-junior Frank Raggo, put a 50-yard attempt through the uprights in the third quarter.

What’s next: Stony Brook will host CAA rival New Hampshire at LaValle Stadium for the Seawolves’ homecoming game. The No. 13 Wildcats beat Stony Brook 43-14 last season and are 4-1 this season, including 2-0 in conference play.

Correction: Oct. 8, 2017

A previous version of this story listed Mike Adams as the author. Joseph Konig wrote the story. 

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