Stony Brook Football entered the fourth quarter of its Saturday night homecoming match-up at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium against FCS No. 12–ranked UNH trailing 24-22. After surrendering 18 points before the half, a rushing touchdown from junior running back Donald Liotine with 6:42 left in the third quarter cut the Seawolves’ deficit to two at the start of the fourth quarter.
Then came Stony Brook sophomore cornerback Gavin Heslop.
New Hampshire began an early fourth quarter drive at Stony Brook’s 19-yard line. Wildcats junior quarterback Trevor Knight hiked the ball and Heslop came running in, blitzing Knight on his blind side. Heslop took Knight down, forcing a fumble that sophomore linebacker Keegan Henderson recovered at the two-yard line. From there, junior quarterback Joe Carbone found senior wideout Ray Bolden on a touchdown pass in the back of the endzone at the 13:37 mark.
The Seawolves took a 28-24 lead on what turned out to be the decisive series in the team’s 38-24 victory. After the game, head coach Chuck Priore commended his team’s resilience and resolve in the second half.
“I’m really proud of this team,” Priore said in a press release. “At halftime we didn’t say much and made our adjustments. The kids sat there and knew they would play well. We’ve been on the other side, and supposedly we can’t finish games and we finished it tonight.”
The Seawolves’ run game was firing on all cylinders once again, combining for 212 rushing yards through four quarters of action. Senior running back Stacey Bedell ran for 157 yards and a 64-yard rushing touchdown, averaging 8.3 yards per carry. In tandem with a pair of rushing touchdowns from Liotine, Stony Brook’s offense was once more driven through its play on the offensive line and in the backfield.
Stony Brook’s defense surrendered 373 yards through the air, but the Seawolves stifled their opponent’s ground game, holding the Wildcats to -10 total rushing yards. Stony Brook’s defense sacked Knight six times in total as junior linebackers Noah McGinty and Shayne Lawless tallied two sacks each. Senior cornerback Travon Reid-Segure picked up his team-leading fourth interception of the season.
Junior kicker Alex Lucansky’s struggles continued on Saturday. Lucansky has made only one of his last three field goal attempts and five of his last seven extra point attempts after beginning the season 6-6 on field goals and 14-15 on extra points. Priore opted to go with junior kicker Nick Courtney in the second half, who completed a 29-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, the first of his career.
The win over UNH was a strong team response after last week’s 24-20 loss to Delaware that caused Stony Brook to drop out of the FCS rankings. Stony Brook’s win improved the team to 5-2 and 4-1 in the CAA. The defeat of UNH, the second-highest ranked team the Seawolves have ever defeated, has given Stony Brook the most FCS Coaches Poll votes of any unranked team.
The team will recharge its batteries going into its bye week and will next take to the field on the road at No. 10-ranked Richmond. Kickoff is on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.