Saturday’s season opener for Stony Brook Football started with a delay of game penalty before its first play. It ended with a delay in scoring its first points of the season as they lost 38-0 to Air Force at the Air Force Academy Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Two 38-minute lightning delays and a lethargic offensive effort prevented the Seawolves from gaining any momentum against a stingy Falcons defense. Stony Brook gained a mere 75 yards of total offense and just four first downs.
“I’m certainly disappointed with the outcome,” head coach Chuck Priore said in a press release. “I think we were focused and ready to play, but we did not execute correctly.”
Seawolves senior starting quarterback Joe Carbone finished 5-for-16 for 30 yards with an interception and was sacked twice. Senior running back Donald Liotine led the team on the ground with 31 yards rushing. On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt-sophomore linebacker EJ Fineran made the most of his first career start with seven tackles and two fumble recoveries, while senior linebacker Noah McGinty added 14 tackles.
Air Force got on the board early in the first quarter with a nine-play, 74-yard drive capped off by a seven-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Arion Worthman. The Falcons increased their lead to 14-0 when junior linebacker Kyle Johnson picked off Carbone and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown just 40 seconds later.
Trailing 14-0, the Seawolves got the ball back on the Falcons 20-yard line after a botched punt. On third-and-goal from the 3, Carbone’s pass sailed over the head of intended senior wide receiver Donavin Washington. On fourth down, Stony Brook attempted a fake field goal, as senior holder Marc Nolan rolled out to the right and attempted a pass, but the pass once again sailed.
“If you don’t execute, specifically of offensive, it is going to be a problem,” Priore said. “We had some opportunities, but once we lost some confidence we did not really perform correctly.”
A 48-yard field goal by senior kicker Matthew Philichi extended Air Force’s lead to 17-0 in the second quarter. Junior fullback Cole Fagan’s 16-yard rushing touchdown gave the Falcons a 24-0 advantage going into halftime.
The score remained that way until the beginning of the fourth quarter when Falcons junior quarterback Isaiah Sanders ran one in from a yard out to make it 31-0. Sophomore quarterback Donald Hammond III capped the scoring off for Air Force with a five-yard rushing touchdown toward the end of the fourth quarter.
Stony Brook will return to Long Island to take on Bryant in the home opener next Saturday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.