Seawolves senior running backs Jordan Gowins and Donald Liotine lumbered over to the postgame press conference table after Saturday, Sept. 22’s game against the Richmond Spiders feeling sore, yet successful. Both members of the duo, known among teammates as the Long Island Express, each notched 100 rushing yards for the third straight game. When asked if they believe that they’re the best duo in the Colonial Athletic Association conference, there was no hesitation.
“I’ve felt that way since the spring,” Liotine said resoundingly.
The pair certainly made their case for distinction against a Spiders defense that couldn’t find a way to stop them. Gowins had 192 yards and two touchdowns, Liotine had 133 yards and senior quarterback Joe Carbone added 147 yards and two touchdowns through the air to help guide Stony Brook to a dominating 36-10 victory at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
“From start to finish the kids executed the plan of what we wanted to do, which was to play physical and with high energy,” head coach Chuck Priore said. “We thought that field position was going to be very important and we kept the field position battle on our side for almost the whole game.”
The Seawolves offense produced another impressive outing, racking up 335 rushing yards and 482 total while averaging seven yards per play. The defense, once again, contributed to the scoring as junior defensive back Gavin Heslop returned a fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter.
“I feel like we did a great job today swarming the ball, forcing their quarterback to make bad throws and we stepped up big in times of adversity,” Heslop said. “When they got the ball past the 50-yard line or into the red zone, we put our foot in the ground and did what we had to do.”
Richmond got on the scoreboard first with a 24-yard field goal by redshirt-senior kicker Griffin Trau to cap off a drive that lasted nearly seven minutes and put the score up 3-0. Stony Brook responded with redshirt-freshman Jack Pruban’s 26-yard field goal to tie it 3-3. Then, at the end of the first quarter with Richmond inside the Stony Brook 10-yard line, Heslop capitalized on an errant exchange between redshirt-junior quarterback Kevin Johnson and redshirt-junior running back Deontez Thompson, returning the fumble 87 yards for a score to take a 9-3 lead.
The score remained unchanged until the waning minutes of the second quarter, when Carbone found redshirt-senior wide receiver Julius Wingate for a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Seawolves a 16-3 lead heading into halftime.
The Spiders cut their deficit to six late in the third quarter on a trick play where redshirt-senior wide receiver Caleb Drake threw a 37-yard touchdown pass on a reverse to redshirt-junior wide receiver Cortrelle Simpson to make it a 16-10 game.
It was all Seawolves from there, however. The team scored the game’s last 20 points, the first of which came at the end of the third quarter on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Carbone to senior wide receiver Donavin Washington to push the score to 22-10. Gowins then scored twice in the fourth quarter, from a yard and 41 yards out respectively, to give the team the victory.
“We have a good thing going with both our running and passing games,” Liotine said. “Joe [Carbone] came out firing the ball where it needed to be and we’re taking care of the little things and executing when we need to.”
The 3-1 Seawolves will face another conference foe in the Villanova Wildcats at home next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.