A 48-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the fourth quarter by Albany’s redshirt-senior kicker Ethan Stark had ricocheted off the crossbar. With Stony Brook clinging onto a 23-22 lead that they just took with 17 seconds left, they could only hope that the ball would bounce out.
It didn’t. The football hit off the crossbar and went in, giving the Great Danes a walk-off 25-23 victory on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Casey Stadium. It was a crushing defeat for the Seawolves, who fell to 7-4.
“Albany won. They deserved to win,” head coach Chuck Priore said in a press conference. “I felt bad for the seniors. They have worked hard. Talk about the emotions of what happened with 17 seconds left on the clock and then when time expired. It is pretty tough to swallow.”
Stark got Albany on the board first with a 43-yard field goal to make it a 3-0 game in the first quarter. Senior kicker Alex Lucansky responded with a 29-yard field goal for Stony Brook to tie it at 3.
Albany took a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter when freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler found junior wide receiver Juwan Green for a 49-yard touchdown. Stony Brook tied it midway through the second quarter when senior running back Jordan Gowins scored on a seven-yard touchdown run.
The Seawolves went ahead 17-10 with four minutes left in the third quarter after senior quarterback Joe Carbone ran it in from 17 yards out. The score remained that way until the Great Danes scored with five minutes left in the fourth quarter on an 81-yard touchdown pass from Undercuffler to junior wide receiver Donovan McDonald. Stark missed the extra point, though, giving Stony Brook a 17-16 lead.
Albany went ahead with a little under two minutes left in the fourth when sophomore running back Karl Mofor scored on a 16-yard touchdown run to make it a 22-17 game. Stony Brook regained the lead with 17 seconds left when Carbone found redshirt-senior wide receiver Julius Wingate for a 41-yard touchdown to make it 23-22.
A short kickoff by Lucansky gave Albany a great starting field position with just seconds left before overtime. They took advantage, giving Stark the chance he needed to deliver them a win, and he did.
Though the loss hurts for Stony Brook, the team still able to make into the playoffs as an at-large team. They will play Southeast Missouri in the first round of the NCAA Division I Championship on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. at Houck Field in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.