From the opening kickoff to the final whistle, the Stony Brook University football team was in the control of the game on Saturday, Sept. 21 versus the Fordham Rams. The Seawolves, who took down the Rams 45-10, have now won 12 straight games at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium and moved to 3-1 on the season.
The first play from scrimmage foreshadowed how the night would go. Fordham sophomore quarterback Tim DeMorat scrambled to his left and was forced to throw the ball out of bounds rather than get sacked by Seawolves redshirt-sophomore defensive lineman Casey Williams. From that play on, the Rams offensive line were unable to hold back the Seawolves’ defense.
“Defensively, we dominated the line of scrimmage and stopped the run game early. If you stop the run you normally control what goes on,” head coach Chuck Priore said in the postgame press conference. “So overall it was a good day.”
The Seawolves defense continued their trend of not allowing opposing teams to gain many yards on the ground. The Rams garnered a mere 38-rushing yards. Not only did Stony Brook cut off Fordham’s access to an open field, they were able to penetrate the Rams offensive line numerous times, leading to five sacks on the day to go along with 11 tackles for loss.
Redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Makye Smith and redshirt-junior rover Augie Contressa had the biggest impacts on the defense Saturday night. Smith had two sacks for 12 yards, including a forced fumble and recovery late in the fourth. Contressa added three tackles for loss including a sack for a nine-yard loss.
“We definitely emphasize as a team to set the rules. The mentally toughest teams set the rules, and we have been emphasizing on that a lot,” redshirt-junior defensive back TJ Morrison said in the post-game press conference. “If we all do our job, we’ll minimize the mistakes and be able to play to the best of our abilities as a defense.”
While the defense was busy keeping the Rams off the scoreboard, the Seawolves offense had no issues putting points up on the board.
In his first appearance since the week one victory versus Bryant, redshirt-freshman running back Ty Son Lawton got the ball rolling with a five-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. The Seawolves quickly followed up with a career long 44-yard field goal by redshirt-senior kicker Nick Courtney with 1:09 left in the first. By the time halftime arrived, Stony Brook was up 31-3, thanks to two touchdown receptions by redshirt-freshman tight end Isaiah Givens — which came less than three minutes apart — and a nine-yard touchdown run by redshirt-sophomore running back Seba Nekhet.
Coming out of halftime, it appeared as though the Rams had finally figured out how to stop the Seawolves, following a third quarter in which Stony Brook lost a fumble, had a field goal blocked and punted. The Seawolves quickly regained their form in the fourth quarter following a 55-yard touchdown pass from redshirt-junior quarterback Tyquell Fields to graduate-transfer wide receiver Jean Constant. The Seawolves added insult to injury when Nekhet ran for a 35-yard touchdown with 7:27 left in the fourth, bringing the score to 45-3 Stony Brook.
Fordham finally crossed the pylon with 5:51 left in the game on a 33-yard pass from DeMorat to sophomore wide receiver Fotis Kokosioulis.
“Once again we are defined by our practice week. It was the best practice week we’ve have since we started preseason. We were the healthiest we were since the start of preseason too. Seba (Nekhet) and Isaiah (White) really stepped up tonight. Tyquell (Fields) was extremely accurate early, especially with the long ball and our kids made some plays,” Priore said in a press release.
Fields finished the game completing nine passes for 232 yards including three touchdown passes, while the run game exploded for 368 yards led by Nekhet and redshirt-senior running back Isaiah White. Stony Brook ended the night with 601 yards of total offense on 68 plays while Fordham had 223 yards of total offense on 68 plays.
Stony Brook has now completed their non-conference schedule, and their remaining eight games will be against fellow Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foes. The Seawolves kick off conference play next Saturday, Sept. 28 on the road at Rhode Island, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. and will then return home to Long Island for Homecoming on Oct. 5 versus No. 2 ranked James Madison.