The clock dwindled down on Saturday, Sept. 28 to the final two minutes of the game with the Stony Brook Seawolves up 24-14 on the Rhode Island Rams, a Seawolves victory seemed all but assured. Stony Brook won, 31-27, but the path to victory was not easy. What unfolded over the final two minutes of play could only be described as crazy and intense.
The game’s intensity picked up with 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter and Rhode Island having possession of the ball on the Stony Brook 24-yard line, a passing touchdown from Rams redshirt-junior quarterback Vito Priore to junior wide receiver Isaiah Coulter gave the Rams some much-needed life. Following the extra point, the score was 24-21 Stony Brook with 1:42 remaining.
On the ensuing kick-off, the Rams attempted an onside kick, which Coulter successfully recovered. Following the kick, the Rams started the drive on the Stony Brook 49, down three with 1:41 left in the game. Three plays, 49 yards and 0:36 seconds later, the Rams had scored another touchdown. This time, it was Priore to senior wide receiver Aaron Parker for a 29-yard touchdown. Rams 27, Seawolves 24.
Graduate transfer wide receiver Jean Constant caught the ball on the kickoff at the five and brought it to the Stony Brook 25-yard line. Sixty seconds remaining. It was time for redshirt-junior quarterback Tyquell Fields to take the reins and lead the team downfield in an attempt to win the game — or at the very least — tie.
Fast forward to 0:26 left in the game, there are zero timeouts remaining for Stony Brook and the ball on the 50-yard line. A pass from Fields to redshirt-senior wide receiver Andrew Trent falls incomplete. What came next shocked the crowd and left the Rams heartbroken. Fields took the snap, saw a hole right down the middle of the field and took off. By the time Fields made it to the Rams 30-yard line, all that stood in the way of a 50-yard touchdown run and an almost assured Seawolves victory were a few Rhode Island defenders who did not have a chance of catching him.
Touchdown, Stony Brook. 31-27, 0:11 seconds remaining.
“It was supposed to be a pass play. Just trying to get a first down,” Fields said about his game winning touchdown run. “I dropped back, saw the middle of the field open up. Once I knew I had a first down, I saw a lot of open space for the cutback.”
The following drive ended after two plays. Captain and senior defensive lineman Sam Kamara garnered his third sack of the night on the first play of the drive, followed by a 23-yard pass to Coulter to end the game.
“We have a history of closing out games and our kids believe in themselves,” Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore said. “But it wasn’t great coaching out there at the end. It was players making plays. He [Fields] made a play, but they [Rhode Island] made some plays, too.”
The Seawolves’ defense continued their trend of not allowing opposing teams to gain many yards on the ground. The Rams garnered a mere 26 rushing yards. The Seawolves disrupted Rhode Island’s access to an open field while being able to penetrate the Rams offensive line numerous times, leading to five sacks on the day to go along with eight tackles for loss and six forced punts.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Seawolves finished the night with 52 carries for 336 yards. Redshirt-freshman running back Ty Son Lawton, redshirt-senior running back Isaiah White and Fields all scored a touchdown via the run, while Fields threw his sixth touchdown of the season to Constant in the first quarter, putting Stony Brook on the board. Fields finished the night completing 15 of 31 passes for 199 yards, one touchdown pass, one interception and one fumble lost on the Rhode Island one-yard line.
The Seawolves defeated Rhode Island with several players either unavailable for the game or going down with an injury during the course of the game. Lawton hobbled out of bounds to start the fourth quarter, grabbing at his knee. White, who ran the ball in for a touchdown moments after Lawton left due to injury, went down with an injury of his own later in the fourth, only to return a few plays later.
Junior wide receiver Brandon Benson missed his second straight game with an ankle injury, while redshirt-junior defensive back EJ Fineran missed his fourth straight game with a hand injury.
Following the victory, the Seawolves move to 6-1 all time in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) openers. Standing at 4-1 overall and 1-0 in CAA play, Stony Brook returns to Long Island for a two-game homestand at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves will look to end Homecoming weekend with a victory as they take on the No. 2 ranked James Madison University Dukes on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. and then host the New Hampshire Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 12 with kickoff set for 6 p.m.