After yet another late-game defensive collapse, the Stony Brook football team completed its 2022 campaign with its worst-ever record.
The Seawolves (2-9, 1-7 CAA) blew a late lead down in New Jersey, losing 24-21 to the Monmouth Hawks on Saturday. With the loss, Stony Brook finished at the bottom of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) standings and set a new program record for losses in a season with nine.
“We’ve had a lot of adversity within some of our ability to be a better football team,” head coach Chuck Priore said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics.
The Seawolves found themselves down 17-0 with just over seven minutes left before halftime. However, the defense sparked a rally when outside linebacker Carthell Flowers-Lloyd returned an interception for a touchdown, cutting Stony Brook’s deficit to 10. It was the first interception of his NCAA career, and his second defensive touchdown of the season.
With less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Seawolves’ defense stopped Monmouth on fourth down. After getting the ball back at their own 44, quarterback Daron Bryden was sacked for a loss of 10 yards. However, running back Ross Tallarico picked up the slack, breaking off a big run for a 66-yard touchdown. It was the longest rush of the season for Stony Brook, and his fourth rushing touchdown of the season.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Seawolves’ defense made another splash play when defensive end Eric Black strip-sacked quarterback Enzo Arjona. Linebacker Aidan Kaler recovered the loose ball, giving Stony Brook a short field.
The Seawolves were in danger of squandering good field position after another 10-yard sack on Bryden. However, on third down and 16, he found wide receiver RJ Lamarre down the right sideline for 33 yards. Later on the drive, Bryden converted on another third down with a five-yard touchdown pass to Tallarico. Stony Brook went up 21-17 with 8:17 left.
After scoring 21 unanswered points over a span of two quarters, the secondary broke down to undo the Seawolves’ comeback. On the second play of the next subsequent drive, Arjona found wide receiver Dymere Miller over the middle of the field. Miller then outran everybody in the Seawolves’ defensive backfield for a 72-yard, catch-and-run touchdown.
Stony Brook could not mount a comeback, as they went three-and-out on the ensuing drive. Monmouth ran the clock out after getting the ball back, securing the Seawolves’ loss.
“When the game is over, it doesn’t fall on one thing,” Priore said. “[The] kids played hard and that’s all you can ask them to do.”
Despite the loss, there were several positives for Stony Brook. Tallarico had the most efficient game of his career, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown on only 21 carries. He also caught a touchdown pass, giving him three touchdown receptions this year.
Flowers-Lloyd had a great game as well, racking up two tackles for loss, one sack and the pick six. Along with his fumble recovery, Kaler led the team with 11 tackles and made 1.5 for a loss.
With the season now complete, Stony Brook has some reflecting and rebuilding to do. A lot of impact players are graduating, and the transfer portal will likely bring more big losses to the roster. After finishing in last place for the first time under Priore, the program has a long way to go to return to its original glory.