Stony Brook’s offense had another solid day in terms of yardage, but three turnovers proved costly on the road as the Seawolves fell at North Dakota by a final of 31-24. Sophomore Michael Coulter threw for 277 yards and two scores, but was intercepted twice, with one of the interceptions returned for a score. Senior Conte Cuttino and sophomore Edwin Gowins each ran for 73 yards for SB.
In a first half that turned out to be more of a defensive battle it was Stony Brook (2-4, 1-0 Big South) that picked up the first score of the game on its second drive. After holding North Dakota (3-2, 1-0 Great West) to a three and out on its first possession the Seawolves took over on their own 48 and proceeded to march down the field on a nine-play drive that consumed 5:55 of the clock. SB picked up a key first down when Coulter hit senior Josh Auerbach with a 21-yard completion down the right sideline that put SB inside the 10 with a first and goal. Coulter finished off the drive with a nice, nine-yard scoring toss to sophomore Matt Brevi that gave SB the early advantage.
That proved to be the only long scoring drive of the first half. Still leading 7-0 going into the second quarter, SB saw a pair of Coulter interceptions give North Dakota what turned out to be a 14-7 lead at the half. Early in the quarter Coulter was picked off, giving the Fighting Sioux a first down at the SB 22. Four plays later Jarrel Davis scampered around the left side and into the end zone from three yards out to tie the game. With a less than a minute left in the half Coulter again was intercepted, and this time the Sioux capitalized right away when Dominique Hawkins ran it back 35 yards for the score.
Stony Brook held a 183-67 edge in total yards in the first half, but trailed on the scoreboard thanks to the two turnovers.
The second half opened with the teams trading touchdowns on their respective opening drives. North Dakota scored first on a 21-yard pass play from Jake Landry to Ismael Bamba at the 11:29 mark, with SB countering with a 32-yard run by Gowins three and a half minutes later. Consecutive sacks forced North Dakota to try a field goal, but senior Chris Richards blocked the attempt. On SB’s ensuing drive, Cuttino fumbled deep in North Dakota territory to thwart the SB chance to tie the game.
Like they did at the start of the third quarter, the two teams traded scores to start the fourth. North Dakota took a two-touchdown lead when Landry sneaked it over from the one in the first minute before SB countered on an eight-yard pass from Coulter to junior Donald Porter.
Despite out gaining North Dakota 438-309 for the game, the Seawolves could not get any closer than seven points the rest of the way. The two teams traded field goals over the final half of the quarter, but after redshirt freshman Wes Skiffington’s 32-yard field goal pulled Stony Brook back to within a touchdown with 3:16 remaining, North Dakota was able to run out the clock to preserve its win.