Seawolves Blow Past Blue Hose, 52-14
After a close first half, Stony Brook scored 29 unanswered second half points on its way to a 52-14 football victory over Presbyterian College in the Big South Conference opener for both schools. Stony Brook set season highs in points and total yards in the victory, with sophomore Edwin Gowins rushing for a season-high 138 yards and a score and sophomore Michael Coulter throwing for a career best 321 yards and two scores. The Seawolves defense chipped in with four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in front of a large homecoming crowd at LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook (2-3, 1-0 Big South) wasted no time at the start, getting the ball near midfield after Presbyterian (0-5, 0-1 Big South) misfired on an attempted onside kick. Gowins carried the ball five times, including a 31-yard gain to the PC five, and senior Conte Cuttino finished off the drive with a five-yard run up middle to give the Seawolves the early 7-0 lead. Presbyterian missed a field goal on its first possession, but the Blue Hose answered the SB score on its next try, driving 91 yards in just seven plays and tying the game on a four-yard run by Trandon Dendy.
That was where the score stayed as the second quarter started, but it did not stay that way long as Gowins broke free on a 44-yard jaunt down the left side on the first play of the quarter that put Stony Brook back on top 14-7. After the Seawolves’ defense held the Blue Hose to a three and out, the PC punt pinned Stony Brook back on its own five. The Seawolves worked the ball out to its own 41 on the strength of 4-for-4 passing from Coulter. His fifth straight completion was the big one as he found junior Donald Porter streaking down the middle of the field. His pass hit him in stride and Porter took it in for the 59-yard score. Presbyterian blocked the extra-point attempt, however, making it 20-7 at the 7:35 mark.
Presbyterian took advantage of a pair of personal foul penalties on its next drive and crept to within a score when Brandon Miley hit Dendy on a 13-yard scoring toss with 5:55 left in the half that made it 20-14. That proved to be as close as the Blue Hose would get however.
Stony Brook was not quite done in the first half and in the final minute Coulter hit junior Michael Lepore with a 29-yard pass and senior Stephan Towns for 26 more to set up a 22-yard field goal by redshirt freshman Wesley Skiffington as time expired in the half. Skiffington went on to boot three more field goals in the second half to set a school record with four field goals in a game.
At the start of the second half things began to fall apart for the Presbyterian offense. After not committing a turnover in the first 30 minutes, the Blue Hose saw a Miley pass picked off by senior Benjamin Clements on its third play of the half. It was the first of what turned out to be seven consecutive possessions by the Blue Hose that ended in turnovers, three via fumbles and four interceptions, and Stony Brook capitalized by turning each miscue into points on the board. Skiffington connected from 22 and 37 yards away after the first two turnovers to increase the SB advantage to 29-14 midway through the third.
On PC’s next possession, Miley was sacked by senior Ryan Sollazzo and fumbled on the play. Sophomore Michael Marino recovered and four plays later Coulter took it in himself, diving over the goal line to finish a six-yard run and put SB up 35-14.
Stony Brook put the finishing touches on the victory in the fourth quarter, getting another Skiffington field goal before Coulter and Porter hooked up again, this time on a 60-yard play just two minutes into the quarter. Senior Cory Giddings finished off the scoring when he came up with his second interception of the season and returned it 63 yards for the score.
Coulter finished with a career night by going 16 for 26 for 321 yards. It was the first 300-yard game for SB quarterback since T.J. Moriarty (’05) threw for 322 against Central Connecticut State in 2004. Porter finished with 156 yards on just four catches while Gowins’ 138 yards was his second 100-yard effort of the season. The Seawolves rolled up 623 yards of offense, the third time over the last seven games going back to last season that SB has hit the 600-yard mark in offense.
On defense Clements would wind up with a pair of interceptions as well as a team-high seven tackles. Junior Arin West had the other interception for SB, his third of the season. Senior Chirs Richards and junior Chevar Rankins had fumble recoveries.
Presbyterian was held to 240 yards of offense, just 55 of which came in the second half. The Blue Hose were led by Dendy on the ground with 59 yards and a score while Miley threw for 146 yards and a score.
Stony Brook will return to the road next week as it steps outside of conference play one last time as it travels to North Dakota for the program’s first-ever game in that state. Kickoff against the Fighting Sioux will be at 2:00 pm Eastern time on Saturday, October 10.