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Clutch Play Leads To Seawolves Win

Saturday, the Seawolves headed 475 miles south to face the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. What ensued was a tough battle that waited until the last minute of regulation to be decided, with senior running back Conte Cuttino (Uniondale, NY) dashing into the end zone to put Stony Brook on top.

The Seawolves picked up their first road win of the season, 27-20, and remained unbeaten in the Big South behind Cuttino’s heroics and another big game from sophomore quarterback Michael Coulter (Yorba Linda, Calif.), who collected 316 yards and two touchdowns. The win ups Stony Brook’s record to 3-4, as the team heads into the thick of conference play.

‘We needed that win from a conference perspective and I think we needed to win one that way,’ said Head Coach Chuck Priore. ‘You need to be able to come back and win games. It was a good win for us,’ he added

After both teams failed to score on their repective opening drives, the Seawolves struck first on a 9 play, 80 yard drive midway through the first quarter. For his fourth touchdown grab of the year, redshirt freshman Jordan Gush (Richardson, Texas) took a 20 yard pass from Coulter, but the extra point was off the mark and the Seawolves were held to a 6-0 advantage.

They would hold this lead until late in the first period, before VMI would capitalize on a blocked Stony Brook punt and good field position to eliminate the gap. The first period concluded with the Keydets up 7-6.
The Seawolves did not take long to retaliate, striking back a little over two minutes into the second period. A short 4 yard pass from Coulter to sophomore wide receiver Matt Brevi (Tampa, FL) capped off a 69 yard, 12 play drive that put the road team ahead, 13-7.

The lead would stretch to 16-7 after redshirt freshman placekicker Wesley Skiffington (Brandon, FL) would bounce back from his missed extra point attempt to knock in a 24 yarder right before the halftime break.

Despite a combined 7 drives in the third, both teams failed to score in the quarter, and the 16-7 Seawolves’ advantage held heading into the final period.

In it, the Keydets trimmed the lead by scoring less than a minute in, pulling to within 16-14. Skiffington would give the Seawolves a little more breathing room with his record 12th field goal of the season, bypassing Bob Burden’s 1986 record of 11. The kick put Stony Brook ahead, 19-14, with a little under 7 minutes to go, but VMI would not back down.

The Keydets bounced back with another touchdown, concluding an 8 play, 69 yard push that put the home team up 20-19. However, VMI’s two point conversion attempt failed, and the Seawolves were only down one with the ball and less than 3 minutes to go.

In crunch time, a series of Stony Brook players stepped up to assure that the team would make the long trip home with a win in its back pocket.

First, Brevi put the Seawolves within striking distance by returning the Keydets’ kickoff for 31 yards, positioning the road team on the VMI 49 yard line.
Coulter then took over, completing three passes in a row to senior wide receiver Stephan Towns (San Diego, Calif.). Towns concluded the game with career highs in both catches and yards, with 11 and 112 respectively. His last reception drew the Seawolves within 13 yards from the end zone with 52 seconds to go. Then, Cuttino carried it in for the score, setting up the two point conversion from Coulter to junior wide receiver Donald Porter (Charles Town, WVA) that gave Stony Brook a 27-20 cushion.

The Keydets would have one more chance to score with time winding down, but Seawolves defensive back Chris Richards’ (Quartz Hills, Calif.) interception eliminated all hopes of a VMI comeback victory.
The 27-20 score held as the final, and Stony Brook picked up the road win and momentum heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, which is to be televised on the Middle Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). Kickoff is slated for 3:30 in LaValle Stadium.

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