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Stony Brook football thrashes Colgate for first win

Graduate defensive back Carthell Flowers in a game against New Hampshire on Sept. 2. Flowers, an Eastern Michigan transfer, led Stony Brook’s defensive unit with three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook football team defeated the Colgate Raiders 24-3 on Saturday, Sept. 11 at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, New York, thanks to a strong showing on both sides of the ball.

The Seawolves’ two-headed running assault hammered the ball all day, taking advantage of an undermanned and fatigued opponent defense.

Redshirt junior running back Ty Son Lawton and redshirt senior running back Seba Nekhet combined for 230 yards on 31 carries. After the team was held to just 123 total yards on the ground in last week’s loss to New Hampshire, Stony Brook dominated Colgate’s defensive line while keeping Raiders senior quarterback Grant Breneman on his toes for the entire afternoon.

Putting up 134 yards on 16 carries, Lawton crossed the 1,000-yard marker for his collegiate career and tied his career-high. Nekhet contributed 96 yards on 15 attempts.

“I appreciate Seba so much,” Lawton said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “We’re like our own coaches at one point. Me and Seba are really good friends. We really have trust in each other and we listen to each other.”

The Raiders’ defense was denied any rest by the Seawolves. Stony Brook held the ball for over eight minutes on one third-quarter possession, reached the end zone, then immediately forced a three-and-out. Unable to stop the run game all day, Colgate allowed Stony Brook to methodically march down the field again, with a Lawton touchdown run putting the Seawolves up 24-3.

Breneman, a dynamic playmaker and a legitimate ground threat, was held in check on Saturday. He was sacked three times, faced immediate pressure throughout and mustered just 164 yards of total offense in the contest while being picked off twice.

Stony Brook’s front seven carved up Colgate’s offensive line, constantly meeting Breneman in the backfield and neutralizing his dual-threat playstyle, one of the Raiders’ biggest offensive strengths. Colgate’s quarterback was the team’s leading rusher with a mere 22 yards and its starting running back, sophomore Max Hurleman, was stuffed for 16 yards on six attempts.

Graduate defensive back Carthell Flowers, an Eastern Michigan transfer, led Stony Brook’s defensive unit with three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

“From the beginning, we were able to not let [Breneman] get comfortable in the pocket and apply some pressure, which directly caused two turnovers and a number of sacks,” head coach Chuck Priore said in an interview with The Statesman.

With how much the Seawolves dominated the run game and the scoreboard, they didn’t need to move the ball through the air very often. Graduate quarterback Tyquell Fields attempted just 11 passes but completed seven for 140 yards and a touchdown while adding 26 rush yards and another touchdown on seven carries.

“The game plan was really to pound the ball this game, just off of what we saw on film,” Fields said about his usage in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “I feel no type of way about only attempting [11] passes — as long as we’ve got the W.”

When Fields threw the ball, though, he made it count. He took advantage of an inexperienced Colgate secondary by launching a play-action deep ball on the first play of a drive, connecting with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Shawn Harris Jr. for the 64-yard touchdown completion in the second quarter. The long play gave the Seawolves their first lead of the season. Another play-action pass found redshirt senior wide receiver Delante Hellams Jr. for 34 yards to extend a drive the Seawolves eventually scored on.

After Colgate took a 3-0 lead early in the game, Harris’ long touchdown reception gave Stony Brook life. The Seawolves got off to a rocky start in the first quarter, as they nullified major plays with flags, shooting themselves in the foot.

An offensive holding call brought back a 32-yard run near the red zone by Lawton, causing the team’s opening drive to sputter. Then a face mask call gave Colgate a first down to wipe out a sack on third-and-14. The infraction extended the Raiders’ first possession and allowed them to finish a 78-yard drive with a field goal.

“The momentum swing was big,” Fields said about his touchdown to Harris. “The big explosive play was just a nice play. I think that really got us riled up.”

The Seawolves made a personnel change near the end of the first half, putting in redshirt sophomore kicker Mike Boyle to attempt a 26-yard field goal. Redshirt sophomore starter Angelo Guglielmello missed wide left on a 30-yard attempt during the Seawolves’ possession before that; he also failed to make a 36-yarder last week. Boyle placed the ball through the uprights to extend Stony Brook’s lead to 10-3 as time expired.

“Coach was just drilling it in our head, saying that we’ve got to win, we’ve got to play low, we’ve got to play physical and we’ve got to be ready when our number is called,” Lawton said about the importance of Saturday’s result as a bounce-back after the New Hampshire loss.

Stony Brook (1-1, 0-1 CAA) will face stiff competition in Eugene, Oregon next week. The FBS No. 12-ranked Oregon Ducks are possibly the most challenging opponent the Seawolves have faced in school history, coming off a win over FBS No. 3-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

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