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Stony Brook football routed by No. 22 New Hampshire on homecoming

Wide receiver Jayce Freeman (right) breaks a tackle from a New Hampshire cornerback on Saturday, Oct. 21. This broken tackle led to the longest pass in Stony Brook football history. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Unlike last year, the Stony Brook football team could not get back in the win column on homecoming, leaving it with its new worst-ever start to a season as an NCAA Division I program.

The game was over from the start for the Seawolves (0-7, 0-5 CAA), who were run out of their own building on Saturday by the No. 22 New Hampshire Wildcats 45-14. The fans at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium were treated to a bevy of exciting plays, but most of them belonged to the visiting team.

On the opening drive of the game, quarterback Casey Case drove the Seawolves’ offense into the red zone just two plays into the game. Now on first and 10 from New Hampshire’s 19-yard line, Case hit tight end Cole Bunicci over the middle, who was wide open for the walk-in touchdown. However, Bunicci dropped it, and the drive stalled. Kicker Spencer Biscoe’s 36-yard field goal was blocked by New Hampshire defensive tackle Nate Kapongo to keep points off the board.

On the Wildcats’ opening possession, quarterback Max Brosmer hit wide receiver Joey Corcoran over the middle, who then broke a tackle and took it 54 yards for the touchdown.

Outside linebacker De’Aundre Cruz said that New Hampshire’s depth of talent and offensive scheme made it difficult for Stony Brook’s defense to get stops.

“They’ve obviously got a bunch of good players,” Cruz said in a postgame press conference. “Watching film going into this week, they do a lot of different formations [and] a lot of stuff like that to mess with our eyes.”

Much like the Seawolves’ first drive, Case led them down the field quickly on the back of a 37-yard pass to wide receiver Anthony Johnson. This time, they punched it in with a seven-yard rushing touchdown by running back Roland Dempster through the left side to tie the game.

The tie barely lasted, as Brosmer and running back Dylan Laube immediately led the Wildcats down to Stony Brook’s 27-yard line. New Hampshire kicker Nick Mazzie made a 44-yard field goal to give his team a 10-7 lead that never relinquished.

On the Wildcats’ next two drives, Brosmer threw touchdown passes to tight end Colby Ramshaw and Laube to put his team up 24-7 with 8:43 remaining in the first half.

After falling behind by three possessions, the Seawolves briefly got back into it. On third down and 14 from their own two-yard line, Case hit wide receiver Jayce Freeman in the flat to the left, where he broke a tackle from New Hampshire cornerback Randall Harris. Freeman walked the tightrope and stayed in bounds along the left sideline and went 98 yards for the touchdown, breaking the record for longest pass in program history.

The touchdown was the first of Freeman’s career.

“My thought was just ‘Don’t go out of bounds, don’t get caught,’” Freeman said. “I just kept the ball in my hand because I didn’t even want to break my stride, so I was just trying to score.”

With just 24 seconds left in the half, the Wildcats got those seven points back with some trickery. On fourth down and one from Stony Brook’s nine-yard line, New Hampshire faked a field goal with Brosmer staying in as the holder, and he turned the left corner and rushed for the touchdown.

The Seawolves never recovered from their 31-14 deficit. The Wildcats poured it on in the third quarter, with Brosmer firing a 57-yard bomb down the field for a touchdown to wide receiver Caleb Burke to make it 38-14. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Laube plunged one in off the left side from seven yards out to put on the game’s finishing touches.

After the game, head coach Chuck Priore said New Hampshire’s offense is unstoppable, regardless of its opponent.

“New Hampshire was going to throw for 350 yards against whoever they played against,” Priore said. “That is not a Stony Brook problem, that is a fact.”

On offense, the Seawolves had opportunities to score. Other than Bunicci’s drop, they had several productive drives going in the third quarter that wound up stalling due to penalties. The team committed 11 penalties on the day for 105 yards, including five in the third quarter and three on one possession.

Priore took responsibility for the offense’s failure to score points.

“Offensively we needed to score points,” Priore said. “We had a couple of opportunities … and we didn’t score the points to keep the game [at] bay. At the end of the day, those things fall on my shoulders and we will fix them”

Priore said he does not know the reason for their lack of discipline, and that he will need to watch the film to diagnose a problem.

Stony Brook threw the ball well. Case completed 18 of his 29 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Daron Bryden came in during garbage time and completed all four of his passes for 50 yards.

Case’s numbers could have been much better as well. Not only did the dropped touchdown hurt his final line, but he also completed a pair of passes for 19 yards that converted a third down and a fourth down, respectively. Both of those completions were negated due to penalties by his teammates.

Wide receiver Jadon Turner moved back to his natural position of running back on Saturday and led the team with 32 rushing yards on five carries. Dempster’s touchdown was his second of the year. Freeman caught two passes and led the team with 115 yards. Johnson made nine grabs for 101 yards.

On defense, Cruz had a good day, leading the team with 10 tackles; two of which were for a loss. Defensive end Rodney Faulk had the Seawolves’ only sack and made 1.5 tackles for loss.

Stony Brook will now turn its attention to a different opponent with the same nickname: the Villanova Wildcats. Villanova is 5-2 this year and 3-1 in conference play. It is coming off a bye week after shutting out Elon 21-0 on Oct. 14. Amongst the two major Football Championship Subdivision rankings polls, the Wildcats are currently ranked No. 22 in Stats Perform’s top 25 and are receiving votes in the coaches’ list.

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About the Contributor
Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson, Sports Editor
Mike Anderson is the Sports Editor at The Statesman. He is a senior majoring in journalism with aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. His love of sports comes from his time spent as a baseball player. As a reporter for The Statesman, he has covered baseball, softball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, women's volleyball and hockey. He has also interned at Axcess Sports as a high school and college baseball and softball reporter. He is a local product from Port Jefferson, N.Y. and is a diehard Mets, Jets, Nets and Islanders fan.
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