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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook football trampled by Monmouth, ties single-season loss record

Running back Roland Dempster rushes through the left side for a touchdown against New Hampshire on Saturday, Oct. 21. Dempster had a career day in a loss at Monmouth. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook football team’s defense was a detriment once again in another lopsided loss, as its slim chances to win a game this season dwindled further.

The Seawolves (0-9, 0-7 CAA) were annihilated 56-17 by the Monmouth Hawks (4-5, 3-3 CAA) in West Long Branch, N.J. on Saturday. The Hawks’ high-flying offense was too much to handle for Stony Brook, as it allowed 588 total yards in its program-record-tying ninth defeat of the year.

Like last week’s game, the Seawolves floundered a golden opportunity to strike first on their opening drive. Stony Brook entered the red zone, but quarterback Casey Case was picked off by Monmouth cornerback Eddie Morales III in the end zone to halt the threat.

Following the ill-timed turnover, Monmouth running back Jaden Shirden went to work. Two plays after Shirden broke free for a 33-yard run, he powered his way through the heart of the Seawolves’ defensive front and broke multiple tackles for a 17-yard touchdown.

After entering the second quarter down 7-0, Stony Brook’s collapse began.

On the ensuing possession, the Seawolves appeared to tie the game — but a costly penalty left valuable points off the board. Running back Roland Dempster found his way into the end zone from two yards out on fourth down, but it was called back due to a holding penalty by left guard Collin Tunc. Instead of seven points, they settled for a 29-yard field goal by kicker Enda Kirby.

After the field goal, the wheels completely fell off for Stony Brook. The Hawks responded immediately, as Shirden found a hole and stormed down the right sideline for an 81-yard house call to extend their lead to 14-3. On its next drive, Monmouth tore through the Seawolves’ defense on just four plays. After being set up by a 50-yard pass from Monmouth quarterback Marquez McCray to wide receiver Dymere Miller, running back Sone Ntoh eventually broke the plane for a one-yard score.

Following another three-and-out by Stony Brook, the Hawks pieced together a seven-play, 58-yard drive that was capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass from McCray to Miller. To close out the first half, they scored on their fourth-straight offensive possession. With just 1:40 remaining on the clock, Monmouth marched down the field with a nine-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dre Tucker to make it 35-3.

The Seawolves did not have a historic rally up their sleeves, and could not recover from this onslaught. Despite the blowout loss, head coach Chuck Priore was pleased with his players’ effort.

“I’ve got a great group of kids who keep on rallying,” Priore said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “Despite our inability to at times execute, they don’t quit. I’m proud from that perspective.”

To start the second half, the Hawks found the end zone on their fifth consecutive drive. A pair of 20-plus yard catches by wide receiver Assanti Kearney set Monmouth up at Stony Brook’s nine-yard line, where McCray found tight end Jack Neri wide open over the middle for an easy touchdown.

When the Seawolves’ offense took the field in the second half, backup quarterback Daron Bryden replaced Case for the third week in a row. 

Following the switch, Stony Brook showed some fight. Dempster found another gear, as he picked up 49 yards on six carries during the Seawolves’ first possession of the third quarter. Wide receiver Jayden Cook moved back to his natural position of running back to punch in a three-yard touchdown to finish an 11-play, 75-yard drive.

Wide receiver Jadon Turner also converted back to running back and took charge during Stony Brook’s next drive, alongside Dempster. The duo combined for 38 yards across six carries to close out the third quarter. To start the fourth quarter, Dempster bulldozed his way through the Hawks’ defense for a 16-yard score to make it 42-17.

The Hawks did not take their feet off the gas in the final frame, as Kearney reeled in a 46-yard touchdown pass with 7:48 left in the game. Monmouth running back Makhi Green waltzed into the end zone for a seven-yard score to put the finishing touches on the game.

From the start, the Seawolves’ passing game failed to get off the ground. Case completed nine of his 17 passes for just 79 yards, while also throwing an interception. Bryden completed four passes on eight tries for 43 yards. Wide receiver Jayce Freeman led the team in receiving with four receptions and 50 yards.

Despite its struggles when throwing the ball, Stony Brook’s ground game had its best day of the season, putting up a season-high 211 yards. Dempster did a majority of the heavy lifting, rushing for a career-high 141 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, which was good enough for 6.4 yards per carry. Turner ran for 50 yards on 10 attempts and Cook scored on his lone touch.

Priore was happy to see Dempster back at full health and looking more like his usual self.

“Roland’s a good football player,” Priore said. “This is probably his first week that he was 100% healthy and it showed on the field today. He lowered the boom on people.”

On the defensive side, defensive end Anthony Williams was the team’s most noticeable player. He had a career-high two sacks. Outside linebacker Calvin Harrison also contributed a tackle for loss. Strong safety Nick Chimienti led the Seawolves with nine total tackles.

The Seawolves simply had no answer for Shirden, who carried the ball 17 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns. McCray completed 22 of his 27 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns. Miller made 11 grabs for 150 yards and a touchdown, while Kearney had five catches for 124 yards and another score.

Stony Brook’s final shot at earning a victory this season will come next Saturday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, where it will take on the Albany Great Danes in the Battle for the Golden Apple. The Great Danes are in a five-way tie atop the Coastal Athletic Association at 5-1 in conference play and are 7-3 overall this year. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Anthony DiCocco, Assistant Sports Editor
Anthony DiCocco is an Assistant Sports Editor at The Statesman. He is a sophomore majoring in journalism with aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. His love of sports derives from years of playing dek hockey and watching his favorite teams, the New York Islanders, New York Mets and New York Jets. He is the beat reporter for Stony Brook’s hockey and softball teams. He has also covered football, men’s lacrosse and men’s soccer. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of his high school newspaper the Devil’s Tale at Plainedge High School. He is a local product from North Massapequa, N.Y.
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