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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Football Squeaks by Monmouth

    The Stony Brook Seawolves football team improved to 3-1 on Saturday with a nail-biting 21-15 win over the Monmouth Hawks, who have yet to win this season. The game began as an offensive stalemate, with only 7 points scored in the first half, and ended with SB holding off a late Monmouth charge. A crowd of over 4,000 saw the game at LaValle Stadium.

    The Seawolves had the ball to start, but did very little. Their first series brought the ball to midfield, but the Seawolves were forced to punt. However, they downed the ball deep into Monmouth territory, on 2-yard line. The Seawolves defense held, and with Monmouth unable to get a first down, they were forced to punt. SB got the ball at midfield, added 15 yards on a pass interference penalty, and scored after 3 rushes by Brandon Mason.

    The teams went back-and-forth with the ball throughout the rest of the half. SB had an embarrassing beginning to the 2nd, with a disastrous end to a drive. They had a 10-yard holding penalty, a loss of 13 yards on a rush, and a 9-yard loss on a sack to draw 4th ‘ 42. Monmouth got close to scoring late in the quarter, after an interception that gave them the ball at SB’s 9-yard line. They were unable to go the remaining 9 yards, with Monmouth’s David Sinisi fumbling the ball at the 1. The half ended uneventfully, with a 7-0 score.

    The 3rd quarter didn’t see any scoring until midway, when Monmouth got on the board with a field goal. SB suffered a disaster on the following drive, which ended in a punt attempt. The snap was botched, and Monmouth regained the ball on the SB 15. Worse yet, punter Andrew Powell left the game with an injury, and was replaced by QB Josh Dudash. Powell was one of several players to leave the game. Others included Will Martinez and J.J. Cox.

    On the ensuing Monmouth drive, SB caught another lucky break, when Monmouth lost another fumble, this time in the end zone, giving SB the ball back at the 20. They scored, after Dudash completed a 46-yard pass to an unguarded Dwayne Eley. SB was up 14-3, and seemed to be in control of a game with very little scoring.

    Monmouth struck back in the 4th, with a touchdown following a 12-play drive. The 2-point conversion failed, putting the score at 14-9. SB went up 21-9 on another TD pass from Dudash, this time to Kevin Halonski. Monmouth scored another touchdown on the ensuing drive, with the 2-point conversion ending with QB Brett Burke being sacked.

    SB got the ball back with 2:11 remaining. Junior RB Brandon Mason rushed for no gain on the first play. Head Coach Chuck Priore then made the surprising decision to go to the air. Dudash’s pass was incomplete, stopping the clock. The following play was a run, and they drew a 4th down. They punted, giving Monmouth 1:08 to go 71 yards, with no timeouts available. They drove the ball all the way to the SB 17, but Monmouth QB Brett Burke couldn’t find his man, and the game ended.

    About the choice to pass, Priore said his “approach is to be creative,” and added that similar offenses have worked in the past. He complemented the defense, which was without 6 of their starters. Players who had little playing time were suddenly a big part of the game.

    Monmouth’s offense outdid SB by 105 yards, with a total of 366. Their undoing was their turnovers, losing 2 fumbles near the end zone. Monmouth held the ball a little longer, as well as converting on more 3rd downs, but SB’s defense held the line the entire game.

    SB goes to Hempstead next to again seek their first win against Long Island rival Hofstra on Saturday. The game starts at 7PM.

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