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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 loses second straight game

Despite taking a lead into the fourth quarter for the second straight game, the Stony Brook Seawolves lost to the University of Massachusetts Minutemen , 26-21, on Saturday to fall to 1-3 on the season.

UMass came in ranked #11 in the nation in the FCS coaches poll, fresh off a game in which the Minutemen played the #20 FBS Michigan Wolverines to within five points.

Even after playing a big-time program so closely the week before, the Minutemen trailed Stony Brook by one point going into the fourth quarter but the Seawolves couldn’t hold on for the win.

Head coach Chuck Priore had mixed feelings following the game.

“Football’s an interesting game, you turn on the TV last week and UMass is kicking off with the chance on an onside kick to beat Michigan in front of 110,000 people,” Coach Priore said. “The next week they’re in LaValle Stadium fighting for their life. I’m proud of our effort, not happy with the loss, certainly we competed…we stood to the challenge, I’m disappointed we didn’t finish it.”

After UMass regained the lead early in the fourth quarter with a 12-play, 80-yard drive culminating in a John Griffin one-yard touchdown run, Stony Brook had the ball in its hands with 1:56 seconds left in the game, starting from its own 20 yard line.

However, sophomore wide receiver, Jordan Gush( Richardson, Texas) couldn’t hold on to junior quarterback Michael Coulter’s (Yorba Linda, Calif.) pass as it bounced off his hands and into the arms of the Minutemen defense to end the Seawolves chances.

“That kid feels awful and he shouldn’t,” Coach Priore said. “He’s a red shirt freshman, first opportunity in a big game and he ran the route correctly. He got in there and took a good hit.  It’s never about one player, one play or one thought process. It’s certainly a big picture thing and a group effort.”

Stony Brook had no answer for the running duo of Griffin and Johnathan Hernandez. The two rushed for over 200 yards and three touchdowns and for most of the game ran at will through a bevy of gaping holes and missed tackles.

Stony Brook was able to keep the game close because of two UMass interceptions and two holding penalties, each negating a touchdown.

The Seawolves defense responded late on, however. They held UMass to two straight three-and-outs in the fourth quarter after surrendering the lead earlier in the period.

The Stony Brook offense couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity as its fourth quarter possessions read: punt, turnover on downs, interception.

The failure to take advantage of late chances to win the game resembled last weeks 33-30 overtime loss to Brown, where Stony Brook also was unable to score in the fourth quarter.

The game started out poorly for the Seawolves. Massachusetts went up 7-0 early in the first quarter on a Jonathan Hernandez four yard run, which followed a few long passes from quarterback Kyle Havens.

After quick Stony Brook possession, which resulted in a punt, Massachusetts got the ball back. But on the second play of their drive, Havens threw an interception to Al-Majid Hutchins (East Orange, N.J.).

After a long run by Edwin Gowins (Bellport, N.Y.) put  Stony Brook in Minutemen territory, the Seawolves scored on another Gowins run.

Massachusetts got the ball back and went deep into Seawolf territory, but another interception ended their scoring chance. This time Arin West (Toms River, N.J.) picked off Havens in the end zone to give Stony Brook the ball back.

With Gowins hurting after the last drive, the Seawolves turned to Miguel Maysonet (Riverhead, N.Y.) and Brock Jackolski (Shirley, N.Y.) to carry the running load.

Maysonet was able to lead the Seawolves into the end zone again on a two-yard run to put Stony Brook up 14-7 early into the second quarter.

The Minutemen showed signs of life on their next drive. They ran the ball with Hernandez, and scored on his fourteen yard run to tie the game at 14.

Even though Stony Brook went three and out on their next possession, they had some good news as Gowins was back in the game.

The Minutemen added a field goal at the end of the second quarter to go up 17-14 by the end of the half.

After Stony Brook punted on their first possession of the second half, Massachusetts kicked another field goal to go up 20-14.

The Seawolves answered back with a touchdown to go up 21-20, but they lost Gowins again on the drive.

Gush scored the touchdown on a pass from Coulter.

This play was set up by a 51-yard pass to Matt Brevi (Tampa, Fla.), which put the Seawolves on the Minutemen 12 yard line.

The Minutemen relied on  Griffin most of the drive early in the fourth quarter, and it paid off, as he also scored the go-ahead touchdown with 10:52 left in the game.

Now, with the Minutemen up 26-21, they decided to go for two but failed, as the ball was knocked away in the end zone.

Stony Brook got the ball back with just about two minutes left. Coulter found Jackolski on two of the first three plays of the drive, as the Seawolves got close to midfield before Coulter’s final interception allowed UMass to run out the clock.

Stony Brook did enjoy the return of junior running back, Eddie Gowins (Bellport, N.Y.) who rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the loss coming back from injury. Gowins re-aggravated his groin with five and a half minutes left in the third quarter but convinced the medical staff into allowing him back on the field  allowing him to return  after missing just one offensive series. Gowins knows his team missed a big opportunity.

“I mean, we play every team the same way, they put the pads on like we do, we don’t look at what they were ranked or anything like that,” Gowins said. “But that doesn’t change anything really. You just have to come out and play and we came up short.

“Obviously coming into the game we felt like we were going to win, that’s how you’re supposed to come into every game.  It was obvious that they’re not a better team than us; we just had mental mistakes.”

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