Stony Brook’s nail-biting comeback for a 32-31 victory over Colgate Saturday night in front of a record LaValle Stadium crowd of 10,278 was chock full of big plays by both sides as the Seawolves took a 17-point lead, fell behind by 28-20 and then fashioned a fourth-quarter comeback for the win.
It was the kind of pulsating game that left both sides exhausted and limp even as Stony Brook’s student section rushed the field and celebrated wildly (pictured) around them. But if there is one play that will rise above all the others in the minds of both teams, it was the touchdown-saving tackle Seawolves safety Cedrick Moore made on Colgate running back Jordan McCord in the fourth quarter.
The Seawolves (3-1) had just cut the deficit to 28-26 on Marcus Coker’s 14-yard scoring run, but the Raiders (1-3) didn’t back down for a second. They moved from their 23 to the SBU 45-yard line, where they faced third-and-2. McCord took a handoff, broke outside around left end, stepped out of one tackle and was off to the races up the left side with nothing but bright green FieldTurf in front of him.
But Moore gave chase from his spot in the middle of the field, and even though he didn’t have a great angle, he got close enough to dive, wrap both arms around McCord’s neck and bring him down at Stony Brook’s 12-yard line after a 33-yard gain. Moore even avoided a “horsecollar” penalty with a clean tackle.
“I thought I’ve just got to keep working hard and try to make the play,” Moore said. “I never thought for one second that he would make that touchdown.”
Asked if the tackle McCord broke was just enough to slow him down, Moore said it was all a blur to him. “All I remember was just thinking, ‘Hustle and go fast and make the play.’ I don’t know if I just had a lot of adrenaline or what, but I just wanted to deny that touchdown.”
Deny it Moore did. The next three Colgate plays gained two yards, and the Raiders had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Andrew Burgess for a 31-26 lead. Had McCord gone all the way, Colgate would have had a 35-26 lead. Stony Brook came back with a touchdown drive of its own, but even if it had completed the two-point conversion pass, it would have lost by one point. Thanks to Moore’s touchdown-saving tackle that didn't happen.
“That’s what we have to do,” Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. “You play to the whistle, and you play until the game’s over and don’t take it for granted. I agree. Those plays don’t get noticed, but they certainly show up on film as the reason why.”