Victor Ochi is still inspiring the defense for Stony Brook University’s football team. The Jets activated the former Seawolves linebacker last Saturday as SBU was in the midst of its 28-3 victory over Delaware. It was their fourth straight triumph in the Colonial Athletic Association.
On Saturday, the Seawolves will face New Hampshire (5-2, 4-1 CAA) and former Sachem North star running back and Hansen Award winner Dalton Crossan. He has rushed for 737 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Trevor Knight has passed for nine TDs.
Ochi is a pleasant distraction. “We were very excited to see one of our guys pursue the dream,’’ said defensive back Tyrice Beverette, who has 39 solo tackles. “It’s not like it happens a lot around here. It gives us hope and it makes us feel good. We know that anybody can get noticed.’’
Coach Chuck Priore added, “From our perspective, it’s good. It just helps us as we’re moving forward with recruiting and those type of things.’’
Stony Brook (5-2, 4-0 CAA) has exhibited lockdown defense since a 38-10 non-conference loss to Sacred Heart in Week 4. “We knew we were better than that game we played,” Beverette said. “We knew that we didn’t play to the best of our abilities. We told everybody, ‘Don’t judge our season on that one game.’ ” SBU’s defense has allowed a conference-low 14 touchdowns.
The Seawolves remain on a steady climb toward the postseason. “We never went into this thinking we’re going to be 8-0 in the CAA,” Priore said. “Let’s get that straight right now. We’ve taken care of four of them. If we can get ourselves enough CAA wins, which will represent us high enough in our CAA standings, then we’ll have a chance when the committee wants to make a decision.’’
Crossan and New Hampshire could present a formidable obstacle. “Good player,’’ Priore said. “He’s had a good career. His finishing up this year certainly has been successful there. He’s a tough kid, a physical kid. He’s done a lot of things. Returns kicks, catches balls out of the backfield [he has one touchdown reception], runs short yardage. [But] we’re playing New Hampshire. I don’t play the guys from Long Island.’’
Crossan was one of the few Hansen Award winners during Priore’s tenure not to select Stony Brook. “Kids choose colleges for a lot of different reasons,’’ Priore said. “I think he made a decision that fit his lifestyle for the next four years.”
Stony Brook linebacker John Haggart of Sayville, who had a career game against Delaware last week with three sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, never played against Crossan in high school, but they became friendly working out together in the offseason.
“It’s a game we have to get the win,” Haggart said, “no matter who the personnel is.’’