CONWAY, S.C. -- This has become a rather familiar narrative for the Stony Brook football team -- and an all-too-familiar one for Coastal Carolina.
The Seawolves unleashed running back Miguel Maysonet in the second half of the teams' Big South Conference game Saturday at Brooks Stadium, and he responded with a career-high 233 yards on 26 carries -- including 199 yards and two touchdowns after halftime -- in Stony Brook's 27-21 win.
"He's a great running back,'' Coastal safety Pernell Williams said. "I see why all the NFL guys are hyping him up because he's a great running back.''
Maysonet's 4-yard touchdown run with 9:37 remaining broke a 21-21 tie. Coastal Carolina had a first-and-10 at the Stony Brook 20 in the final minutes, but after the Chanticleers got to the 16 on a pass to Matt Hazel, Dominick Reyes recovered Hazel's fumble to preserve the lead.
This meeting was far more competitive than the Seawolves' previous two with the Chanticleers, but the outcome and formula were the same. Maysonet, who rushed for 193 and 191 yards the previous two years against Coastal, had runs of 58 and 64 yards after halftime as Stony Brook (6-1, 2-0 Big South) regained the lead in the fourth quarter and held off Coastal (2-4, 0-1).
"He's completely clutch,'' Stony Brook quarterback Kyle Essington said. "I mean, when we need a big play, we all know that we can count on Miguel to bust one open and get us the big play that we need.''
Essington led the way in the first half, completing his first seven passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns before Stony Brook turned to its proficient ground attack.
Maysonet, the Big South's all-time leading rusher, carried the ball eight times for 43 yards on the opening drive of the second half and gave the Seawolves a 21-14 lead on his 2-yard touchdown scamper.
Coastal tied the score early in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Height, and Stony Brook started the ensuing drive at its 9 after being flagged for an illegal block on the kickoff. But Maysonet took the first handoff 64 yards around the left side and down the sideline to the Coastal 27. Three plays after a 16-yard run by Marcus Coker to the 11, Maysonet found the end zone from the 4.
"He's pretty good,'' Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said with a smile afterward. "He's pretty good. I'm proud of him.''
Usually sure-footed Wesley Skiffington, who had an uncharacteristic off day with two missed field-goal attempts, missed the extra point as SBU's lead stayed at 27-21. But that was enough, thanks to Reyes' recovery of Hazel's fumble.
"I think Stony Brook is, based on everything we've seen, truly one of the better teams in the country,'' Coastal coach Joe Moglia said. " . . . I feel good about what [our] effort was, but at the end of the day, it was absolutely, positively a missed opportunity.''
Essington finished 10-for-13 passing for 181 yards for Stony Brook. Kevin Norrell had seven catches for 127 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown that tied the score at 14-14. Jordan Gush caught two passes for 50 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown that tied it at 7-7. Coker rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries.
Aramis Hillary passed for 271 yards and a touchdown, but Coastal also was effective on the ground with 201 rushing yards. Height gained 89 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns.
In the teams' previous two meetings, the Seawolves defeated visiting Coastal, 42-0, last year and took a 31-0 lead en route to a 38-28 win here in 2010. Priore said he didn't expect anything but a challenge, though.
"I knew it would be a good game,'' he said. "Both teams handled adversity, back and forth, obviously. Each team answered. I think we played an awesome second half.''