Another game, another milestone for Stony Brook receiver Ray Bolden.
Bolden caught two touchdown passes and finished with 13 receptions, a career high, for 118 yards as No. 22 Stony Brook defeated host No. 17 Richmond, 27-24, on Saturday in CAA football.
Stony Brook (6-2, 5-1) clinched its first winning season since joining the CAA in 2013.
“Proud of our team,” coach Chuck Priore said. “It’s a long season. Every CAA game is a championship game, and certainly today was championship football by both teams.”
Stony Brook led 20-17 going into the fourth quarter. As has been the case all season, when Joe Carbone needed a big play on a big drive, he turned to Bolden.
Carbone and Bolden connected for four completions plus a pass-interference penalty, culminating with a 22-yard touchdown pass that gave Stony Brook a 27-17 lead with 12:23 remaining. It was an eight-play, 73-yard drive.
The Spiders (4-4, 2-3) put together a 12-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to cut Stony Brook’s lead to 27-24 with 2:12 remaining. Stony Brook recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock for the victory.
“Quality football game,” Priore said. “I think the fans got their money’s worth and, man, that fourth-quarter drive they put on, that 90-yard drive, was a work of perfection. We were fortunate enough to get that onside kick and put the game away.”
Stony Brook struck first with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Carbone to Bolden with 11:54 remaining in the first quarter after the Seawolves got a second chance on offense following a muffed punt recovered by Darin Peart.
Richmond answered on the ensuing drive, going 77 yards on 12 plays. Kyle Lauletta threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Dejon Brissett to tie the score at 7.
The Seawolves opened the second quarter with two scores in the first five minutes, a 33-yard field goal by Nick Courtney and a 3-yard touchdown run on third down by Donald Liotine, to take a 17-7 lead.
Carbone finished 19-for-29 passing for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Stacey Bedell gained 69 yards on 16 carries.
It was the second straight season that Stony Brook defeated Richmond after knocking off the then-No. 2 Spiders, 42-14, in 2016. Priore said some of the intensity from last season’s game likely carried over to Saturday.
“I think part of it stemmed from their players last year,” he said. “I mean, they came in and we upset them at home. They were the No. 2-ranked team in the country and we upset them and we knew they’d be ready to play. You’re a northern team and you come down to Virginia to play . . . If you can’t win in Virginia, you’re not going to be a good CAA team.”
Stony Brook is 3-0 in conference road games this season.