TOWSON, Md. — For Stony Brook, Saturday night’s 27-20 victory over Towson in a Colonial Athletic Association game proved to be the tale of two halves.
Stony Brook (3-2, 2-0) entered the contest averaging 119 yards rushing but its ground game took off in the second half at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The running attack was a big reason the Seawolves scored 20 straight points to rally from a 17-7 halftime deficit.
“I was proud of the way we came back in the second half,” Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. “A good win for us against a good team.”
Priore said the Seawolves made an adjustment at halftime that made them run more instead of throwing short passes on certain plays. The move worked as cousins Stacey Bedell (127 yards) and Jordan Gowins (62) led the way. The Seawolves ran for 151 of their yards in the second half.
“We just stuck with the game plan in the second half,” Bedell said. “We definitely had a lot of room to run the ball. We just followed the holes and made plays happen.”
Bedell’s second rushing touchdown gave Stony Brook a 27-17 lead with 5:50 left. He ran for a 23-yard score two plays after Jaheem Woods picked off an Ellis Knudson pass at the 25.
Aidan O’Neill of Towson kicked a 27-yard field goal with 3:44 remaining that cut the lead to seven. But Sherman Alston Jr. fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and Towson recovered at the Stony Brook 28.
However, the Seawolves stood firm, and linebacker Shayne Lawless tipped away quarterback Ellis Knudson’s pass on fourth-and-9 from the 27. Stony Brook then ran out the final 1 minute, 34 seconds.
Towson coach Rob Ambrose said the Seawolves surprised them a bit in the second half.
“We got outcoached, that’s on me,” Ambrose said. “They kept us off balance. They put some formations out there that we weren’t ready for.”
The Seawolves rallied in the second half, starting with a 91-yard drive on their first possession and scored on their first possession when quarterback Joe Carbone ran for a 12-yard touchdown, cutting the Towson lead to 17-14.
Bedell and Gowins helped the Seawolves rush for 59 yards on an 87-yard scoring drive on their next drive. Gowins finished it with a 1-yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter, but kicker Przemyslaw Popek pushed the extra point wide right, and the score was 20-17.
The defense then made a stand when Towson drove again. Towson went for it on fourth-and-2 from the 8-yard line, but Knudson was stopped by Woods and Lawless after gaining one yard.
Stony Brook took an early 7-0 lead when Bedell ran for a 3-yard touchdown on its second possession.
Tyrice Beverette had picked off Knudson at the Stony Brook 23-yard line to stop a scoring threat on the previous drive. The Seawolves then marched 77 yards on 11 plays, capped by the Bedell touchdown with 4:22 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers tied it on the ensuing possession when Knudson threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Andre Dessenberg with 1:20 remaining in the period. Towson took a 10-7 lead when O’Neill kicked a 23-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.
The Tigers made it 17-7 on their next drive when Knudson threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Vallely with 1:15 left before the break.