ALBANY — Rayshan Clark scored on a 2-yard fumble return and Ethan Starks kicked two field goals, including a 50-yarder, and Albany defeated Stony Brook, 13-6, on Saturday to capture the Golden Apple Trophy in the Empire Classic.
Clark, who also intercepted two passes, had the difference-making touchdown with 4:46 left in the third quarter. Quarterback Jack Cassidy fumbled the snap one play after Jon Martin’s 63-yard punt pinned the Seawolves on their 5 and Clark scooped up the loose ball and stepped into the end zone.
Starks, a redshirt freshman, kicked his career-best field goal of 50 yards for the Great Danes (7-4, 4-4 Colonial) late in the first half to produce a 3-3 tie.
Przemyslaw Popek had his second short field goal for the Seawolves (5-6, 4-4) with 3:08 left in the game but the Great Danes recovered the onside kick. After a punt, Rocco Marucci intercepted Stony Brook’s Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game.
“There is no such thing as scoreboard winning,’’ SBU coach Chuck Priore said. “You are not defined by the scoreboard. You are defined by the class you have and the character you have. We fought back in every game. When the last play was played the other team had to play to the last play in each of the last three weeks. To me that is character.”
Stony Brook finished the season with four straight losses.
Both quarterbacks threw three picks, Stony Brook also lost two fumbles and the teams combined for 453 yards of offense.
Cassidy, a true freshman out of Connetquot making his first start, was 9-for-24 for 125 yards, with the three interceptions and was sacked twice.
Donald Liotine rushed 21 times for 66 yards and Jordan Gowins 12 times for 58 yards.
The Seawolves made four sacks, one each by Aaron Thompson, Keegan Henderson, Jake Carlock and Isaiah White