Not once, not twice, but in all three games, it happened. And it had left Stony Brook 0-for-CAA play.
The Seawolves’ hopes to go ahead or tie came to a screeching halt deep on the other team’s side of the field with a fourth-down failure in the final minute or in overtime, including twice in the previous two weeks. But they didn’t leave their fate for the end Saturday against Delaware at LaValle Stadium.
They started fast. Ty Son Lawton sprinted for a 99-yard touchdown on their first offensive play, the longest scoring run in program history. They finished fast, too, delivering a big defensive play with the Blue Hens down by just three in the fourth quarter.
Lawton ended up rushing 22 times for a career-high 192 yards and two TDs, and Stony Brook ended up winning, 34-17, over the Blue Hens, who were ranked 14th and 15th in the FCS, depending on the poll.
So the Seawolves snapped a four-game overall skid and moved to 1-3 in the CAA and 2-5 overall.
"There were a lot of people that were wondering where Stony Brook football was," coach Chuck Priore said. "If they looked at our three CAA losses, my opinion, if they were football people behind the scenes, they wouldn’t have asked that question … But winning is important to people."
Especially this game.
"We needed this win desperately, to be honest, even though it’s not going good for us in conference games," Lawton said. "Coach P and all the coaches really dislike Delaware. So it was a statement game."
Lawton made his statement. The redshirt junior came in as the CAA leader in rushing yards, and Delaware’s Dejoun Lee was No. 2. Lawton outdid Lee, who had 15 carries for 91 yards.
"I was thinking about that all game," Lawton said. "It felt really good."
Seawolves quarterback Tyquell Fields, who went 13-for-18 for 133 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score, fired a 26-yard scoring pass down the middle to Khalil Newton in the third quarter. Stony Brook led 20-10.
Zach Gwynn responded for the Blue Hens (3-3, 2-2) with a 28-yard TD pass to Thyrick Pitts with 13 seconds left in the third.
It was still a three-point game when Delaware got the ball back at its 20 with 6:32 remaining. Then Makye Smith made a strip sack at the 5. Brandon Lopez recovered it and carried it to inside the 1 with 6:24 left.
"We were doing what we finally were supposed to do — getting some turnovers," linebacker Reidgee Dimanche said.
Fields ran it in — 27-17.
Randy Pringle recovered a muffed punt in the end zone to cap it for the Seawolves with 1:43 on the clock.
"We’re not a very good football team," Delaware coach Danny Rocco said. "If we were, we’d be playing better."
Lawton made it through the middle of the line on his 99-yard run and ultimately cut left on the way to the end zone. He also plowed in from the 1 in the second quarter for a 13-0 lead.
"It was awesome," Priore said of the 99-yarder. "I think that honestly gave us the belief we could win."