Stony Brook nearly sent a shudder through the FCS ranks on Saturday night.
The Seawolves erased a 10-point deficit with a pair of scoring drives around a defensive stand in the final 11 minutes of the fourth quarter to force No. 2 James Madison to overtime. They didn’t however have one more good possession in them and so No. 24 Stony Brook suffered a 45-38 Colonial Athletic Association loss before a homecoming crowd of 12,812 at LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook (4-2, 1-1) won the overtime toss and opted to defend. The Dukes (5-1, 2-0) scored in their turn in the OT with a Jawon Hamilton three-yard touchdown run. The Seawolves turn ended with quarterback Tyquell Fields’ pass from the 33 into the end zone going off the hands of a diving Delante Hellams.
“When the game's over, and it goes to overtime?” Stony Brook Chuck Priore said. “Obviously they’re [number] 2 and we’re 2.1. . . . You don't know how it would play out again the next time.”
Stony Brook’s overtime possession opened with Ty Son Lawton rushing for no gain and Fields throwing incomplete on second down. On third down JMU’s Landon Word sacked Fields for an eight-yard loss.
“I feel like before the game everybody thought we were probably going to, you know, lose by a lot,” said Fields, who was 15-for-30 passing for 318 yards and a pair of touchdowns. “Since that wasn't the case, it's definitely a confidence boost. It also sets the tone for the rest of the season. I feel like we surprised a lot of people.”
Nick Courtney forced the overtime with a 47-yard field goal to make it 38-38 with five seconds left in regulation. That drive started on the 20 after the Seawolves defense forced the Dukes to punt and took over on the 20 with 1:44 to play. SBU ran its two-minute offense with no timeouts with Fields hitting Jean Constant for 20 yards on a fourth-and-14 from the SBU 30. From midfield, Fields connected with Peter McKenzie for 21 yards on a second-and-10 before spiking the ball to stop the clock with :09 on the clock.
“We needed to get the ball back and we did. We needed to [score] and we did,” Priore said. “We needed to keep our composure and we did.”
“I just feel like football comes down to a point where it’s who wants a more,” defensive back TJ Morrison said of the defensive stand that set up the tying field goal.
SBU trailed 38-28 before Gavin Heslop recovered a fumble on the JMU 3 – one of three fumbles the Seawolves recovered – with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter. Fields engineered the Seawolves on a 97-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Lawton to draw them within 38-35 with 7:20 to play.
Lawton rushed 27 times for 108 yards and three touchdowns, Tyquell Fields was 15-for-30 passing for 318 yarfds and a pair of touchdowns, Nick Anderson caught seven passes for 154 yards and a touchdown and defensive back TJ Morrison had an interception and a fumble recovery for Stony Brook.
Ben DiNucci was 13-for-17 passing for 218 yards with one touchdown and one interception, Hamilton carried for 105 yards and two touchdowns and Percy Agyei-Obese ran for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns for James Madison.
“ I think we have a lot of clutch factors on the team,” Fields said. “We always put an emphasis on finishing games and execution and, you know, that showed tonight,” Fields said. “I told the team not to take it too hard. It’s a regular season game. It’s one game . . . We have another game next week to focus on.”