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Stony Brook hits the wall in second half, loses to Delaware

Stony Brook quarterback Joe Carbone was 23-for-36 for

Stony Brook quarterback Joe Carbone was 23-for-36 for 272 yards, including two touchdown passes to Ray Bolden during a 24-20 loss to Delaware at LaValle Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It was like the Stony Brook football team never left Williamsburg, Virginia.

In a game with an eerie similar feel to the Seawolves’ matchup the week before, Stony Brook dominated the majority of the game, only to find itself in a battle as the game unwound.

But unlike last week, Stony Brook couldn’t hold off the late push, as Delaware defeated the No. 23 Seawolves, 24-20, Saturday night at LaValle Stadium.

The Seawolves led 20-7 at halftime, but a 50-yard field goal by Frank Raggo cut the score to 20-10 in the third quarter. On the ensuing possession, Stony Brook running back Donald Liotine was stripped of the football, which Delaware’s Malcolm Brown recovered and ran for a 45-yard touchdown to make the score 20-17.

Stony Brook (4-2, 3-1 CAA) couldn’t move the ball with the ease it could in the first half, and the Blue Hens drove 80 yards on seven plays in 2:44, capped off by Kani Kane’s 6-yard touchdown run to take a 24-20 lead with 13:03 remaining in the game. The Seawolves also committed a personal foul on the drive, which was a problem the week before in William and Mary’s near comeback victory.

“We have to be more disciplined in those situations,” Seawolves coach Chuck Priore said.

After forcing Delaware (3-2, 1-1) to punt with 3:23 left in the game, Stony Brook was pinned back at its own 9-yard line. But quarterback Joe Carbone led the offense down the field, completing seven of his first eight passes on the drive and taking the Seawolves to inside the Delaware 20-yard line, but he was sacked on fourth-and-13 as the pocket collapsed on him shortly after the snap with 26 seconds remaining.

“It’s called execution and you need to be able to finish games,” Priore said.

The Seawolves were coming off a 21-18 win over William and Mary, in which Stony Brook allowed the final 18 points of the game, including 15 in the third quarter.

Stony Brook dominated the stat sheet, with 407 total yards to 288 and a significant time of possession advantage, 35:03 to 24:57.

But Delaware rushed for 203 yards as a team, including 113 yards in the second half.

“To have somebody run 200 yards on you is bad, as we all know, that’s not good,” defensive back Tyrice Beverette said, “so we’ve just got to come back and play hard and play our defense.”

Joe Carbone and Ray Bolden were their usual cohesive selves, with Bolden recording 136 yards on eight catches, the third time this season he set a personal best in yardage. They connected for two touchdowns in the first half, and it was Carbone’s sixth multi-touchdown game in his Stony Brook career and the fourth this season.

The Seawolves opened the game strong, forcing a three-and-out on Delaware’s first possession. Stony Brook then drove 61 yards on 10 plays, capping off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal from Carbone to Bolden to take a 7-0 lead with 8:35 remaining in the first quarter.

Delaware tied the score in the second quarter when quarterback J.P. Caruso evaded multiple tackles in the backfield and rolled right to find Jamie Jarmon for a 23-yard touchdown with 12:37 remaining in the second quarter.

Stony Brook regained control on a four-play, 65-yard drive capped by Jordan Gowins’ 6-yard touchdown run with 10:35 left in the second quarter. Carbone and Bolden connected for their second touchdown on a 17-yard strike to the right corner, for a 20-7 lead with 1:38 left in the half.

Carbone finished 23-for-36 for a personal-best 272 yards with two touchdowns and extended a streak of 121 pass attempts without throwing an interception. Stony Brook averaged 3.8 yards per rush in the first half, led by Stacey Bedell’s 46 yards, but the team finished with 135 rushing yards on 40 carries, and Bedell had 80 yards on 16 carries.

“You want to see if your team can bounce back from games like this,” Bolden said. “It’s definitely disappointing but we should not react like it’s the end of the world. And last year, I feel like that’s what we would have done.”

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