Darin Peart got a piece of the ball on a William & Mary field-goal try and Stony Brook still had a chance. The Seawolves were down seven and 75 yards away from the end zone with 7:37 remaining Saturday at LaValle Stadium.
“When we blocked the field goal, I definitely felt we were going to go down and tie the game,” receiver Tim Keith said.
The 25th-ranked Seawolves hadn’t inspired that type of confidence all game. They had only seven points at that juncture, none from the offense. Yet here the Seawolves were, moving despite losing quarterback Joe Carbone to an injury on the drive.
They had a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line, but that was followed by this sequence: Run for minus-1, false start, incomplete pass, incomplete pass, incomplete pass.
Stony Brook wants to be in the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2012, but this 14-9 loss — its second straight defeat — didn’t help the cause.
“It’s disappointing, very disappointing,” said defensive back Kye Morgan, who scored the Seawolves’ touchdown on a blocked punt in the first quarter. “But we’ve just got to keep grinding and practice hard every day and win out . . . ”
Stony Brook dropped to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association and now is in a three-way tie for fourth, two games behind first-place James Madison with two games left — home against Maine and at Albany. The conference champion gets one of 10 automatic bids. There also are 14 at-large tickets.
Stony Brook figures to need more than the 210 yards it gained on this day and to be better than its 4-for-19 passing for 53 yards and two interceptions. Both were thrown by Carbone, who suffered a shoulder injury on a run. The extent of the injury wasn’t immediately known. Pat Irwin replaced him and went 0-for-7.
Fewer penalties wouldn’t hurt, either. SBU had 14 for 117 yards. “Fourteen penalties say enough,” coach Chuck Priore said.
The score was tied at 7 after Kendrell Anderson burst in from the 1 early in the second quarter for William & Mary (4-5, 2-4).
Later in the quarter, the Tribe’s Steve Cluley, who threw for 129 of his team’s 205 yards, capped a 51-yard drive by finding Daniel Kuzjak in the right side of the end zone for a 4-yard score.
“I said it during the week: They’re a good 3-5 team,” Priore said. “They’ve lost some close games. They have a veteran quarterback who played very well today.”
With 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter, William & Mary punter Tyler Hiott stepped out of the back of the end zone for a safety, making it a 14-9 game, and Stony Brook took over at its 39 after the ensuing kickoff. Irwin launched four incomplete passes, one of which was a long throw that was deflected and slipped through Keith’s hands.
The Seawolves scored only 2:28 into the game. Synceir Malone smacked down a punt and Morgan grabbed the ball at the 6 and ran it in.
“It picked everybody up, an exciting play,” Morgan said.
But there weren’t many more exciting plays for Stony Brook.