Stony Brook’s (5-4, 4-2 CAA) offense struggled to gain momentum all Saturday afternoon after a quick start against William & Mary (4-5, 2-4 CAA) at the Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
On the first drive of the game, Stony Brook forced a three-and-out against the Tribe offense. Seawolves defensive back Synceir Malone was able to swarm William & Mary punter Tyler Hiott and block his kick. Fellow defensive back Kye Morgan grabbed the ball and took it in for an easy touchdown to give Stony Brook the lead less than three minutes into the game.
The Seawolves defense continued to dominate the Tribe offense while the Stony Brook offense put together a pair of decent drives. Stony Brook, looking to add to its lead, turned the ball over on sophomore quarterback Joe Carbone’s first pass attempt of the day when he was picked off late in the first quarter.
The momentum shift was palpable as William & Mary capitalized on the turnover. Running back Kendell Anderson turned in a one-yard run to lead to a tie game less than 30 seconds into the second quarter. Stony Brook never stole the momentum back, resulting in an eventual 14-9 loss at home.
“Certainly, we haven’t been very productive offensively in a couple of weeks and that carried over today,” Stony Brook Head Coach Chuck Priore said. “[William & Mary] is a good 3-5 team.”
Roughly seven minutes after their first touchdown, the Tribe struck again. Quarterback Steve Cluley found wide receiver Daniel Kuzjak on a four-yard pass to give William & Mary a 14-7 lead heading into the half.
It was not a good half for Carbone and the Seawolves. The quarterback had gone 0-5 with two interceptions. Priore chose to stick with Carbone and gave him his vote of confidence, saying, “He’s our starting quarterback.”
Carbone improved in the second half, throwing 4-7 for 53 yards. It was not enough, as key penalties hampered drive after drive for the Seawolves. Stony Brook finished the game after being penalized 14 times for 117 yards. Those penalties not only derailed Seawolf drives, but also extended Tribe possession time as well.
“I’ve gotta look at the film, figure out why the penalties happened and evaluate what penalties they were,” Priore said. “If they’re competitive penalties, then you really can’t do much about them. If they’re mistakes that are controllable, then we’ll have to address it and control them.”
Stony Brook’s best chance to tie the game came after the team blocked Tribe kicker Kris Hooper’s field goal attempt that would have given William & Mary a 17-7 lead. Stony Brook was able to avoid going down by two possessions and make their way down the field.
Along the way, Carbone sustained an injury. Priore said he wasn’t sure what exactly had happened, except it was “something with his shoulder.” Backup quarterback Pat Irwin came in to relieve Carbone.
Although Stony Brook had made it to the Tribe’s seven-yard line, a false start penalty and incomplete passes derailed yet another promising drive for the Seawolves. Their only two other points came on a safety after Hiott opted to run the ball out of bounds instead of risk another blocked punt.
“When we blocked the field goal, I definitely felt we were going to go down and tie the game up,” Stony Brook fifth-year wide receiver Tim Keith said. “Obviously, things didn’t work out. We didn’t get it done.”
On the final drive, Irwin attempted a few Hail Mary passes, but none came to fruition. The Seawolves will remain home next week when they host Maine on Saturday, Nov. 12.