You got to defend your Wolf Den.
Those were the words Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore proudly told GreaterPortJeff after defeating No.11 Delaware (7-3, 5-2 CAA), 17-3, at home, in front of nearly 7,000 fans, on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the No. 12 Seawolves (7-3, 5-2 CAA) improved to a perfect 5-0 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium this regular season– only losing one home game over the last two seasons.
With that last loss coming from the Blue Hens.
“It was comeback win for them, so we remembered that,” said Priore.
During Saturday’s contest, which featured gusting winds, the Seawolves were able rack up 400 total yards, while limiting Delaware’s offense to 201.
The win is a bounce-back victory for Stony Brook, who is coming off a close 13-10 conference loss to James Madison University.
“We had two weeks with a bitter taste in our mouth after the lost to JMU,” said Priore.
Stony Brook’s offense was led by senior running back Donald Liotine, who gained 170 yards and a touchdown against a top-tier defense.
“They are a tough, physical team,” said Priore. “They allow only 110 [rushing] yards a game.”
Liotine’s 33-yard score came at the end of the fourth quarter to seal the game. The Medford-native now has six games with single rushes of 30 yards or longer.
“We just beat them down and then ran them over,” said Liotine, whose offense had a slow first half.
During those first 30 minutes, the Seawolves had an errant snap on third down and an interception that washed away two different drives in the red zone.
Stony Brook’s defense, however, was able to shut down the Blue Hens’ offense on two different first half red zone trips– one was a long drive, another a fumble recovered by Delaware on Stony Brook’s 17 yard line.
Both opportunities ended with missed field goals.
“We’ve been doing it all year,” said linebacker Noah McGinty on red zone stands. “We would like it when our backs are against the wall. We want the pressure.”
McGinty had 9 tackles and .5 sacks during the game.
Stony Brook capped off the first half with a 10-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a Alex Lucansky 26-yard field goal, to go up 3-0 heading into the locker room.
With the strong winds, Stony Brook was more inclined to go for it on fourth downs than kicking it, according to Priore.
It paid dividends in the second half.
The Seawolves converted 1-of-4 fourth-down conversions, but that the lone successful attempt was a 27-yard passing touchdown to Donavin Washington to go up 10-0 (with the extra point) in the third quarter.
“I was excited we went for it on fourth down because it was so windy,” said quarterback Joe Carbone, who threw for 178 yards on the day. “Coach carved out a perfect call.”
Early in the fourth quarter, the Blue Hens were able to hit a 28-yard field goal, but a comeback attempt was squashed later in the quarter after Delaware quarterback Pat Kehoe threw an interception to Keegan Henderson, which later set up Liotine’s score.
“Our coaches did a phenomenal job preparing our kids for this game,” said Priore. “Our kids played with a great focus and the one thing I asked them to do was to have fun.”
Stony Brook will be taking on longtime rival Albany (2-8, 0-7 CAA) on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 3:30 p.m. at Bob Ford Field.
The game can be seen at Fox Sports Go/Fox College Sports Radio or heard on 103.9 FM LI News Radio.