2009 Coach's Corner #12 - A Letter From The Desk Of Coach Priore
Nov. 18, 2009
Stony Brook, N.Y. -
Last week’s game at Charleston Southern was a tough loss for our program. In an overtime situation all that has to happen is for one team to make one mistake and the other team gets a field goal opportunity and you lose the game. And that is what happened to us last week.
During the game we relinquished a number of opportunities that would have put us in total control of the game and ultimately the outcome. Charleston Southern took advantage of opportunities when presented. They returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and an interception for a touchdown - ultimately they became the difference in the contest. It is frustrating to look back and realize that we had enough chances to put points on the board that would have prevented the game from going to overtime and would have allowed us a victory in regulation.
Both sides had turnovers, but Charleston Southern was able to generate more points off its turnovers than our side. Our team did show great poise and character and was able to fight back from deficits three times. It is always a tough thing to give up a kickoff return for a touchdown on the first play of the game and bounce back from that, but it was something that we were able to do when captain Tyler Santucci ’10 (New Kensington, Pa.) made an interception that set up captain Conte Cuttino’s ’10 (Uniondale, N.Y.) score that tied the game.
In the second half our defense played very well. We did not give up any scoring drives and held them to just 24 yards rushing. Offensively, Cuttino and Ed Gowins ’12 (Bellport, N.Y.) were both having great games running the ball and we were able to put the ball in the end zone and tie the game up twice. Overall, I think we played a good game, but not a complete one, and in the end that was the difference.
On the bright side, our running backs were both finally healthy in the same game and the result was both rushing for more than 150 yards. Our offense also generated 12 plays of 10 or more yards rushing which was extremely gratifying for us. We had more yards of total offense and more first downs than Charleston Southern, but at the end of the day the only thing that counts is the score on the scoreboard.
This week we will end the season with another big game for our program as we host Liberty University. If we are victorious them we will be co-champions of the Big South Conference and ultimately would be on top as the champion is decided by head to head results. It is always an exciting feeling to play in a game that has a conference championship riding on it. We have come all the way through this season and put ourselves in a position to play for a championship, which is something that I think speaks very highly about the job our student-athletes have done. It's an exciting thought as a player to have an opportunity for a championship ring. Being a champion is a title that can never be taken away from you, regardless of life's ups and downs, a champion is always a champion.
Briefly about Liberty - they are a very good, physical football team. The Flames are well coached and are 5-0 in conference play. They are ranked No. 16 in the country and have won 15 straight Big South games coming into Saturday’s game, so we will have our work cut out for us. I know that our team is very excited about playing this game and getting the chance to play for its first Big South Championship. It is going to be Senior Day for us as well, so I want to ask all of you to come out Saturday, wear RED, and help fill LaValle Stadium for what should be a very exciting day for the Stony Brook football program and our seniors. Our seniors deserve and have earned this opportunity and we owe it to them to perform at a high level both as a SBU football member and as a fan/supporter.
I thank you for all your support of Stony Brook Seawolves football and look forward to seeing you at the game. Ticket information can be located by calling 631-632-WOLF or on line at www.GoSeawolves.Org. Remember to "Get Your RED On," and Go, Seawolves!