STONY BROOK, N.Y. – The University of Richmond Spiders football team defeated the Stony Brook Seawolves on the road, 39-31, on Saturday afternoon.
With the road win, the Spiders improve to 4-6 on the season overall and to 2-4 in CAA conference play. Stony Brook falls to 3-6 on the year and to 1-5 in league action.
QB Michael Strauss was terrific on Saturday, tying a school record with five touchdown passes on the day. Strauss completed 28-of-38 for 380 yards, becoming the first QB in program history to throw for over 3,000 yards. The redshirt junior has thrown for 3,032 yards with two games remaining on the year.
Wide receivers Ben Edwards and Stephen Barnette both went over a 100 yards on the day, with Edwards reeling in 13 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Barnette ended the day with seven catches for 115 yards and one score, while RB Seth Fisher also reeled in a receiving score.
Senior DB Wayne Pettus led the defensive charge, totaling a team-high nine tackles while LB Eric Wright finished with a pair of stops to go with an interception. DL Kerry Wynn had four tackles and one sack on the afternoon.
Richmond’s first drive of the game was an impressive one, as the Spiders took 7:25 off the clock with a 16-play, 77-yard march that ended with a 20-yard field goal off the foot of K Brandon Jordi, giving Richmond a 3-0 lead.
On the ensuing Seawolves’ drive, Wright notched his first interception of the season, pushing the Spiders’ consecutive game streak with a pick to an astounding 20 games. Richmond wasted little time capitalizing, as Strauss connected with RB Seth Fisher on a 15-yard touchdown pass on the very next play, pushing lead to 10-0.
After Stony Brook cut the lead to 10-7, Richmond responded with another marathon scoring drive – 15 plays, 85 yards, 7:20 – ending with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Strauss to Edwards. The Spiders then converted a two-point conversion when Edwards completed a pass to WR Stephen Barnette, pushing the Richmond advantage to 18-7.
At the half, Richmond led the Seawolves, 18-14, as Stony Brook cut the lead to four on a touchdown with just over a minute left in the second quarter. Richmond was outstanding on third downs in the first 30 minutes, converting 7-of-8. The Spiders also dominated in the air, outgaining SBU, 150-60, in passing yards.
Stony Brook came out of the break and struck for two touchdowns, surging to a 28-18 lead midway through the third quarter. The Spiders responded with a quick strike of their own, as Strauss connected with Edwards on a 42-yard touchdown to shrink the Seawolves’ lead to 28-25.
The Richmond defense came up with a big stop in their own territory, limiting Stony Brook to a field goal, as the Seawolves pushed their lead to 31-25.
Once again, Strauss and the Richmond offense marched down the field. After a catching a 45-yarder to put the Spiders in SBU territory, Barnette caught a beautiful, 13-yard fade pass in the back right corner of the end zone to put Richmond back on top, 32-31, with just over eight minutes left.
After the defense forced a Stony Brook punt on their next possession, Strauss and the offense sealed the win with another score. This time the QB hooked up with WR Rashad Ponder on a six-yard touchdown, giving the Spiders their winning margin of 39-31.
The Richmond Spiders will play their final road game of the season next Saturday when the team heads north to face CAA-rival Delaware at 1 p.m.