Senior running back Brock Jackolski rushed for a 103 yards and scored three second-half touchdowns, including the game-winner with 12:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, to help the Stony Brook University football program overcome an 18-point deficit and defeat the University at Albany, 31-28, in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. This is the Seawolves (9-3) first-ever NCAA postseason victory, which advances them to the second round of the 20-team tournament where they will face the No. 1-overall seed Sam Houston State University, Saturday, Dec. 3. The Great Danes 8-4 overall.
"Wow," said Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore. "I know I say it a lot, but good teams find ways to win. I'm really proud of my alma mater (UAlbany class of 1982) and the job they did tonight, but I'm even more proud of our team. We're excited for the opportunity to play another week."
UAlbany, which blew a 28-10 lead, had a chance to win or tie the game, but failed to score on its final possession, which marched to the Seawolves' three-yard line with less than a minute remaining in the game. However, on a second-and-goal UAlbany's senior quarterback Dan Di Lella threw an interception to Stony Brook junior defensive back Dominick Reyes. The Seawolves then used just three plays to run out the clock.
The Seawolves' comeback began when Jackolski capped a 11-play, 80-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run that came with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter to cut the Great Danes' lead to 28-17.
Then, after forcing UAlbany to punt, the Seawolves regained possession and again turned to Jackolski. This time, on the third play of the drive, the 5-foot-10, 198-pound tailback caught a pass from quarterback Kyle Essington and ran 55 yards into the end zone to trim the UAlbany margin to 28-24 with 1:16 to go in the third.
On the Great Danes next possession, Stony Brook's defense forced a three-and-out and helped get the ball back into Jackolski's hands. From there, the Seawolves used just six plays to put another Jackolski touchdown (a 11-yard rush) on the scoreboard and took a 31-28 lead with 12:40 remaining.
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