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UND falls 13-9 to Stony Brook in New York state

STONY BROOK, N.Y.--The University of North Dakota football program, entering the most anticipated season in its Division I era, took a rare trip to New York to open the 2016 schedule.

STONY BROOK, N.Y.-The University of North Dakota football program, entering the most anticipated season in its Division I era, took a rare trip to New York to open the 2016 schedule.

The Fighting Hawks, who hadn't visited the state in 86 years, will leave the Empire State late Thursday night without any fond memories of Long Island.

No. 19 UND gave up a blocked punt for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to allow Stony Brook to earn a 13-9 win in front of 6,153 fans at LaValle Stadium.

UND running back Brady Oliveira capped off a dismal performance by the Fighting Hawks offense when he was stuffed on fourth-and-inches on the Stony Brook 24-yard line with 2 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the game.

UND, with only one timeout remaining, never got the ball back.

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"It's tough," said UND quarterback Keaton Studsrud, who was 13-for-25 passing for 114 yards. "You come out your first game, and you want a great result. We didn't do that. We had the gameplan down. We flat out didn't come out and play."

UND only had 177 yards of total offense and preseason All-American running back John Santiago was bottled up for 51 yards on 16 carries.

"We knew what we were coming into," said Santiago, who scored UND's lone first-half touchdown on a 16-yard run. "We knew we'd come into a fight. We made a lot of first-game mistakes, and we shouldn't have. It hurts.

"We knew they'd stack the box. They stopped our run game, and we couldn't pass. It was on all of our parts."

A big swing in the game came early in the second half when UND appeared to be headed in for a score to make it 14-7.

But UND wide receiver Clive Georges caught a pass for 15 yards down the right sideline and a couple of yards away from a score was tackled and stripped of the football.

Stony Brook recovered and Georges was injured on the play and transported by ambulance off the field.

One play after the Georges fumble, UND safety Cole Reyes tackled Seawolves running back Stacey Bedell in the end zone for a safety to give the Fighting Hawks a 9-7 lead with 11:51 left in the third quarter.

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But the five points left on the field in that sequence was a difference-maker, UND coach Bubba Schweigert said.

"That's a big play in the game," Schweigert said. "That's tough. You take that in, you go up and it changes the complexion of the game."

The game-winning score came with 8:52 left in the fourth quarter. UND punter Austin Dussold had his punt blocked by Gavin Heslop. Kyle Morgan picked up the loose ball, returned it seven yards for a score and the Seawolves went up 13-9.

It was the second fumble recovery for a score for the Seawolves. Stony Brook's Cal Daniels hopped on a fumble in the end zone by Jordan Gowins, who extended toward the goal-line on a rush on third-and-goal from the 3 with 4:50 left in the first half.

"It was the type of game we expected," Schweigert said. "It was a defensive battle. We made a big mistake, and they made the play on special teams. We needed a drive in the second half, but we didn't do enough to make that happen."

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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