Kyle Essington, Kevin Norrell, Jordan Gush show Stony Brook has air attack in blowout of Charleston Southern
By Greg Logan, Newsday For a change, Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet was as much a spectator as a participant at the Seawolves' usual offensive show. Sure, he managed to set career rushing records for both SBU and the Big South Conference while carrying 11 times for 88 yards Saturday night at LaValle Stadium.
But Maysonet was more impressed by the big-play passing game quarterback Kyle Essington put on with wide receivers Kevin Norrell and Jordan Gush in Stony Brook's 49-7 victory over Charleston Southern in the league opener for both schools.
Essington tied a school record with five touchdown passes, including three to Gush for 1, 4 and 27 yards, and two to Norrell covering 29 and 8 yards. Essington completed 13 of 19 passes for 263 yards, and Norrell had a career-high 214 receiving yards on eight catches.
"The way we run the ball, it definitely puts a lot of [defenders] in the box," Maysonet said of how the Buccaneers crowded the line of scrimmage. "Kyle and Kevin do unbelievable things. Kevin's catch at the two-yard line was ridiculous."
Norrell had a bunch of big catches, starting with a 29-yard TD on a post pattern for Stony Brook's opening score. But the best undoubtedly was a 28-yard sideline out to start the second quarter. Norrell laid out horizontally to make the catch while keeping his feet inbounds. That set up Maysonet's 1-yard scoring run for a 14-0 lead. "I knew I was drifting over, and I saw the line coming up," Norrell said. "I had to keep my feet in, and Kyle threw a perfect ball."
After Charleston Southern (1-4, 0-1 Big South) cut the deficit to 14-7, Essington opened Stony Brook's next drive by hitting Norrell on a post for 42 yards, and that led to Essington's 1-yard TD throw to Gush for a 21-7 lead.
It worked so well the first time that Essington came back with the deep post to Norrell for 51 yards to the CSU 25 on the opening play of the next drive. Three plays later, Norrell caught an 8-yard fade to the left corner for his second TD and a 28-7 halftime lead. Norrell later caught a 39-yarder down the middle on the first play of a drive that ended with Essington's 27-yard TD pass to Gush for a 42-7 lead.
"The defense was really playing the run hard because they fear Miguel and Marcus Coker," Essington said of the Seawolves' powerful running tandem. "It probably was eight guys keying on the running game and it opened everything up. Kevin is really talented, and I trust him to get open."
You can't blame defenses for loading up against the run. Coker had 19 carries for 80 yards, giving Maysonet a break from the pounding. Of course, Maysonet still reached 3,649 career rushing yards, passing the Stony Brook record of 3,607 set by Conte Cuttino and the Big South record of 3,633 yards set by Liberty's Rashad Jennings (now with the NFL's Jaguars).
"Two in one game," Maysonet said with a smile. "It shows what we do is working as an offense. The award goes to the whole team."