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Last Second TD Gives Shrikes the Bear Bowl

November 28, 2014

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The Shrikes and Bears met once again in the 7th Annual Bear Bowl this evening for the first night game in series history.

14 alums came out for the game despite the frigid temperatures. Mike Cox ’07, Pete Carmel ’07, Eric Duff ’08, Adam Duff ’07, Shawn Austin ’07, Brian Harrington ’09, Ben Koubek ’07, John Kanas ’09, Kevin Howley ’07, Steve Louro ’08, Jake Harrington ’13, Kevin Cox ’10, Fabrice Gaillard ’08, and Terrance Anderson ’07 all suited up for a thriller that would not be decided until the final seconds.

As the game kicked off the temperature hovered just above freezing, but it didn’t take long for the offense to heat up. After each team came up empty on their opening drives, the Shrikes got something going when Eric Duff hit Louro for a 50 yard reception. Louro had nothing but green in front of him, but 20 yards shy of the end zone his legs buckled, shut down by the icy air. Louro’s big gain set up the opening touchdown of the game when Duff found Kanas in the end zone.

The Bears did not take long to respond. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Koubek scrambled around the right side and, after getting a key block from Mike Cox, raced 80 yards down the sideline to knot the game at the end of the first.

Early in the second quarter the Shrikes took the lead back. After Duff connected with Carmel for a long reception, he hit Kanas on two consecutive passes, the second one for a sliding touchdown catch. Kanas’ sure-handedness continued as the Shrikes moved to defense, snaring a pass with one hand for an impressive interception. The Shrike’s drive stalled giving the Bears the ball back.

After marching down the field, Koubek capped the drive with a touchdown strike to Austin. The Shrikes looked to retake the lead on their next drive as Duff found Louro on another long pass, but after two consecutive fumbles, they turned it over on downs. Having seized the momentum, the Bears took their first lead of the game just before the half when the Koubek/Austin connection worked to perfection on another score that gave the Bears a 3-2 edge at intermission.

As the temperature continued to dip, play slowed down in the third quarter as muscles constricted and hamstrings tightened like violin strings. The Shrikes battled the elements and the Bears to knot the contest when Brian Harrington hit Adam Duff for a gorgeous touchdown strike that tied the game heading into the final quarter.

The first eleven minutes of the final frame were scoreless, but the Bears looked poised to change that until Adam Duff snared a huge red zone interception. After empty drives for both teams, the Shrikes scored what looked to be the winning touchdown when Adam Duff caught another Brian Harrington touchdown pass with 1:36 remaining.

With the Bears in need of a big play, Mike Cox tore down the sideline for a long touchdown run that tied the game, evoking memories of the speed he displayed for the County Champion 4×100 meter relay team. Controversy ensued as the Shrikes argued about a no-call on a block in the back, but without officials the play stood. With less than a minute remaining and the small, hypothermic group of fans praying for a miracle to stave off a possible overtime, the Shrikes came through. On the first play of the final drive Louro secured a 15 yard reception, but after an incomplete pass just nine seconds remained in regulation. On the game’s final play Eric Duff dropped back, saw Brian Harrington streaking down the right sideline and found him for a gorgeous pass in the end zone for the game’s winning touchdown.

With the win the Shrikes improved to 6-1 in the series. The first night Bear Bowl will almost certainly be the last as the temperature plunged below 30 degrees by the game’s end. Afterwards both squads, decked out in their old Stony Brook jerseys, capped the evening with Se-Port, so did anyone really lose?

Until next year, boys.

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Bear

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