STONY BROOK, N.Y. — For 30 minutes, everything was going right for Villanova's football team on Long Island.
The Wildcats had a 15-point lead. They were out-gaining Stony Brook by more than 150 yards in total offense thanks to one big chunk play after another.
It took only a few minutes for the game to turn on its head.
Set to receive the ball with a chance to basically put the game out of reach, Villanova's Josh McGrigg fumbled the kickoff and turned the ball over to Stony Brook to start the second half.
"I'd say that was pretty critical," Villanova coach Mark Ferrante said.
"That gave them all the momentum and then they just kept the momentum from there."
The No. 18 Seawolves took that momentum and never looked back in a 29-27 win against 13th-ranked Villanova in the third ever meeting between the two schools.
On a key third down, Stony Brook quarterback Joe Carbone completed a 24-yard pass to receiver Andrew Trent to help set up a 3-yard Donald Liotine touchdown run.
After a stalled Villanova drive, Carbone again hit Trent on a third down, this time for 36 yards on a play that got the Seawolves to Villanova's 29-yard line. Two plays later, Carbone found Julius Wingate for a 26-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion tied the game at 21 with 7:06 left in the third quarter.
The next — and perhaps the biggest — backbreaker for Villanova came a little more than five minutes later. Pinned deep in his own territory on second-and-13 from the 9-yard line, senior quarterback Zach Bednarczyk, scrambling to his left in the end zone, was called for intentional grounding.
The penalty resulted in a safety and gave Stony Brook a 23-21 lead. But more importantly for Villanova, it was Bednarczyk's last play of the game.
Ferrante said the senior hurt his throwing shoulder after he "landed on it wrong a couple times." He initially hurt it in the first half and was checked out at halftime.
"He just didn't feel he could put enough behind the ball," Ferrante said. "He felt he couldn't finish the game."
The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2 CAA) had two quick three-and-outs with sophomore Jack Schetelich behind center. But after Stony Brook (4-1, 2-0) scored with 4:13 left in the game and missed an extra point, Schetelich drove the offense down the field and into the end zone, connecting with McClenton on a 25-yard touchdown with 56 seconds left in the game.
Villanova's two-point conversion attempt failed to tie the game. Out of an odd formation, Schetelich rolled to his right, with most of the 11 players on offense on the left side of the field. His pass into the end zone was knocked in the air and landed incomplete.
"It's always going to start out slow like that when a guy goes in," Ferrante said of Schetelich. "The three-and-outs killed us because (Stony Brook) just ground the clock."
Villanova built its 21-6 halftime lead behind 320 yards of offense on an average of 9 yards per play. They finished the game a yard shy of 400.
Bednarczyk completed his first nine passing attempts, including a 54-yard heave to tight end Todd Summers that later set up a Summers 5-yard touchdown on the team's first drive.