The slim playoff hopes that JMU held onto coming into this weekend are now none. The Dukes rallied from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to get within a field goal, but the defense couldn’t get a stop of the Stony Brook offense in the final 4:57, and the Seawolves held on for a 41-38 win at Bridgeforth Stadium.
James Madison (6-5, 3-4 CAA) trailed 41-24 in the fourth after a 20-yard field goal by Graham Ball with 13:17 to go, but got back into it on a 32-yard TD pass from Michael Birdsong to Daniel Brown at the 11:54 mark and another Birdsong-to-Brown TD pass at 4:57.
Stony Brook (4-6, 2-5 CAA) picked up two first downs on its next drive before facing a fourth-and-one from its own 44 with 2:03 to go. Quarterback Lyle Negron picked up the first down on a tough two-yard run, and a James Kenner 15-yard run two plays later allowed the Seawolves to set up in victory formation.
The result marred a career day for Birdsong, who was 23-for-34 for 355 yards and five touchdowns.
Negron had a solid day for Stony Brook, hitting on 23 of his 32 pass attempts for 395 yards and three touchdowns.