Running back Ty Son Lawton has turned in some impressive performances for Stony Brook this month. Those efforts become even more impressive when you consider he’s been playing at something less than 100 percent.
Despite an ankle injury he sustained in Stony Brook’s season-opener against Bryant, Lawton has surpassed 100 yards rushing in each of Stony Brook’s last three games.
His most satisfying performance may have come in Saturday’s 36-35 come-from-behind victory over Villanova, when he carried the ball 25 times for a team-high 121 yards and one touchdown against a defense that entered that contest allowing an average of 99.4 rushing yards per game (second best in the Colonial Athletic Association).
Lawton, a 5-foot-9 215-pound redshirt freshman from Staten Island, N.Y., was named the CAA Rookie of the Week for that effort.
“It felt good to be a part of it, but there’s still a lot of mistakes that I have to clean up,” Lawton said. “It was a good win. I would like to have more games like the past three. I believe I can help the team win, just like at Villanova."
Lawton had a 47-yard run to the Villanova 3-yard line that set up Stony Brook’s final TD in Saturday’s victory. The Seawolves trailed 28-10 at halftime and 35-20 midway through the fourth quarter.
“There’s always a little bit of luck involved, but you have to work hard and create those opportunities,” Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. “You play to the end and you hope something good will happen.
“Good football player who is getting better every game. I got to get him some practice time one of these weeks, but he’s been healthy enough to play on Saturdays.”
Lawton gained 49 yards on 11 carries before he was injured against Bryant. He missed Stony Brook’s next two games, but played in his team’s CAA opener on Sept. 28, a 31-27 victory over Rhode Island. He ran for 88 yards and a TD on 15 carries in that game.
Lawton’s workload increased after that because of injuries to running backs Seba Nekhet (shoulder) and Isaiah White (ankle). Priore said all three were banged up entering Stony Brook’s game against James Madison on Oct. 5, but Lawton got the call because he was the “healthiest” of the three. He ran for 108 yards and three TDs in a 45-38 overtime loss that day, and followed that up by running for 124 yards and a touchdown in a 20-14 loss to New Hampshire the next week.
“He’s certainly getting better,” Priore said. “We’re excited about his progress. With Isaiah White being out the last two weeks he’s shouldered the load. He runs the ball physical with great pad level and I think he’s got some natural talent.”
Lawton has carried the ball 75 times for 353 yards and five TDs during his last three games.
“It’s cool to be the one to be depended on,” Lawton said. “I wasn’t expecting to get as much work as I’m getting now, but I was expecting to get carries.
“I have high standards so I have to play to those standards. Make sure my team is satisfied with what I’m doing. I can be physical at times, and make people miss at times. I’m pretty balanced.”
Handing out #CAAFB Weekly Honors to @stonybrookfb junior quarterback Tyquell Fields & freshman running back Ty Son Lawton, @ElonFOOTBALL senior defensive back Greg Liggs, Jr., and @spiderfootball redshirt freshman kick returner/running back Aaron Dykes pic.twitter.com/zLwszKCBLZ— CAA Football (@CAAFootball) October 28, 2019
Although Nekhet, White and Lawton have all battled injuries this season, it hasn’t seemed so slow down Stony Brook’s running game. The Seawolves (5-3, 2-2 CAA) enter Saturday’s contest at Richmond with the No. 2 rushing attack in the CAA (225.6 ypg.). Lawton has run for 500 yards and seven touchdowns on 103 attempts, and is third in the conference in rushing yards per game (83.3).
One thing that has helped him, Lawton said, was the timing of Stony Brook’s bye week, which was sandwiched between the New Hampshire loss and last Saturday’s game against Villanova. That allowed him to rest enough to return to practice.
“Feeling better,” Lawton said. “Since I practiced that week it had a really good impact toward the game, so I have to make sure I stay healthy and keep practicing for my team.”
Although Priore said it’s possible White could return for Saturday’s game against Richmond, he added that Lawton will be a busy guy that day regardless of who’s available.
“It’s just a matter of is he gonna get 30 carries or is he gonna get 20 carries?” Priore said. “Either way he’s gonna be in the mix.”