When Wagner toppled LIU in 2019, it was their lone bright spot in an otherwise miserable season. It was the Seahawks’ only win as they went out that year with a forgettable 1-11 record. That game against the Sharks, though, doesn’t just stand out as the solo victory from that campaign — it’s the last time Wagner won a game at all.
Yes, there have been some rough times in Staten Island as of late. In 2020, the Seahawks were slated to play just four games in the spring and had to cancel two of them due to the pandemic. The other two? They lost by a combined score of 44-7 to NEC foes Duquesne and Bryant. Last year was much of the same. Wagner lost all 11 games on their schedule by an average of nearly 26 points per contest. Their offense was outgained 246.4 yards to 403.6 by their opposition. To reiterate — it’s been rough.
After a blowout loss to Buffalo to kick off their 2021 campaign, it looked as though the Seahawks might get that coveted win against Central Connecticut State in Week 2. After losing a 10-point lead, Wagner fought back and scored a touchdown late. The two-point try to knot things up failed, however, and they came up short 21-19.
A few weeks later they got close again when they took Delaware State to overtime but the Hornets were able to score a touchdown to seal it. After that, the Seahawks really never played in a competitive game for the remainder of the season.
All of that has resulted in 20 consecutive losses, giving them the longest active losing streak in the FCS (the next closest is Houston Baptist’s 11-game slide). But surely, things have to turn around sometime?
Third-year head coach Tom Masella certainly hopes it’ll be this season but, based off their schedule, the Seahawks may not snap the streak as early as they hope. They welcome Fordham on September 1 and the Rams will be no pushover. Shortly after Wagner takes road trips to face two FBS opponents in Syracuse and Rutgers. The good news, though, is that down the line they will take on less-tough competition with one of the FCS’ newest members, Stonehill as well as the aforementioned LIU Sharks.
It’s not all about the schedule, though. Wagner, despite their struggles, will be returning some talented pieces. Quarterback Guenson Alexis showed flashes last season as a freshman. He led the team in the rushing touchdowns (4) and threw for 445 yards. Senior receiver Jayvin Little is also a proven offensive X-factor.
Defensively the Seahawks will be aided greatly by the return of grad senior linebackers Titus Leo and Tre Valler. Leo led the club in tackles in 2021 with 71 and disrupted the backfield often while Valler was right behind him with 62 stops and an interception. These two coming back is key in Wagner’s hopes of turning their fortunes around.
The parts are there. Whether or not the Seahawks can get those parts to mesh in a way that puts their dreadful skid to an end is the issue. Odds are Wagner will end their FCS-record streak at some point during the upcoming season but it could be a brutal stretch before that happens.