Dukes Open With 35-24 Win Over Albany
Aug 31, 2013
PITTSBURGH PA - Duquesne got a pair of touchdown passes from freshman Dillon Buechel in a one-minute span of the third quarter to break open a tight game and propel the Dukes to a 35-24 season-opening win over Albany on Saturday at Rooney Field.
Buechel, the first freshman to start an opener for the Dukes since 2005, completed 21-of-28 passes for 309 yards, including TD passes of 27 yards to Sean Brady and 29 yards to Gianni Carter that turned a 16-10 halftime lead into a 29-10 advantage with 10:03 left in the third quarter.
Albany's Will Fiacchi threw for 346 yards and two scores and Kevin Chillis added nine catches for 135 yards and two TDs in a losing effort.
Duquesne got on the board on the game's first play when Chillis, took a handoff under heavy pressure and was dropped in the end zone by Sam Martello and Aaron Reed for a 13-yard loss and safety that gave the Dukes a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later, DU faced 3rd-and-3 at its own 17 when Buechel found Thomas on a short crossing pattern and Thomas took it 81 yards to the Albany 2. Ryan Ho, who ran for 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns, punched it in to make it 9-0 with 9:35 to go in the first quarter.
Albany got on the board on a Tom O'Riordan field goal that made it 9-3 after one quarter.
The Dukes, behind the big play from Thomas, outgained the Great Danes 124-43 in the opening 15 minutes.
The game remained tied before Aaron Fleck ran for seven yards out of punt formation on 4th-and-1 midway through the second quarter. A late hit penalty on the play moved the ball to the Albany 33. Two plays later, Ho raced 25 yards for a score to make it 16-3.
Albany took over on its own 33 with 1:26 left in the second quarter and made it 16-10 when Fiacchi found Chillis for a 35-yard score with 22 seconds left in the half.
Duquesne opened the second half with a nine-play, 78-yard drive capped by a spectacular 27-yard, one-handed, leaping grab by Sean Brady to make it 23-10.
On Albany's next possession, a blitzing Martello hit Fiacchi, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Dorian Bell at the DU 29. On the next play, Buechel found a streaking Carter for his second touchdown pass in a minute.
UAlbany came right back to march 75 yards, the last 35 coming on another Fiacchi-to-Chillis TD pass that made it 29-17 halfway through the third quarter.
DU's Austin Crimmins kicked his first career field goal - a 30-yarder - to make it 32-17 with 4:35 to go in the third.
Albany cut it to 32-24 on a 2-yard Omar Osbourne run and took over at its own eight with 2:59 left. Rich Piekarski picked off Fiacchi on fourth down and Crimmins added a 22-yard field goal with 1:08 remaining to close out the scoring.
Piekarski added another interception in the waning moments.
Albany outgained Duquesne 421 to 398, but was just 4-of-14 on third down. DU held the Great Danes to just 67 yards rushing.
Duquesne hits the road to face Dayton (1-0) at 1:00 on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Scoring by Quarters