Dukes Win Opener At Holy Cross, 31-7
Sept. 4, 2004
Niel Loebig completed 20-of-41 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns and Duquesne's defense came within 2:21 of posting a shutout in a season-opening 31-7 win at Holy Cross.
The win was the 91st in the 12-year career of DU head coach Greg Gattuso, tying him with Dan McCann for the school record for wins by a coach. McCann won 91 games over 19 seasons in the 1970s and late 1980s.
Three players who entered the game looking for their first career reception caught first-half scoring passes as the Dukes jumped out to a 24-0 lead.
Senior cornerback Armar Watson intercepted a pair of passes and recovered two fumbles in the opening half to lead the defense, as DU forced a total of six Holy Cross miscues on the afternoon. Duquesne opened the scoring with a 19-yard John Harris field goal that was set up by Watson's first interception of the afternoon.
Loebig capped a 92-yard drive with a 20-yard toss to sophomore Dan Spriggs to up the DU lead to 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. Watson then picked off a John O'Neil pass at the Holy Cross 31. Four plays later, Loebig hit freshman Bruce Hocker with a 30-yard TD pass on a fourth-and-nine play to make the score 17-0.
Two possessions later, Loebig found freshman Chris Campbell from 41 yards out to give the Dukes a 24-0 lead at the half. DU's three first-half touchdown drives took just 1:43, 1:02 and 1:04 off the clock.
Loebig finished the half with 248 yards as DU turned four Holy Cross turnovers into 10 points. Duquesne opened the second half with a 13-play, 76-yard drive that ended with Loebig hitting Michel Warfield from four yards out to make the score 31-0.
Steven Silva scored on a 16-yard run with 2:21 to go for Holy Cross' only points of the game.
Warfield led DU with 8 catches for 157 yards. Spriggs added 7 catches for 74 yards.
James Jacobs, whose 53-yard run set up Duquesne's second score, finished with 67 yards on 10 carries. Jeremy McCullough added 59 yards on 20 carries for DU.
Michael Hill and Harry Carter led Duquesne with 13 and 12 tackles respectively. Hill posted the Dukes only sack, while Carter added an interception and also broke up a pass.
Duquesne finished the afternoon with 487 yards of total offense in averaging 5.9 yards per play.
The Dukes next travel to Robert Morris for a Pittsburgh area matchup on Saturday, September 11, 2004 at 1:30 p.m.
BY QUARTER 1 2 3 4 FINAL DUQUESNE 10 14 7 0 31 HOLY CROSS 0 0 0 7 7
Duquesne Head Coach Greg Gattuso: