VALPARAISO, Ind. - The Duquesne football team tallied 542 yards of total offense, earning its first victory of the 2017 season with a 45-40 triumph over Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon at Brown Field. The Dukes even their record at 1-1 on the year while the Crusaders drop to 0-2.
Duquesne finished with 292 yards through the air and 250 on the ground in the win.
The Dukes' 250 rushing yards were the most for Duquesne since recording 251 yards on the ground in a 34-20 victory over Dayton on Sept. 17, 2016.
The Dukes struck first in the high-scoring affair, jumping out to an early 14-0 first quarter lead on a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Tommy Stuart (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall/Boise State) to junior wide receiver Nehari Crawford (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central).
Stuart found Crawford on a 26-yard touchdown strike on the Dukes' first drive of the game on an eight-play, 81-yard march before adding a nine-yard touchdown connection later in the period.
The two teams would trade three scores apiece in the second quarter, combining for a total of 38 points.
After Valpo quarterback Jimmy Seewald got the Crusaders on the board early in the second period with a touchdown pass to tight end Mason Sutter, sophomore running back A.J. Hines (Wilson, N.C./Fike) scored his first touchdown of the season on a rush from 17 yards out to put the Dukes on top 21-7.
Later in the quarter, Stuart connected with senior wide receiver Chavas Rawlins (Monessen, Pa./Monessen/West Virginia) on a 4-yard touchdown pass. Following a Valpo touchdown, sophomore kicker John Domit (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) drilled his first career field goal from 35 yards out to give Duquesne a 31-21 advantage heading into the locker room.
Hines opened scoring for the Dukes in the second half, barreling into the end zone on a 22-yard touchdown run to extend the Duquesne lead to 38-21.
The Crusaders responded with a one-yard touchdown run by Cody Boxrucker to shrink the Dukes' edge back to 10 points at 38-28 with 5:25 to play in the third stanza.
Early in the fourth quarter, Stuart trotted into the end zone from two yards out to put Duquesne on top 45-28, before a pair of Valpo touchdown passes brought the Crusaders within five points at 45-40.
Valpo had a chance to take the lead late in the contest, taking over at their own 33-yard line with just over a minute to play, but an interception by junior defensive back Brandon Stanback (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt/Buffalo) would seal the victory for the Dukes.
Stuart completed 28-of-38 passes for 292 yards and three touchdown passes. The Boise State graduate transfer finished with four total touchdowns, adding seven rushes for 48 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Hines paced Duquesne with 100 yards on 11 attempts with a pair of touchdowns. It marked his sixth career game with at least two touchdowns and his eighth career 100-yard game.
Sophomore running back P.J. Fulmore (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Catholic) tallied 93 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Crawford led the Dukes with career-highs of nine catches for 138 yards. The junior hauled in two touchdowns for the second time in his career.
Linebacker Carter Henderson (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional/Penn State) matched a career-high with 11 tackles (four solo) to pace Duquesne, while sophomore linebacker Brett Zanotto (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional/Maryland) added a career-high nine stops (four solo), including a tackle for loss.
Duquesne outgained Valpo 542-511 in the contest, including a 250-84 advantage on the ground.
The Dukes return to action next Saturday, Sept. 16 on the road against another Pioneer Football League foe in Dayton. Kick off against the Flyers is slated for 1 p.m. ET from Welcome Stadium in Dayton, Ohio.