Dukes Turn Back Bryant, 31-28
Oct. 1, 2011
PITTSBURGH - Connor Dixon caught three touchdown passes - the last of which put Duquesne ahead to stay with 9:22 left - as the Dukes extended their winning streak to four with a 31-28 Northeast Conference victory over Bryant on Rooney Field.
The Dukes, whose lone blemish is a 27-26 opening day loss at Bucknell, moved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the NEC. Bryant saw a three-game win streak snapped in dropping ot 3-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Dixon, who finished with five catches for 71 yards, caught a 33 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and added a 15 yarder in the third.
Duquesne outgained Bryant 379-276 in a game that saw four lead changes in the second half of a game played in steady rain.
Larry McCoy, the NEC's third-leading rusher, carried 34 times for 153 yards and a touchdown. Bryant's Jordan Brown, who entered the game second in the NEC in rushing, carried 36 times for 142 yards and two scores.
Duquesne's Sean Patterson completed 13-of-25 passes for 160 yards, including the three TD passes to Dixon. Mike Croce completed 8-of-18 passes for 138 yards for Bryant.
Three plays later, DU's Khiry Carter forced a fumble that was recovered by Ashton Burno at the Bryant 33. Patterson found Dixon down the right sideline on the next play to put the Dukes up 10-0 through one quarter.
Bryant took advantage of a short field following a Duquesne fumble to pull within three when Croce scored from one yard out to cap a 41 yard drive with 8:32 left in the half.
McCoy scored on a two yard run to push the margin back to ten a little over five minutes later.
Duquesne outgained Bryant 219-64 in the opening 30 minutes.
Bryant scored twice in the first 7:26 of the second half to take a 21-17 lead.
The Bulldogs took the second half kickoff and drove 68 yards with Brown scoring from 18 yards out to make it 17-14. Just over three minutes later, Brown added a one yard plunge after Jeremy Woodson picked off a tipped Patterson pass and returned it to the DU 19.
The Dukes regained the lead when Patterson hit Dixon with a 15 yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter.
Croce then connected with Jordan Harris for a 70 yard score on a third-and-eight play. No one was within ten yards of Harris as cornerback Aaron Fitzpatrick slipped and fell while the ball was in the air.
McCoy broke a 40 yard run to the Bryant 11 before Patterson found Dixon for the third time, this time from 10 yards out, to make it 31-28 with 9:22 left.
Richie Piekarski picked off a Croce pass with just over two minutes left to seal the win.
Carter, who also posted his first career sack, and Horvin Latimer led the Dukes with eight tackles each. Ohio State transfer Dorian Bell had six tackles, including a tackle for loss and a quarterback pressure, in his first appearance as a Duke.
Duquesne returns to action next Saturday at Albany (2-2, 1-0). Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.
Scoring by Quarters