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Dukes Upend Siena, 36-14
Randy Vulakovich
 
Randy Vulakovich
 

Oct. 4, 2003

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes

Duquesne survived five turnovers and a pair of missed field goals to extend its MAAC winning streak to 26 games in a 36-14 win over Siena.

The Dukes, who rolled up 647 yards of total offense, led 16-7 late in the third quarter when Niel Loebig found Loran Cooley for a 20-yard touchdown on fourth down to give the Dukes a 22-7 cushion. Loebig, who finished the game with 372 yards passing, then guided the Dukes on back-to-back scoring drives to put the game out of reach.

Siena got on the board early when Alex Conlon hit Pat McCormick with an 11-yard touchdown pass to cap a 25-yard drive set up by a Duquesne fumble on the opening kickoff. Duquesne then drove 39 yards to the Siena 7 only to see the drive end with a missed field goal from 24 yards out. The Dukes had a 32-yard attempt partially blocked on their next possession, before John Harris converted a 22-yarder to make the score 7-3 with 6:38 left in the half.

With five minutes left in the half, Loebig hit Michel Warfield for a 53-yard gain, only to see Siena's Jay Barbero jar the ball loose and the Saints' Steve Stern recover at the Siena 13. Two plays later, Armando Perez forced and recovered a Conlon fumble, allowing Loebig to hit Randy Vulakovich for a 14-yard touchdown to give the Dukes a 10-7 lead at the half.

Duquesne's Mike Hilliard, who carried 29 times for 194 yards, scored from 35 yards out to cap a 73-yard drive and give the Dukes a 16-7 lead with 2:33 left in the third quarter. Two minutes later, Loebig hit Cooley on the clutch fourth-down pass to up the lead to 22-7. Loebig added a 17-yard touchdown pass to Michel Warfield and a 15-yard scoring strike to Tim Broderick in the fourth quarter to close out Duquesne's scoring. Siena added a late touchdown for the final margin.

 

 

Duquesne's defense held Siena to under 100 yards of total offense, before a late Saints' drive upped their final total to 168. Tim Pichette led the defense with seven tackles. Perez finished the game with three tackles for loss to go along with his forced fumble and recovery.

DU finished the game with 275 yards on the ground and 372 through the air. The 647 total yards were the third-highest total ever posted by a MAAC team. Loebig tied his own school record with 29 completions on 46 attempts for the Dukes. Vulakovich's 11 catches for 136 yards were both career highs.

BY QUARTER      1       2       3       4       OT      FINAL
SIENA           7       0       0       7               14
DUQUESNE        0       10      12      14              36
LEADERS Rushing (Att./Yds./TD): DU - Hilliard (29-194-1); SIE - Piascik (8-68-1) Passing (Att./Comp./Int./Yds./TD): DU - Loebig (46-29-3-372-4); SIE - Conlon (8-3-0-31-1) Receiving (Att./Yds./TD): DU - Vulakovich (11-136-1); SIE - Riggins (1-17-0) Tackles (Tot./Solo): DU - Pichette (7/3); SIE - Serratelli (15/10)

POST-GAME QUOTES

Duquesne Head Coach Greg Gattuso: "We were real ineffective in the red zone. We fumbled the opening kickoff (which led to Siena's first TD) then drove the length of the field and missed a field goal. When you do that it tightens up the game. We just weren't sharp, but we had 647 yards and didn't punt the ball once. Defensively we played very well. You have to give Siena credit. Things didn't come easy. "Every football team is different. This team has to develop a killer instinct."

Receiver Randy Vulakovich who set career highs for catches (11) and yards (136): "Getting the career highs was nice, but its better that we won. It always takes us a little while to get going. Today it took a lot longer. It was really frustrating to move the ball up and down the field but not score. We were putting a lot of pressure on our defense."

GAME NOTES

The victory extended Duquesne's MAAC winning streak to 26 games ... the Dukes finished the game with 647 yards of total offense ... it was the third-best effort in the history of the MAAC Football League ... DU, which did not attempt a punt on the afternoon, turned it over five times and missed a pair of field goals ... junior quarterback Niel Loebig (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) tied his own school record for completions with 29 for 372 yards and 4 touchdowns (14, 20, 17, 15) ... the 372-yard total was the second-highest of his career ... for the day, Loebig was 29-of-46 ... it was the seventh time in his career he has thrown for 4 or more TDs ... Loebig has now thrown for two or more scores in 21 of 27 career games ... senior receiver Randy Vulakovich (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) set new career highs for catches (11) and yards (136) ... his previous high for catches was 8 and yards was 113 ... it was his third career 100-yard receiving game ... senior running back Mike Hilliard (Homer City, Pa./Homer Center) carried 29 times for 194 yards including a 35-yard touchdown ... it was his third consecutive 100-yard game and 10th 100-yard game of his career ... Hilliard entered the game ranked second in NCAA Division I-AA with an average of 148 yards per game ... Tim Pichette (Boardman, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney) led the Dukes' defense with 7 tackles ... Armando Perez (Modesto, Calif./Thomas Downey (Modesdo JC) had three tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble for DU ... DU held Siena to 168 total yards.

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