John Domit connected on three field goals, including a career-long 41-yarder
Oct. 28, 2017
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore running back A.J. Hines (Wilson, N.C./Fike) matched a career-high with three rushing touchdowns while Duquesne tallied 461 total yards in a 37-21 triumph over host Sacred Heart in a Northeast Conference (NEC) game on Saturday afternoon at the Campus Field.
The Dukes win their seventh straight contest to move to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in NEC action, while the Pioneers drop to 3-5 and 1-2, respectively. This marks Duquesne's first 4-0 start in the NEC era and its first 4-0 start in conference play since the 2005 season.
Hines, who rushed for a team-high 88 yards on 18 carries, recorded three touchdowns for the second time in his career after scoring three touchdowns in a 30-19 win over Bucknell last season. He now has seven career games with at least two touchdowns.
Sophomore kicker John Domit (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) connected on a career-high three field goals on the day, including a career-long 41-yard make. He is the first kicker to put three field goals through the uprights since Austin Crimmins against Bucknell last season.
In addition, junior wide receiver Nehari Crawford (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central) hauled in his 11th touchdown reception of the season from quarterback Tommy Stuart (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall/Boise State). He came into the game tied for the FCS lead in touchdown catches.
Duquesne took a 6-0 lead after a pair of first-quarter field goals by Domit, the first coming from 41 yards and the second from the 37-yard mark.
Domit's second field goal was set up by the first of three takeaways for the Dukes on the day, as linebacker Carter Henderson (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional/Penn State) forced an Ose Imeokparia fumble which was picked up by sophomore linebacker Brett Zanotto (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional/Maryland) at the Sacred Heart 34-yard line.
After the Pioneers evened the score at 6-6 with a Kevin Duke touchdown run early in the second quarter, Stuart found Crawford on a 56-yard strike on just the third play of the ensuing Dukes drive to give Duquesne a 13-6 advantage.
That proved to be the first of four consecutive scores for the Dukes, as Hines then found the end zone on rushes of five, two and 26 yards to extend the DU lead to 34-6 in the third period.
In the fourth quarter, the Pioneers ended the Dukes' 28-0 run with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Duke to Ezekiel Ennis, but Domit's 38-yard field goal on Duquesne's next march moved the Dukes' lead to 37-13. Sacred Heart responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Duke to Nate Chavious and a two-point conversion to shrink the final margin to 37-21.
Stuart completed 16-of-21 pass attempts for 230 yards and his 22nd touchdown pass of the season in the win. Crawford had a game-high 143 receiving yards on six catches with a touchdown reception. It marks his fifth career 100-yard receiving game and the fourth time he has eclipsed the century mark on the year.
Henderson paced the Duquesne defense with eight tackles including seven solo stops and two tackles for loss to go with a forced fumble.
Senior cornerback Malik Shegog (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa) added seven tackles (six solo) with an interception, followed by sophomore linebacker Chayse Dillon (Pittsburgh, Pa./West Allegheny) with five stops (three solo). Senior safety Abner Roberts (Pittsburgh, Pa./University Prep) had his team-leading fourth interception of the season on Saturday to go with four tackles (three solo).
The Dukes' 461 total yards represent the second-highest total on the year. Sacred Heart came into the game 19th in country in total defense, limiting opponents to 308.3 yards per game and just 122.9 yards on the ground. Duquesne had 231 yards on the ground in the win.
The Dukes wrap up the non-conference portion of the 2017 schedule next Saturday, Nov. 4 on the road at Liberty. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET from Arthur L. Williams Stadium in Lynchburg, Va. The Flames are coming off a 33-17 victory over Gardner-Webb earlier today.