DU Wins Sixth Straight MAAC Title, 7-3 Over Marist
Oct. 30, 2004
Bruce Hocker's grab of a Niel Loebig pass with 12:42 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winner as Duquesne clinched its sixth consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Football League title with a 7-3 win over Marist at Rooney Field.
Marist, which drove 58 yards for a 29-yard field goal on its first drive of the day, saw its hopes for a championship dashed when Ryan Tolan and Javonn Bradley combined to stop Red Foxes quarterback Brian Kiraly on a fourth-and-two play from the Marist 45 with 5:34 left.
Marist got the ball back one final time, but Kiraly was sacked four times in four plays turning the ball over to the Dukes at the Marist one-yard-line with 1:12 left. DU then ran out the clock to clinch its eighth MAAC title in the last 10 seasons.
Middle linebacker Harry Carter led the Duquesne defense with 14 tackles, but it was the defensive line that did most of the damage as Josh Antinopoulos (4 sacks), Ryan Tolan (3.5), Antoine Bullock (1.5) and Ryan Esdale (0.5) combined for all nine of DU's sacks on the afternoon. The Dukes' defense was dominant in the second half, limiting Marist to 24 yards on 29 plays, including 13 yards on 25 rushing attempts.
Hocker, whose score came from 11 yards out on a perfectly thrown fade pattern from Loebig, finished the game with three catches for 28 yards. Dan Spriggs added six grabs for 80 yards for DU. The Dukes' Jeremy McCullough carried 23 times for 87 yards to lead all rushers. Loebig, who battled a stiff breeze all afternoon, finished 14-of-29 for 160 yards including the TD pass to Hocker.
Obozua Ehikioya led Marist with 63 yards on 18 carries. Kiraly completed 3-of-10 passes for 17 yards for the Red Foxes.
Duquesne started slowly, turning the ball over on three of its six first half possessions. DU drove 70 yards to the Marist five-yard line with 14:50 left, but John Harris' 22-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. On the next possession, an Antinopoulos sack for -8 yards forced Marist to punt from its own 11. Spriggs returned it 14 yards to the Marist 32 to set up the winning three-play drive that also included a 21-yard run by McCullough.
BY QUARTER 1 2 3 4 FINAL MARIST 3 0 0 0 3 DUQUESNE 0 0 0 7 7