Dukes Defense Comes up Big in 29-15 Win at Sacred Heart
Nov. 12, 2011
FAIRFIELD, CONN. - Duquesne jumped out to a 21-6 halftime lead and relied on a standout defensive effort to hold on to defeat Sacred Heart 29-15 at Fairfield, Conn.
The win enabled the Dukes (8-2, 6-1) to keep pace with Albany (7-3, 6-1) at the top of the Northeast Conference standings. Duquesne will enter the final week of the regular season needing a win over Robert Morris combined with a an Albany loss to Sacred Heart to earn the NEC's automatic bid to the FCS Championship playoffs.
Albany controls its fate by virtue of its 38-10 win over DU on October 8.
Larry McCoy ran for 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns in posting his school-record eighth 100 yard game of the season and Connor Dixon caught touchdown passes of 33 and 35 yards as the Dukes posted back-to-back road wins for the first time in NEC play.
Sean Patterson completed 13-of-30 passes for 150 yards, including the two TD passes to Dixon, for DU.
The Duquesne defense, which was coming of a 16-0 shutout of Monmouth two week's ago, allowed just one short-yardage touchdown drive in holding a Sacred Heart offense that was averaging 346 yards to just 229.
Duquesne scored first when McCoy capped a 71 yard drive with a 3 yard run mid-way through the first quarter. Sacred Heart cut it to one when Michael Zambarano sacked Patterson, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Justin Embler in the end zone. SHU missed the extra point making it 7-6 after one quarter.
The second quarter was all Duquesne as Patterson found Dixon for touchdown passes of 33 and 35 yards. The 33 yard pass culminated a nearly eight-minute, 95 yard drive set up by a Jared Williams interception and the second score - which came with 56 seconds left - covered 75 yards and gave the Dukes a 21-6 lead at the half.
Sacred Heart got back in the game when Niko Sierra picked off a Patterson pass and returned it for an apparent touchdown on the second play of the third quarter. The score was taken away by a personal foul, but SHU still managed to capitalize when Chris Rogers ran it in from 13 yards out four plays later to make it 21-13.
SHU blocked a Charlie Leventry punt out of the end zone for a safety to cut the margin to six with 2:21 left, before Alex Inda broke through to sack Tim Little on 4th-and-10 setting up a game-clinching six yard McCoy run and two point conversion to make it 29-15 with 1:47 left.
Duquesne concludes the regular season at home against cross-town rival Robert Morris next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. It will be the final home game for DU's senior class.
Scoring by Quarters