Dukes Defense Comes up Big in 29-15 Win at Sacred Heart
Connor Dixon caught a pair of touchdown passes for the Dukes.

Nov. 12, 2011

Box Score

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.

Inda led the defense with nine tackles while Dorian Bell and Chidozie Oparanozie added eight stops each.

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

TEAM 1 2 3 4
DUQUESNE 7 14 0 8

7:13 - DUQ - McCoy 3 yd run (Leventy kick), 11-71 (4:42) --- 7-0
1:32 - SHU - Embler fumble recovery (Rogers kick failed) --- 7-6
4:41 - DUQ - Dixon 33 yd pass from Patterson (Leventry kick), 14-95 (7:49) --- 14-6
0:56 - DUQ - Dixon 35 yd pass from Patterson (Leventry kick), 6-75 (1:45) --- 21-6
12:41 - SHU - Moore 13 yd run (Rogers kick), 4-24 (1:21) --- 21-13
2:21 - SHU - Safety (punt blocked out of end zone) --- 21-15
1:47 - DUQ - McCoy 6 yd run (Piekarski run), 1-6 (:04) --- 29-15

Rushing (Att./Yds./TD): DU - McCoy (30-149-2); SHU - Moore (11-34-1)
Passing (Att./Comp./Int./Yds./TD): DU - Patterson (13-20-1-150-2); SHU - Little (21-42-2-178-0)
Receiving (Att./Yds./TD): DU - Dixon (6-95-2); SHU - Tate (6-69-0)
Tackles (Tot./Solo): DU - Inda (9/2), Bell (8/6), Oparanozie (8/4); SHU - Zambarano (8/3)

The win was Duquesne's third in a row over Sacred Heart ... it was also DU's third consecutive victory at Fairfield, Conn. ... Duquesne is 10-2 in its past 12 Northeast Conference games dating back to last season ... DU was 5-13 in its first 18 NEC games while integrating a scholarship model ... the DU defense, coming off a 16-0 shutout of Monmouth two week's ago, gave up just one short-yardage touchdown on the afternoon ... the Dukes held Sacred Heart 117 yards under its season average ... Larry McCoy (Wytheville, Va./George Wythe) ran for 149 yards on 30 carries ... it was his school record eighth 100 yard game of the season breaking the record of seven he shared with Mike Hilliard (2002 & 2003), Donte Small (1999 & 2000) and Bill Green (1995) ... it was also the 18th career 100-yard game for the DU junior ... only all-time leading rusher Donte Small (21) has more career 100-yard games ... McCoy ranks third on DU's all-time rushing list with 3,373 yards ... Connor Dixon (South Park, Pa./South Park) extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 25 with 6 catches for 95 yards including touchdowns of 33 & 35 yards ... the 6-5, 212-pound graduate student has caught at least one pass in every game since moving from quarterback to receiver eight games into the 2009 season ... Dixon has caught a touchdown pass in eight of 10 games this season ... 13 of his 35 catches in 2011 have gone for touchdowns ... the 13 scores this season are the fifth-most in school history, three behind the school record of 16 set by Bruce Hocker in 2006 ... first-year Ohio State transfer LB Dorian Bell (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) had a season-high 8 tackles (6 solo) including two tackles for loss ... the sophomore linebacker also added a quarterback hurry and broke up three passes ... defensive lineman Alex Inda (San Fernando, Calif./St. Genevieve) had a game-high nine tackles including a big sack late that ended Sacred Heart's final attempt at a comeback.




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