Dukes Clinch Share of NEC Title With 24-21 Win Over CCSU
Nov. 16, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Dillon Buechel hit Gianni Carter with a 66-yard fourth quarter touchdown pass to help Duquesne secure a share of the 2013 Northeast Conference championship with a 24-21 win over Central Connecticut State at Rooney Field.
The victory was bittersweet for the Dukes, who were eliminated from contention for the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division I Football Championship by Sacred Heart's 42-25 win over Robert Morris.
Buechel finished with 288 yards and Carter and Devin Rahming both topped 100 yards receiving with 111 and 116 yards respectively. Rahming finished with 236 all-purpose yards in helping the Dukes clinch their 17th winning season in the past 20 years.
DU, which outgained CCSU 420-361, held Blue Devils' running back Rob Hollomon, who entered the game averaging 128.4 rushing yards per game, to just 59 yards on 25 attempts.
CCSU got on the board on its first possession, when Nick SanGiacomo, who threw for three touchdowns, hit Scott Benzing on a short slant that Benzing took 61 yards for a score to cap a 90-yard drive.
The Dukes answered with a 13 play drive capped by 19-yard Austin Crimmins field goal to make it 7-3. Buechel completed 4-of-5 passes for 53 yards - including a 33-yarder to Rahming - to key the drive.
CCSU took advantage of a roughing the punter penalty and converted a pair of fourth downs to drive to the DU 14, but fumbled the snap on a 32-yard field goal attempt turning the ball over to Duquesne with just over six minutes left in the half.
Five plays later Jason Douglas, who ran for a career-high 63 yards, raced 45 yards for a score to give the Dukes their first lead at 10-7.
DU turned a failed CCSU fourth down conversion attempt into a 43-yard Crimmins field goal on the final play of the half to make it 13-7.
CCSU blocked a 41-yard Crimmins attempt on the first series of the second half and drove 65 yards to take a 14-13 lead on an 8-yard pass from SanGiacomo to Denzell Jones.
Devin Williams picked off a SanGiacomo pass at the CCSU 17 and the Dukes made the Blue Devils pay when Buechel found Carter with the 66-yard strike three plays later. DU added a two-point conversion to make it 21-14 with 8:37 left.
Crimmins added a 23 yard field goal with 3:14 left that proved to be the game-winner as SanGiacamo threw his third touchdown pass - a 4-yarder to Nick Bacarella with 1:19 left.
Duquesne concludes the regular season with a non-conference game at Monmouth (6-5) on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 12:00 p.m.
Scoring by Quarters