Dukes Give Wagner All it Can Handle in 23-17 Defeat
Nov. 17, 2012
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Duquesne gave Wagner all it could handle, but a Dominique Williams touchdown with 5:54 left proved to be the difference as the Seahawks defeated the Dukes 23-17 to earn the Northeast Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Championship.
The win was the eighth in a row for 8-3 Wagner (7-1 in NEC). Duquesne, which rallied from an early 14-3 deficit to take a 17-14 fourth quarter lead, finished its season 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the NEC.
Duquesne recovered two Wagner fumbles late in the game - the first in the end zone two plays prior to Williams' score and the second at the Wagner 44 on a free kick following Wagner's late-game safety - but had both plays nullified by offside calls.
Wagner, led by 98 yards from Williams, outgained Duquesne 333-232. Larry McCoy, DU's all-time leading rusher, ran for 75 yards to become the first player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in three seasons. Sean Patterson completed 16-of-28 passes for 176 yards for the Dukes.
Duquesne got on the board in impressive fashion when Charlie Leventry tied his school record with a 51-yard field goal. The kick, in addition to tying the record for longest field goal set by Leventry last year against Wagner, gave Leventry school single-season records for field goals in a season (15) and points by a kicker.
Wagner tied it when Williams kept a 15 play, 70 yard drive alive by converting a 4th-and-1 at the DU 4 and following it with a 1 yard plunge to give the Seahawks a 7-3 lead.
Marshyl Rothman returned a Leventry punt 43 yards to the Duquesne 31 to set up a 21 yard Otis Wright touchdown run that gave Wagner its second score in 2:22 and a 14-3 lead with 12:05 left in the half.
The Dukes quelled Wagner's momentum with an 11 play 84 yard drive capped by a 2 yard run by McCoy. McCoy's run was set up by a 30 yard pass from Patterson to Gianni Carter, who finished with 5 catches for 92 yards, that moved the ball to the Wagner 5.
Wagner outgained Duquesne 201-129 -including 148-46 on the ground - in the first half.
Duquesne took the second half kickoff and moved into Wagner territory before Patrick O'Connor picked off a Patterson pass at the 35. After an exchange of punts, Wagner took advantage of its gain in field position to drive to the DU 20 when Chidozie Oparanozie and Derrick Lakins combined to stop Williams for no gain on 4th-and-1.
DU held Wagner to 53 yards in the third quarter that ended with the Seahawks up 14-10.
Duquesne regained the lead when Patterson capped an 83 yard drive with a 6 yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. A 43 yard Patterson-to-Carter connection set up the score.
Wagner drove to the DU 9 when Wright was hit and fumbled into the end zone. Serge Kona recovered, but the Dukes were offside on the play keeping the drive alive. Two plays later, Williams took it in from a yard out to give the Seahawks a 21-17 lead.
Wagner pinned Duquesne deep on the ensuing kickoff and Jerome Williams sacked Patterson in the end zone for a safety with 4:18 left.
Duquesne appeared to make another big play when Zach Richert forced a Wright fumble on the free kick that was recovered by DU's Chris King at the Wagner 44, but another offside penalty nullified the play.
DU held and took over on its own 5 with 2:08 left and ran five plays before Syracuse transfer Torian Phillips stepped in front of a Patterson pass at the 10, allowing the Seahawks to run out the clock.
Scoring by Quarters