Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics
NEW BRITAIN, Conn.
- A valiant comeback by Duquesne ended with a failed two-point conversion as Central Connecticut hung on for a 31-29 win over the Dukes at Arute Field.
The win was the school record 12th in a row at home for the Blue Devils who moved to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the NEC. The loss dropped Duquesne to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Dukes scored two touchdowns in the final 2:07, the last of which was a five-yard pass from Sean Patterson to Dave Williams on fourth-and-goal on the final play of the game.
Patterson then found Akeem Moore in the end zone for an apparent game-tying two point conversion, but the conversion was denied when it was ruled that Moore had stepped out of the end zone prior making the catch.
Duquesne, behind a career-best 246 yards rushing from Larry McCoy, finished with 461 total yards. CCSU, which got 142 yards rushing from Everette Benjamin, finished with 375 yards.
Patterson finished with 171 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Williams. Gunnar Jesperson threw for 175 yards and two scores for CCSU.
Eric Duale DU’s school record with three field goals.
CCSU took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a three-yard run by Chris Tolbert.
Joe Izzo added a 25-yard field goal to give the Blue Devils a 10-0 lead after one quarter.
Central Connecticut made it three scores in three possessions when Jesperson hit Josue Paul with a 64-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-0 one minute into the second quarter.
Duquesne followed its first stop with a 27-yard Duale field goal to cut the lead to 17-3 with 5:47 to go in the half. McCoy set up the kick with a 51-yard run that gave him 100 yards on his first eight carries.
The Dukes drove 59 yards - all on the ground - to the CCSU 10 before settling for another Duale field goal, this one from 30 yards, on the final play of the half.
McCoy picked up where he left off, taking a hand off and racing 48 yards for a score on DU’s first possession of the second half to pull the Dukes within four at 17-13.
CCSU ended the streak of 13 consecutive Duquesne points when Jesperson found Eric Richardson for a four-yard score to make it 24-13.
DU answered with a drive to the CCSU two, but once again settled for a Duale field goal, this one from 21 yards out before the Blue Devils took it 52 yards in 11 plays with Richardson scoring from one yard out with just under four minutes left.
The Dukes once again moved the ball inside the CCSU 10 and this time cashed in when Sean Patterson found Dave Williams for a nine-yard touchdown on fourth down to make it 31-23 with 2:07 to go.
DU took over at its own 11 with 1:37 left and zero timeouts on its final drive. Patterson completed five passes before the score, including a 27-yarder to Williams on fourth-and-16 to keep the drive alive.
Duquesne returns home to face NEC foe Sacred Heart on Saturday, Oct. 16. Game time is 12:00 p.m.