Story and photo courtesy of Duquesne Athletics
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Sean Patterson ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more and Dorian Bell was a one man wrecking crew for the defense as Duquesne extended its home win streak to 10 with a 35-3 Northeast Conference victory over Sacred Heart.
The Dukes moved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play with the win. Sacred Heart dropped to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Duquesne led 7-3 when Patterson, who completed 10-of-19 passes for 156 yards, hit Gianni Carter in stride with a 44 yard touchdown strike with seven seconds left in the first half.
The Dukes rode that momentum into the second half that saw Patterson add third quarter scoring runs of 15 and 44 yards.
Bell had 14 tackles, including 4.0 sacks (5.0 total tackles for loss). He also forced a fumble and added an interception as the Dukes, who surrendered 293 yards rushing in last week's loss at CCSU, held Sacred Heart to 215 total yards. Safety Serge Kona added nine stops as the Dukes held the Pioneers to just 92 yards on the ground.
Larry McCoy, the nation's 11th-leading rusher who missed last week's game with an ankle injury, gained 93 yards on 22 carries in his return for DU.
Duquesne, which saw its first two drives stall in Sacred Heart territory, reached the end zone early in the second quarter when Patterson sidestepped an SHU tackler in the backfield and raced untouched 14 yards for a score.
Sacred Heart pinned the Dukes deep in their own territory forcing a punt that gave the Pioneers the ball at the DU 33. SHU converted a 4th-and-4 at the 16 before the Dukes held and forced an 18 yard Chris Rogers field goal with 48 seconds left in the half.
DU took over on its own 39 with two timeouts and 41 seconds left and moved to the SHU 44 before Patterson found Carter, who finished with four catches for 86 yards, in stride from 44 yards out for the game-changing score.
Sacred Heart drove to the DU six on its first possession of the second half, but Rogers was unable to convert from 23 yards out preserving DU's 14-3 lead.
DU then drove 80 yards on 10 plays with Patterson covering the last 15 on a run to make it 21-3 with 6:23 to go in the third quarter. Patterson faked a handoff to McCoy, who carried six times for 30 yards on the drive, before turning upfield for the score.
Patterson scored for the third time - from 44 yards out - after faking a handoff to Ryan Ho and sprinting untouched to the end zone. Ho was surrounded by a host of SHU tacklers while Patterson raced to paydirt.
Patterson hit Carter with a 12 yard TD pass before giving way to backup Marty Mitchell with just under nine minutes left.
Keshaudas Spence, who had 333 yards on 41 carries in SHU's three previous games, was held to 69 yards on 17 attempts by the Duquesne defense.
Duquesne returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 27 when it hosts Monmouth at 12:10 p.m. on Rooney Field.