Duquesne took it to the SFU Red Flash today, and the only points they gave up came from mistakes.
The defense was the star of the show, holding SFU standout Kyle Harbridge, one of the best running backs in the Football Championship Subdivision, to 41 yards. Saint Francis doesn’t have a lot beyond Harbridge, and with him unable to produce and wet conditions at Rooney, passing was an even more difficult proposition.
Duquesne, conversely, found some success runing the ball. The aforementioned wet conditions probably forced some of it, but the Dukes turned in a solid-if-unspectacular rushing performance, going 165 yards and an average of 3.2 per carry. Ethan Dorsey broke out, going 65 yards on 20 attempts for a touchdown. Ryan Ho was on the sidelines out of uniform during the 2nd half with an apparent injury.
With Bryant’s loss to Robert Morris today, the win puts Duquesne in the driver’s seat – for now – with sole possession of first place in the conference.
After a quick start, Duquesne was up 14 – 0. Buechel was perfect in the first quarter. However, the second quarter was a different story. Buechel threw a pick six to put SFU on the board. Then, a strange play that was some combination of a fake punt and a real punt by Fleck gave SFU amazing field position at the Duquesne 18. The defense held, though, and the Red Flash came away with only a field goal.
Duquesne’s offense was mostly ineffective throughout the middle of the game until a big play by wideout Dave Thomas put them onto the St. Francis side of the field. That drive ended with a Rahming touchdown and on the way the Dukes overcame yet another questionable penalty as they got into the red zone.
In the closing minutes, Zidian forced a big fumble, enabling Buechel and the offense to take a knee and run out the rest of the clock.
Duquesne is now 3 – 1 in conference and has another big matchup with Sacred Heart next weekend. For our part, we’ll have more analysis in the coming days.