The Dukes survived a 3rd quarter comeback bid by Monmouth to come away with the victory, 33-23.
In the first half, the Duquesne offense was clicking and the defense and special teams made the most of several Monmouth mistakes. The Dukes managed to block a punt and also made the Hawks pay for a poor kickoff. They took a 23 – 7 lead to the locker room.
The third quarter and early fourth quarter was a bit different. A couple of turnovers gave the Hawks the opening they needed to attempt a comeback. The defense tried to hold, but you can only ask for so much. Indeed, early in the fourth quarter, they scored a touchdown and added the two-point conversion. Suddenly it was a tie game.
Devin Rahming wasn’t going to have any of it.
He set the Dukes up with excellent field position on a great kick return. They marched it down the field and scored the touchdown.
After several more solid stands by the defense, the Dukes put the nail in the coffin with a short Crimmins field goal in the closing minutes. Austin Crimmins is now the school record holder for most field goals made in a game with four. Speaking of the defense, Christian Kuntz had a monster day, with something like four sacks, some breakups, and other great things. It’s hard to say what all of it was – official stats aren’t out yet.
In other NEC action today, the Dukes and the Pioneers avoided having to share the championship three ways as Robert Morris lost to St. Francis this afternoon. Following the game, the NEC presented Duquesne with a trophy. Said the NEC officials: “You’ve got a lot to be proud of. Thank you for representing the Northeast Conference as well as you do”
While this game didn’t count in the NEC standings, it’s nice to see the Dukes finish the season with the elusive road win. They haven’t been very successful on the road during the last two years.
Congrats, Duquesne! We’ll miss you seniors, and we look forward to seeing you again freshmen.