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Duquesne Takes Down LIU 35-17 After WR Cyrus Holder’s Career Day

Duquesne Takes Down LIU 35-17 After WR Cyrus Holder’s Career Day

Behind a career performance from senior wide receiver Cyrus Holder, Duquesne defeated the LIU Sharks 35-17 Sunday at Rooney Field. The transfer from Saint Francis had 7 catches, which tied a career high, a career-high 211 yards and two touchdowns. Holder is the first Duquesne player with over 200 receiving yards in a game since Nehari Crawford against Dayton in 2018.

“We did a good job of adjusting,” Holder said. “Me and Joe, we talk a lot on the sidelines. We just adjusted to what we saw out there. Anybody can do it any play for this team, it’s just what the defense gives us at this point.”

Head coach Jerry Schmitt said that Holder had some “opportunities that he took advantage of.”

“We’ve watched him in practice now for five or six weeks and we knew he could have a big game,” Schmitt said. “He does a lot of really good things for us including the little things for receivers like blocking and running his proper routes, so really happy for him.”

Duquesne, led by the passing game, had 509 yards of total offense. Sophomore quarterback Joe Mischler ended the day 21-for-27 passing with 385 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Graduate transfer running back Garrett Owens had 104 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Junior wide receiver Davie Henderson added seven catches for 90 yards.

LIU ran for 287 yards total, including 123 from junior running back Jonathan DeBique. Freshman running back Domonhic Jennings added 54 yards on seven carries. The Sharks offense came out strong, but an interception, a missed field goal, and two turnovers on downs kept the Dukes out of reach.

Duquesne’s offense, however, did not come out strong. They took nearly the entire first quarter to find their footing, going three and out on their first two possessions, but had no problem from then on.

Mischler found Holder deep for a 75-yard touchdown with nine seconds left in the first quarter. It was Duquesne’s longest scoring play since 2018.

Holder again found the end zone in the second quarter from 60 yards out.

Then, right before half, the Dukes scored on a miraculous touchdown catch by freshman wide receiver Abdul Janneh. The pass, intended for Henderson, was tipped in the air by an LIU defender and caught by Janneh inside the five, who walked into the end zone for his first career touchdown.

Duquesne’s 21-7 halftime lead came despite being riddled with penalties. The Dukes committed eight penalties for a total of 70 yards in the first half, including two encroachments and a pass interference on three straight plays in the second quarter.

“The penalties hurt us and defensively we didn’t tackle great,” Schmitt said. “You add those to things in there, that helps them to continue to move the football.”

In the second half, Garrett Owens rushed for two scores and an interception by senior safety Leandro DeBrito sealed the Sharks’ fate.

The Dukes are one win away from an undefeated 2020-21 regular season, which is taking place this spring following the postponed fall schedule. They play again Sunday on the road against the Bryant Bulldogs.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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