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Duquesne Football

Duquesne Upsets Ohio for First Win over FBS Team



It took a dramatic finish, but the Duquesne Dukes were able to pick up their first-ever win over an FBS opponent as an FCS team Saturday, winning 28-26 over Ohio University Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats (0-2) scored a touchdown with nine seconds left in the game to pull the score within two points, but a fade pass on the two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete, allowing the Dukes (1-1) to escape Athens with the victory.

The game started as many FBS-FCS matchups do, with the Bobcats taking an early lead as De’Montre Tuggle returned the opening kick 83 yards for a touchdown. The Dukes responded with an eight-play, 62-yard drive that resulted in a 23-yard field goal by kicker Brian Bruzdewicz to make the score 6-3.

In contrast to the Dukes, the Bobcats needed just two plays to travel 75 yards on their next drive. Kurtis Rourke found Cameron Odom over the middle of the field for a 60-yard gain and then Tuggle scored again, this time on the ground from 15 yards out. In what was the theme for Duquesne’s offense, the Dukes’s next drive was as slow and methodical as it gets, taking 16 plays to traverse 56 yards, ending in another field goal from Bruzdewicz.

After the teams traded punts, Duq punter Michael Berarducci pinned the Bobcats at their own 1-yard line. Defensive linemen A.J. Ackerman and Maxi Hradecny combined to stop Ohio’s O’Shann Allison in his own endzone, ending the first quarter with a safety, ending the eventful first frame with Ohio leading 13-8.

There was much less action in the second quarter, with the only score coming from Bruzdewicz on a 21-yard kick. The score at halftime was 13-11 Ohio, with the Dukes well within striking range of their FBS opponent.

In the second half, Duquesne’s offense, led by quarterback Darius Perrantes and running back Garrett Owens, virtually took over the game. Not in the traditional way of hitting explosive plays and scoring a lot of points, but by simply dominating time of possession and keeping the ball away from the Bobcats. All three of the Dukes’ meaningful second-half drives included double-digit plays, lasted more than five minutes and, most importantly, ended with points.

Their first drive out of the break lasted 13 plays, traveled 75 yards, took 5:13 off the clock and ended with Perrantes scoring on the ground from one yard out. That put the Dukes ahead 17-13 and they never looked back. Duquesne’s next drive was 14 plays, 68 yards, 6:16 minutes and resulted in a Perrantes passing touchdown to Joey Isabella for a 25-13 lead.

Ohio answered back with a touchdown to make it 25-20, but Duquesne’s offense embarked on their longest marathon drive yet, this time going 66 yards in 20 plays to take 7:59 off the clock with Bruzdewicz kicking his fourth field goal of the game to make the score 28-20.

Down by eight, the Bobcats put together a valiant final drive with Rourke eventually finding Ty Walton for a touchdown, but the aforementioned unsuccessful two-point conversion ended any hope of an overtime period.

Perrantes, a transfer from Rhode Island this offseason, finished 23-of-34 passing for 194 yards and a touchdown, adding 17 yards and another score on the ground. Owens, a transfer from D-II Mercyhurst, ran the ball 23 times for 82 yards. The Dukes benefitted from a dozen Bobcat penalties that added up to 112 yards.

The Duquesne defense held Ohio to just 15 first downs and 1-of-7 on third down. The Dukes had a dominating 41:02 to 18:58 advantage in time of possession.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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