PITTSBURGH — It took key special teams plays, a trick play or two, and a Darius Perrantes dime from 21 yards out in the two-minute drill that led to the game-winning touchdown, but the Duquesne Dukes found a way to pull out an impressive win over the Bryant Bulldogs on Saturday, moving the Dukes to 4-1, 2-0 in conference play.
The Dukes controlled portions of the game, struggled in others, and trailed 34-33 with 1:54 to go. Still, they found a way to score the go-ahead touchdown with 31 seconds left to win 39-34. Bryant even converted a hail mary, but it was one yard short.
The scoring started with a drive-by Duquesne that started with a field flipping pass from Darius Perrantes to Cyrus Holder and ended with a Garrett Owens rush from a yard out. Bryant was quick to answer back, though, and after Duquesne failed a fake punt inside their own zone, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter.
Special teams cost the Dukes early but wound up keeping them in the game, and giving them a lead at halftime. Wykeen Gill returned a punt 50 yards that put Duquesne on the six-yard line, setting up a QB scramble by Parrantes to tie the game at 14.
The special teams’ group showed up again, blocking a kick near halftime. This gave Parrantes enough time to nail two deep passes to Holder, and Dominic Thieman to flip the field. Then, Perrantes found Holder in the end zone to take a 21-14 lead into the half.
Bryant was not going away and tied the game on their first drive of the second half.
That is when Holder drew a deep PI early in the third quarter and Duquesne pulled out all the stops with a wide receiver pass. Wykeen Gill took a backward pass and launched a bomb to Garrett Owens. the play set up a field goal that made the game 24-21.
Duquesne’s defense showed some life on the ensuing drive highlighted by a sack from Kevin Kurzinger. The Dukes forced a punt and put together their longest, and most consistent drive of the game. One that did not rely on fakes, bombs, or trick plays. The drive ended with Perrantes finding Davie Henderson in the front corner of the end zone to make the score 30-21.
That is when Duquense appeared to take control. They got a stop on fourth down on the next Bryant possession and proceeded to march down the field. Perrantes had an impressive block that sprung a Billy Lucas run, and another Holder PI gave the Dukes a chip-in field goal to go up 33-21.
However, while the lead felt safe, it was anything but. Bryant rode their star back Dan Adeboboye and he caught a 12-yard pass to cut the lead to 33-28. Bryant got the ball right back and kept driving. They converted two fourth downs late in the fourth quarter and Adeboboye put in a two-yard run to take the lead with 1:54 to play.
That is when Darius Perrantes took over. He scrambled, hit Garrett Owens, Cyrus Holder, and finished with a dime to Davie Henderson from 21 yards out to take the lead with 31 seconds to go. It was by far his, and the Dukes’ most impressive stretch of football.
The Dukes will have a bye week next week before heading on the road to take on Sacred Heart on October 23.