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Duquesne Football

Freshman RB Billy Lucas Leads Duquesne Over LIU

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Following a two-game losing streak, Duquesne was able to pull off a 34-28 win against Long Island University in New York. Freshman running back Billy Lucas had a standout performance, rushing for a career-high 137 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, which was a 67-yard score. Lucas has a very promising future with the Dukes, as he racked up 99 yards rushing in last week’s loss to Saint Francis University, as well.

“Really, just our O-line came out and did what they were supposed to do, opened up some holes for me and coach gave me an opportunity to go out there and see it what I can do,” Lucas said about his 137-yard rushing day. “Really, it was just our O-line blocking well and me just making something happen after that.”

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Dukes head coach Jerry Schmitt praised Lucas’ downhill rushing style after the game.

“I didn’t see the stats yet. I don’t need to. I knew he was downhill,” Schmitt said. “He just has that downhill mentality and he’s got really quick feet to make a jump cut and get vertical again. (When) he gets rolling, he’ll put a shoulder into you also. Very happy for him.”

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Quarterback Darius Perrentes, who was dealing with a lower-body injury and was a game-time decision, completed 19 of 32 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Perrantes also threw two interceptions. Two of Perrentes’ touchdown passes went to wide receiver Cyrus Holder, who finished the game with six receptions for 76 yards.

Duquesne is now 5-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Northeast Conference.

LIU (2-6, 2-3) scored on its opening drive as running back Jonathan DeBique ran up the middle for a 20-yard touchdown. It was a 6-play, 75-yard drive for LIU that took 2:30 off the clock.

Duquesne answered with a 45-yard field goal by Andrew Smith. Wykeen Gill set the Dukes up with great field position as he returned the kickoff to LIU’s 45-yard line. Duquesne’s offense couldn’t do much, however, gaining just 18 yards on six plays.

On LIU’s second possession, quarterback Camden Orth connected to Derick Eugene for a 25-yard touchdown to give the Sharks a 14-3 lead. LIU moved down the field rather easily on its first two possessions that both resulted in touchdowns.

Perrantes led the Dukes down the field on their second possession and finished off the drive by completing a goal-line fade pass to Holder to cut LIU’s lead to 14-10.

The Dukes slowed down LIU’s offense on its third possession, as Orth threw an ill-advised pass that got picked off by Leandro DeBrito. On the next play, Perrantes gave the ball right back to LIU, as he attempted a deep ball to Gill down the right sidelines but underthrew it and got intercepted.

Midway through the second quarter with Duquesne facing third-and-11, Perrantes completed a 42-yard touchdown pass down the seam to Davie Henderson to give the Dukes a 17-14 lead. Henderson caught the ball in traffic and broke two tackles to go in for the score.

Near the end of the first half, Orth completed two big passes to Owen Glascoe to set up a 42-yard field goal for Paul Inzerillo, but the kick was well short and the Dukes went into halftime with a 17-14 lead.

Prior to the two big completions to Glascoe, LIU was averaging just three yards per play in the second quarter after averaging 10 yards per play in the first quarter. Overall, the Dukes were stout defensively after giving up touchdowns on the first two drives of the game.

On the Dukes first possession of the second half, Perrantes threw into double coverage and got picked off by safety Jerome Brooks III. It was Perrantes’ second interception of the game. LIU was unable to capitalize off the turnover, however, as the Dukes forced a three-and-out and LIU punted.

With just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Perrantes completed a slant pass to Holder for a 28-yard catch-and-run touchdown to enhance Duquesne’s lead to 24-14. It was Holder’s second touchdown reception of the game and fifth on the season.

After the Dukes scored 21 unanswered points, LIU drove down the field on a 5-play, 58-yard drive that was capped off by a 6-yard rushing touchdown by DeBique to cut the Dukes’ lead to 24-21. It was DeBique’s second rushing touchdown of the game.

The Dukes didn’t have much going for them in the running game, but that all changed when Lucas ripped off a 67-yard rushing touchdown to increase Duquesne’s lead to 31-21 with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter. Before Lucas’ long touchdown run, the Dukes had just 14 yards rushing.

Following back-to-back sacks by Maxi Headecny and Kevin Kurzinger, the Dukes forced LIU to turn the ball over on downs. The Dukes then drove down the field and drained some clock by running the ball with Lucas. Duquesne’s drive stalled in LIU territory, but Joey Corado nailed a 24-yard field goal to give the Dukes a 34-21 lead with 5:43 remaining in the game.

Time was not on LIU’s side and they needed a quick strike, and they did just that. Orth found Tosin Oyekanmi for a 58-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game with 4:39 left in the game. It was a 3-play, 73-yard scoring drive by the Sharks.

With the Dukes holding onto a 34-28 lead, LIU was able to make a stop on defense and give the ball back to its offense for one final drive with 58 seconds remaining and no timeouts from their own 23-yard line. Orth led LIU down the field but failed to pull off a game-winning drive and Duquesne left Long Island with a win.

Duquesne hosts Central Connecticut State University next Saturday at Arthur J. Rooney Field. It’s Senior Day for the Dukes. Kickoff is at 12 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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