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Duquesne Football

Stonehill upsets Duquesne, 24-20



Stonehill left a mark in its Northeastern Conference debut, as the Skyhawks upset Duquesne, 24-20, on Saturday afternoon at W.B. Mason Stadium in North Easton, Mass. Stonehill reclassified from Division II to Division I and accepted an invitation to join the NEC in April. With the loss, the Dukes dropped to 1-4 and 0-1 in conference play, while Stonehill improved to 3-0.

Stonehill struck first on its opening possession with a field goal. The Dukes responded with a long methodical drive that was capped by a Brian Bruzdewicz 20-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter. Stonehill’s defense stuffed Billy Lucas on consecutive run plays from within the 5-yard line to force the field goal.

Stonehill had a mishap on the ensuing kickoff, and the Dukes’ recovered the loose ball at the Skyhawks’ 38-yard line. Duquesne capitalized off the turnover, as Darius Perrantes connected to Abdul Janneh for an 8-yard touchdown on third-and-6 to give the Dukes a 10-3 lead. Dukes’ head coach Jerry Schmitt rotated Perrantes and Mischler at quarterback throughout the game.

Stonehill quarterback Ashur Carraha answered with a 30-yard touchdown run off a read-option to tie the game at 10-10 with 9:48 left in the first half. Duquesne bit on the fake handoff, and Carraha went untouched into the end zone.

Duquesne got deep into Stonehill territory, but the Skyhawks came up with a big defensive stop on fourth-and-1 to force a turnover on downs. Dwayne Menders got stuffed on the play. It was the second time in the first half that the Dukes couldn’t convert in a short-yardage situation.

Stonehill’s offense didn’t build off the defensive stand, as Carraha threw an ill-advised pass and got picked off by cornerback Ryan Webb. To keep the drive alive, Mischler completed to Janneh for first down yardage on fourth-and-6. Two plays later, Michler found Janneh again for a 26-yard touchdown to put the Dukes up 17-10 with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. It was Janneh’s second touchdown reception of the game and his fifth of the season.

Stonehill couldn’t muster anything late in the second quarter and went into halftime down 17-10.

After forcing a three-and-out to begin the second half, Carraha led the Skyhawks down the field and finished the drive off with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Will Diamantis to tie the game at 17-17.

Late in the third quarter, Duquesne squandered two opportunities to put six points on the board, as Menders dropped a pass in the end zone, and then two plays later, Mischler threw an off-target pass to an open Menders that would have been a touchdown. The Dukes settled for a 28-yard field goal by Bruzdewicz to take a 20-17 lead.

Stonehill took its first lead of the game at 24-20 after a 50-yard touchdown pass from Carraha to running back Jermaine Corbett. Carraha faked the handoff and found Corbett down the sideline, who had a mismatch against linebacker Gianni Rizzo.

The Dukes’ offense fell apart in the fourth quarter and Corbett gashed Duquesne on the ground to milk the clock. Perrantes had to lead the Dukes 99 yards down the field to win the game, but he got picked off on the first play of the possession and Stonehill secured the win.

The Dukes’ next game is on Saturday, Oct. 8, against Merrimack at Rooney Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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