After a three-game losing streak, the Dukes got back on track on Saturday afternoon with a commanding 30-6 victory over Central Connecticut State at Arute Field in New Britain, Conn. Duquesne is now 2-5 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. With the loss, Central Connecticut dropped to 0-7.
Darrius Perrantes had a standout performance, completing 17 of 24 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Dwayne Menders Jr. also had eight receptions for 118 yards.
Central Connecticut got deep into Duquesne territory on its first possession, but the drive came to an end after an interception by Jayden Johnson. Duquesne took over from inside their own 23-yard line and put together a long methodical drive that was finished off by a Brian Bruzdewicz 20-yard field goal to put the Dukes up 3-0. Due to two pass interference penalties, Duquesne had seven plays from inside the five and was still unable to get into the end zone.
Bruzdewicz nailed a 40-yard field goal to increase the Dukes’ lead to 6-0 at the 9:31 mark of the second quarter.
Perrantes gave Duquesne a spark late in the second quarter, as he completed two deep passes to Menders and Joey Isabella to set the Dukes up in the red zone. Perrantes then connected to Abdul Janneh for a 7-yard touchdown to give the Dukes a 13-0 lead with 3:57 remaining in the first half. Duquesne has rotated Joe Mischler and Perrantes at quarterback all season. Mischler is the starter, but Perrantes is better at throwing the ball down the field.
Central Connecticut could not assemble anything at the end of the quarter, and the Dukes went into halftime with a 13-0 lead.
Central Connecticut finally got on the scoreboard midway through the third quarter, as Nasir Smith capped a 7-play, 72-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown run to cut the Dukes’ lead to 13-6. Santana Fonseca’s extra point got blocked.
The Blue Devils forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession and started with great field position at their own 49-yard line. Central Connecticut got deep into Dukes’ territory, but Shon Mitchell got picked off by Jeremiah Josephs in the end zone to put the drive to a halt. Duquesne collapsed in the red zone again after a promising drive and settled for a 23-yard field goal by Bruzdewicz to give the Dukes a 16-6 lead with 8:57 remaining in the game.
With 1:36 remaining and Duquesne facing fourth-and-11, Perrantes found Jalen Cooper for a 24-yard touchdown to seal the win for the Dukes. Ezekiel Daure had a 30-yard pick-six to add to the Dukes’ lead. Duquesne scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
The Dukes host LIU next Saturday at Arthur J. Rooney Field. Kickoff is at 12 p.m.