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Duquesne Dominate In Wire To Wire Season Opening Win



Edinboro quarterback Matt Carlisle dropped back to pass on his team’s second play of Saturday afternoon’s non-conference game against Duquesne, with redshirt sophomore cornerback Ayden Garnes reading the play and jumping in front of the pass.

“I’ve been getting that play all camp,” Garnes revealed. “I’ve been picking that play off a lot during camp. It was normal to me when I saw the splits, I was ready to go. Setting that tone, I feel like it woke everybody up on our team, their team and let the league know that we’re coming this year.”

As several Fighting Scots players unsuccessfully chased the cornerback, the Dukes had an early lead, a precursor towards setting the tone in a season-opening 49-7 victory at Rooney Field with many former players on past championship teams in attendance.

With first quarter play continuing, Duquesne saw sophomore linebacker Tim Lowery pick up the team’s second interception of the game.

When junior quarterback Darius Perrantes found redshirt sophomore wideout Keshawn Brown for 38 yards and another redshirt sophomore in running back Taj Butts found a hole to the tune of an 18-yard rush, the Dukes were deep in the red zone.

After two empty plays, Perrantes called his own number for his second touchdown of the afternoon.

Following the score, Duquesne’s defense again answered the call. The Dukes first recorded a hard tackle which nearly forced a fumble before being ruled incomplete and on the next play, junior inside linebacker Gianni Rizzo got a sack on Carlisle and graduate defensive end Ryan Lopez picked up the fumble.

Though Duquesne did not score on the ensuing drive, it allowed the defense to maintain an edge which only intensified when junior defensive end Kevin Kurzinger’s sack forced a fumble that Howard recovered, one last salvo prior to the opening quarter’s end.

Perrantes accounted for his second score of this game, this time opting towards the air when he found Brown and the two connected for a touchdown from 33 yards out, allowing the Dukes to stretch their advantage to 21-0 after one quarter.

After the Fighting Scots came up empty once again to open the second quarter, Duquesne used a 10-play, 94-yard drive over 3:54 to put up another touchdown.

The payoff came when Perrantes refused to go down and instead battled to find DJ Powell.

“It motivates a lot,” Powell said of his quarterback’s stubbornness to go down. “We know he has the ability to make any throw on any platform so we just try to get ourselves in a position where he can get us the ball to run.”

Duquesne would score once again in the second quarter, with redshirt sophomore running back JaMario Clements punching it in from two yards out.

At halftime, the Dukes led the Fighting Scots 35-0. The hosts had 262 total yards off offense, while the visitors were held to 107.

Graduate student Matt Robinson took over for Perrantes in the third quarter. Perrantes finished with 135 yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing score.

Robinson used his second drive of the quarter to lead the Dukes down the field. While in the red zone, he patiently surveyed the defense and skied a ball for Powell to score his second touchdown of the game from three yards.

“Coach has a philosophy that the ball is ours,” revealed Powell. “I’m a six-foot-three receiver so I just feel like whenever the ball is in my area, I’ve just got to go up there and get it.”

Edinboro’s score came when Carlisle found Aaron Hopkins from 21 yards out making the score 42-7 after three quarters.

Duquesne’s defense had another breakthrough, when Zeke M. Daure recorded his first interception of the season and the Dukes third of the afternoon.

“I thought their speed and strength was very apparent in their depth,” Schmitt said of his defense. “It’s something we thought we had and have been building for a couple of years. A lot of those guys you see out there now weren’t with us and now they’re back healthy.”

A third quarterback, junior Jordan Heisey took control of Duquesne’s offense and took it himself for another touchdown.

Duquesne’s non-conference slate will resume on the road next Saturday when it travels to face West Virginia. This contest will be contested at 6:00 on ESPN+ and Big XII Now.

“I’m very pleased with our performance here… our guys responded,” said Schmitt. “I’m also pleased that the work they did… the guys knew they had to dial in. We took care of the little things, and I thought that showed today which gave us an opportunity to get that lead and keep pushing.”



Gallery by Jared Todhunter:

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Judge Jack McVay Jr
Judge Jack McVay Jr
10 months ago

Appreciate the coverage of Duquesne football! Hard to tell how good this team is yet but certainly have to be pleased with their performance yesterday!

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