Duquesne Stops Football, 28-21

Steve McLaughlin photo
Steve McLaughlin photo

A late turnover and a Duquesne touchdown helped lead the Dukes to a 28-21 victory over Central Connecticut in Pittsburgh, PA, on Saturday afternoon.  The Blue Devils were led by senior quarterback Gunnar Jespersen who rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the loss.  Central falls to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in Northeast Conference play.  They return to action next week at home against Albany at 12 p.m. at home.

Duquense's quarterback Sean Patterson rushed 12 times for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Duquesne improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in NEC play.

Jespersen completed the game 19-of-25 through the air for 168 yards and one interception, it came on the game's final play.   He rushed 26 times for 79 yards and his two touchdowns.

Central dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 38:16 and running 85 offensive plays.  They rushed 60 times for 217 yards, their highest output of the season on the ground.  They added 168 in the air and finished with 385 total.

Duquesne led 7-0 before Jespersen scored his first rushing touchdown of the game with 2:12 left in the first quarter to tie the game.  After Duquesne took a 14-7 lead, the Blue Devils answered just before the half to tie the score at 14-14.  Freshman running back Xavier Gaddy scored his first career touchdown from eight-yards out to tie the game.

Central had the ball to start the third quarter, but a miscue on the punt gave the Dukes great field position at their own 22-yardline.  Punter Steve Calitri fielded a low snap, but had his knee on the ground when he received the ball, giving the Dukes the great position.

Two plays later a Larry McCoy touchdown made it 21-14 in favor of the home team.  

Central answered on the second rushing touchdown of the game by Jespersen, again from one-yard out.  It capped a drive that took nine-plays and went 53 yards, tying it at 21-21 with 2:02 left in the third quarter.

The Blue Devils were driving late, but a fumble inside the Duquesne red zone by Raul Debenendittis gave the Dukes the ball with about four minutes to play.  They drove 90 yards on eight plays and took a 28-21 lead with 42 seconds left in the game.  A late Jespersen pass into the end zone was picked off to end Central's final drive.

Sophomore Chris Tolbert rushed for 70 yards in addition to Jespersen's 79.  Senior Brian Fowler rushed for 46 and Gaddy finished with 32 and his first career touchdown.

Defensively Charles Williams led the Blue Devils with seven tackles, including a pair of sacks.

The Blue Devils have lost four in a row for the first time since the first four games of the 2003 season.  They are 2-5 overall and 1-3 in NEC play. 

Williams Named All-New England
November 29, 2011 Williams Named All-New England
Football Wins on Senior Day
November 5, 2011 Football Wins on Senior Day
Albany Hands CCSU NEC Loss
October 22, 2011 Albany Hands CCSU NEC Loss
Blue Devils Win 28-24 at Wagner
September 17, 2011 Blue Devils Win 28-24 at Wagner
Linares Earns NEC  Weekly Honor
September 12, 2011 Linares Earns NEC Weekly Honor
Central Nearly Stuns JMU, 14-9
September 10, 2011 Central Nearly Stuns JMU, 14-9
Holmes Earns NEC Honor
September 5, 2011 Holmes Earns NEC Honor