Devils Run By NC Central, 49-14

DURHAM, N.C. - Freshman tailback Desmond Scott rushed for 100 yards in his collegiate debut and Duke's defense limited North Carolina Central to 181 total yards as the Blue Devils defeated the Eagles 49-14 in front of 26,390 fans at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Duke improves to 2-2 on the year, while N.C. Central falls to 0-4 with the loss.

The Blue Devil offense hit the ground running and never looked back, covering 59 yards in five plays on their first possession. Tailback Patrick Kurunwune completed the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run, the first of his career.

The Duke offense took over again after an NCCU punt, needing only four plays to cover 64 yards for the score. Scott finished the drive with a 23-yard run to put Duke up 14-0.

The Blue Devils put together a 61-yard drive on their next possession to extend their lead to 21-0, capped by an 18-yard touchdown reception by receiver Austin Kelly.

However, the momentum shifted on the Eagles' following drive. NCCU quarterback Michael Johnson brought the Eagles to the Duke 15, hitting Geovonie Irvine for a 55-yard gain. Tailback Tim Shankle scored on a one-yard run, cutting the Duke lead to 21-7 to end the first quarter.

On Duke's next possession, Eagles free safety Jeffrey Henderson picked off a pass from quarterback Sean Renfree, who was filling in for injured starter Thaddeus Lewis, and completed the play with an 83-yard return, narrowing Duke's lead to 21-14.

But Duke would respond with an 80-yard drive to close out the first half. After converting on fourth-and-one, Duke faced another fourth down situation deep in N.C. Central territory. Lewis extended the drive with a 12-yard pass to wide receiver Johnny Williams and hit receiver Donovan Varner for a 14-yard touchdown reception to put Duke up by 14 at the half.

Duke's offense picked up where it left off to open the second half. A 38-yard punt return by Williams set up a Blue Devils' 21-yard drive, punctuated by a Lewis five-yard touchdown run.

The Blue Devils would add another score after Vincent Rey returned an Eagles' fumble at the NCCU 16-yard line to the end zone. With the recovery, Rey now holds the school record, returning three fumbles for touchdowns during his career.

Duke tight end Brett Huffman hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass from Renfree in the fourth quarter to bring the final score to 49-14.

Scott finished the game with 100 yards on 16 carries, becoming the first Blue Devil freshman to rush for 100 yards in his first collegiate game since B.J. Hill accomplished the feat in 1998. Fellow freshman Kurunwune totaled 93 yards on 14 carries, while Lewis completed 17 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

Duke will open ACC action next Saturday, Oct. 3, playing host to the Virginia Tech Hokies at 12 noon.


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