Dukes Amazing Comeback Just A Little Short

Duquesne, clearly outplayed in the first half and trailing by 35 midway in the third quarter, staged an amazing comeback that fell a little short as the Dukes' suffered a 48-42 season-opening loss at Bucknell Saturday night in Lewisburg, Pa.

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2008 is a brand new era for Duquesne football. The 11-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference non-scholarship football league champion is starting its first year of competition in the limited-scholarship Northeast Conference.

Tonight, Duquesne faced off against frequent season-opening foe Bucknell from the higher-rated Patriot League in the Football Championship Subdivision.

And the Dukes opted to go with sophomore quarterback Connor Dixon, a Michigan State transfer, over All-MAAC QB Kevin Rombach.

Bucknell made all these facts seem irrelevant to the story as the Bison scored the first 21 points, had a 42-7 lead at the break, and were up 48-7 with 8:21 left in the thrid quarter.

But, as the tune goes, wait a minute....

Dixon led Duquesne to 35 unanswered points, stopped by the 60-minute clock as much as anything else. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native was 30-of-47 for 429 yards and six touchdowns.

Senior Alex Roberson caught 11 for 154 yards and had one touchdown; classmate Conrad Carter had five for 66 yards and two scores; junior Michael Rasky also grabbed five for 89 yards with junior tight end Sean Bunevich catching four for 73 yards and a TD.

Junior Cleodis Williams, who gained 37 yards on 12 carries, scored on a 38-yard Dixon pass.

Sophomore Nathan Totino had 16 tackles, 10 solo, and a forced fumble. Seniors Eric Halberstadt and Aaron Strader added 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.

Senior Mark Troyan was a perfect 6-for-6 in points after touchdowns.

Bucknell's Marcello Trigg was 14-of-16 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Trigg had been perfect on the first 14; he missed his final pair of throws. Neither QB was intercepted though each team had multiple fumbles. A.J. Kizekai gained 98 yards on 13 carries. Shaun Pasternak caught seven of Trigg's aerials for 166 yards. Sam Nana-Sinkam had eight tackles.

The Dukes (0-1) are off until a week from Saturday when they host Saint Francis (PA) in the 2008 home opener at Rooney Field. Game time in 7:00 p.m. EDT. (The Red Flash lost at Virginia Military, 58-0 this afternoon.)


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