Dukes Have Too Little, Too Late in 48-42 Loss

LEWISBURG, PA. - Bucknell scored on five consecutive possessions to take a 42-7 halftime lead and survived a spirited second half Duquesne rally to post a 48-42 season-opening win over the fast-closing Dukes at BU's Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

Sept. 6, Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, Lewisburg, Pa.
Records: Duquesne (0-1), Bucknell (1-0)
partly cloudy - 72 degrees

The Bison, who scored three touchdowns of 40 or more yards against a Duquesne defense that started five freshmen, were led by quarterback Marcello Trigg who completed 14 of 16 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Trigg, who was 10-of-10 for 189 yards and two scores in the first half, completed his first 14 passes of the game.

Michigan State transfer Connor Dixon, who was 2-of-6 for nine yards in the first quarter, rallied to complete 30-of-47 passes for 429 yards and a school record six touchdowns for Duquesne, which rallied to score 35 points in the second half. Dixon's 429 yards were nine yards shy of the school record of 438 set by Tony Zimmerman in 2000.

The Dukes and Bison combined for 1,022 total yards with Bucknell totaling 537 and Duquesne 485.

Trigg, who also scored twice on the ground, capped an 86 yard drive with a two-yard run to give Bucknell a 7-0 lead with just under eight minutes left in the first half. Trigg's plunge was set up by a 34-yard run by Josh Lee.

Ryan Smith followed a Duquesne punt with a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Bison a 14-0 lead as Bucknell outgained Duquesne 158-6 in the first quarter.

On the first Bison possession of the second quarter, Trigg scrambled before hitting Lee with a 44 yard touchdown pass to make it 21-0.

Duquesne answered with an eight play, 75 yard drive capped by a 22 yard pass from Dixon to Sean Bunevich. The Dukes posted their first four first downs of the game during the drive.

On Bucknell's next possession, Trigg found Shaun Pasternak with a 42-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7.

The Bison then recovered a Dixon fumble and drove 37 yards for a score to take a 35-7 lead.

A.J. Kizekai closed out the first half scoring with a one yard run with 24 seconds left.

The two exchanged third quarter touchdowns with Trigg scoring on a four yard run and Dixon hitting Conrad Carter from 16 yards out.

Duquesne drove to the BU one but failed to score when Kevin Rombach, who came in on the previous play to replace a briefly shaken up Dixon, fumbled on a third-and-goal play.

Dixon returned to hit Carter again, this time from 26 yards out, to make it 48-21. Duquesne, which rolled up 367 yards of total offense in the second half, then drove 80 yards for a score with Cleodis Williams taking a screen pass from Dixon and racing 38 yards for a touchdown with 9:37 remaining.

Dixon capped an 80 yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Roorback to make it 48-35 with 2:36 on the clock. He then set the school record with an 18 yard strike to Alex Roberson with 15 seconds left for the final margin.

Roberson set career highs for catches (11) and yards (154) in the loss.

Nathan Totino led the Dukes with 16 tackles and a forced fumble as Duquesne forced three second half Bucknell turnovers in limiting the Bison to six points and 176 yards over the game's final 30 minutes.

Duquesne is off next week before opening the home season with the first Northeast Conference game in school history against Saint Francis, Pa. at 7:00 on Sept. 20.

BY QUARTER       1      2      3      4     FINAL
DUQUESNE           0      7      7      28         42
BUCKNELL          14    28       6       0         48

Rushing (Att./Yds./TD): DU - Williams (12-37-0); BU - Kizekai (13-98-1)
Passing (Att./Comp./Int./Yds./TD): DU - Dixon (47-30-0-429-6); BU - Trigg (16-14-0-290-2)
Receiving (Att./Yds./TD): DU - Roberson (11-154-1); BU - Pasternak (7-166-1)
Tackles (Tot./Solo): DU - Totino (16/10); BU - Nana-Sinkham (8/6)

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