Next up: Saint Francis

Duquesne is hocking up against Saint Francis in the Dukes' first Northeast Conference football this weekend. This quick look at the Red Flash is the first in a series of reviews of NEC football programs.

Northeast Conference Football

Saint Francis (0-2) - The Red Flash took on the Red Foxes of Marist last weekend and came out on the short end in the match with the former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference program, losing 30-22. Marist rebounded from a 16-point second-half deficit, scoring all 30 points in the final quarter --- plus five seconds.

Duquesne (the high school and town, not the University), redshirt junior George Little led the NEC in total offense last season. All but 0.8 yards per game of his 193.6 total came via passing. So far, in two games, George is 35-of-65 for 229 ypg with two touchdowns and an interception this season.

His top two receivers are senior Antoine Rivera and (11/203/2 tds) sophomore Omar Winston (12/116).

Freshman Zak Campbell has the kicking duties. He is perfect in three-pointers. His 25-yarder that gave Saint Francis a 3-0 lead over Marist was the Red Flash's first score of the 2008 campaign. (VMI beat Saint Francis, 49-0, in the season opener.) But the Munhall-native is only 1-of-3 in extra point attempts.

The defense is led by preseason All-NEC sophomore linebacker Scott Lewis. He was the NEC and ECAC Rookie of the Year and a Sports Network first team selection as a freshman.

Lewis has 22 total tackles, 15 solo, with a sack and two more tackles-for-loss. Classmate LB Matthew Parker has one more overall (23) and solo (16) with a pass-breakup and three QB hurries.

The wideout duo of Rivera and Winston handles punt returns. Williams and redshirt sophomore defensive back Jude Yearwood are the primary kickoffs runners. (Yearwood also sees playing time when SFU has the ball.)

The Red Flash hold the dubious distinction of being picked for eighth place in the 8-team football conference preseason prognostications.

Former Duquesne, the high school and the University, coach Dave Opfar is 18-50 in his sixth season at SFU. The Red Flash have won three games in each of the last four years.

The Dukes hold a 29-5 advantage over Saint Francis in a series that dates back to 1913. Duquesne won, 24-17, in 2007 at SFU's DeGol Field.

Northeast Conference Football
2008 Preseason Coaches Poll
August 12, 2008

1. Albany (5)
2. Monmouth (2)
3. Central Connecticut State (1)
4. Wagner
5. Duquesne
6. Robert Morris
7. Sacred Heart
8. Saint Francis (PA)

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