Dukes Open NEC Era with 21-7 Win over SFU

Duquesne football grabbed a convincing 21-7 victory over Saint Francis Saturday night at renovated Rooney Field in the Dukes' first contest as a member of the Northeast Conference.

Box Score

The Dukes are 1-1 while the Red Flash fell to 0-3.

Sophomore Connor Dixon, a Michigan State transfer, was 13-of-25 for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Cleodis Williams gained 129 yards on 23 carries. Senior Conrad Carter had four receptions for 107 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown.

Saint Francis opened the scoring on Calvin Williams's nine yard run with exactly 1:00 minute left in the first quarter. The Dukes tied the game on Dixon's 12-yard pass to senior Alex Roberson (3/51) at 13:27 of the second quarter.

Freshman Chidozie Oparanozie stopped SFU's ensuing drive with an interception of a George Little pass at DU's 12-yard line and returned the ball 55 yards to the Red Flash 33.

Two successive Saint Francis penalties moved the ball to the nine-yard line. Dixon's throw to junior Michael Rasky (3/27) gave the Red and Blue their first lead of the season, 14-7, with 10:41 to go before the break.

Saint Francis put together a 16-play, 70-yard drive in the final minutes of the half that was halted by another Oparanozie interception at the DU two-yard line, 1:46 on the clock.

Five plays, three involving penalties, later, Dixon hit a streaking Carter for the final score with just eight seconds to go before the halftime break.

Little was 15-of-31 for 144 yards. Calvin Williams gained 74 yards on 22 carries and 41 yards on four receptions. Omar Winston had four catches for 37 yards.

Duquesne continues the three-game homestand next Saturday when they host the Dayton Flyers (3-0) on Saturday, September 27, 2008, at 1:00 p.m.on Rooney Field. The Flyers beat cross-town rival Robert Morris (1-2), 31-14, this afternoon in Ohio.

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