Dukes Come Up Short at Nicholls State

THIBODAUX, LA - Nicholls State answered an 83-yard, fourth quarter Duquesne touchdown pass with a 63-yard run out of punt formation on the next possession to defeat the Dukes 14-7 at Thibodaux, La.

Box Score

The scoring flurry came at the end of a game during which both teams struggled to score.

Nicholls moved to 1-1 with the win, while the Dukes dropped to 1-1.

Duquesne's Larry McCoy ran for 195 yards in the loss.

Nicholls got on the board first when Trey Hopson scored from three yards out with 6:35 left in the first quarter to cap a 43-yard drive that was set up by a four-yard Duquesne punt.

Duquesne advanced to the Nicholls 31 with under a minute left in the half, but could not convert a fourth-and-one play to turn the ball back to the Colonels.

The Duquesne offense struggled in the first half as quarterback Kevin Rombach, who was without starting receivers Akeem Moore and Dave Williams, completed 4-of-14 passes for 27 yards and was sacked four times.

Moore suffered an internal injury on the third play of the game and Williams was forced to the sidelines with a shoulder injury a short time later. Moore and Williams combined for 14 of DU's 22 receptions in last week's 24-19 win over Bucknell.

Nicholls State outgained the Dukes 115 to 93 in a first half that saw a total of four turnovers (two each) and 12 penalties.

McCoy, who ran for 128 yards in the second half alone, got the Dukes in scoring position with a 34-yard run followed by a personal foul that moved the ball to the NSU 16 early in the fourth quarter. The drive stalled and Eric Duale's 34-yard field goal attempted ricocheted of a Duquesne player at the line of scrimmage keeping the Dukes off the scoreboard.

Dave Williams made his return with just over 10 minutes left in the game and caught a 20-yard pass from Connor Dixon, who took over at quarterback in the middle of the third quarter, and turned it into an 83-yard touchdown with 10:48 left. The play was Williams' first since the first quarter.

Duquesne looked to have Nicholls stopped on the next possession before Earvin Moore took a direct snap out of punt formation on fourth-and-five and raced 63 yards for a score to put the Colonels back on top, 14-7.

The Dukes, behind the running of McCoy advanced into NSU territory before a Dixon fumble gave the Colonels the football at the Nicholls 42-yard line.

DU, with Rombach back at the helm, advanced to the Nicholls 24 with just over a minute left, but a fourth down Rombach-to-Brooks Roorback pass was good for eight yards when the Dukes needed 12 to keep the drive alive.

Duquesne, which outgained Nicholls 341-218, turned it over three times. The Colonels, who ran for 208 yards, completed just 1-of-6 pass attempts. Duquesne's quarterbacks were sacked nine times.

Rombach finished 7-of-16 for 63 yards, while Dixon was 2-of-6 for 90.

Nicholls quarterback Jacob Witt carried nine times for 51 yards, while Moore led all NSU rushers with 63 yards on his lone carry.

Tyler Scruggs led the DU defense with six solo tackles. Willie Milhouse had a pair of interceptions and Nathan Totino, Milhouse and Justin Melhado all forced fumbles for DU which held Nicholls to 93 yards and one first down in the second half.

Duquesne continues a stretch of three consecutive road games at Monmouth next Saturday at 12:00. The Monmouth game, in addition to being the Northeast Conference opener for both schools, will be televised as part of the NEC-TV package and will air live on MSG-Plus and Fox College Sports and tape delay on Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m.

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